Employee job-switching confidence pointing up


Another glimmer of hope that we may be beginning to exit a condition of persistent recession is gradual improvement in the number of employees who would consider taking a new job if the opportunity presents itself. It’s a good sign, because employees are more conservative when times are tough – but it could be tough for companies that fail to plan for it and start losing veteran staffers.

The report, from GfK Custom Research North America, notes that more than 20% of the American workforce is ready to consider a change of employment. On the flip side, 53% would still lean toward staying put even with another job offer on the table.

Other positives: 47% of those surveyed see a recovery next year, and 80% of those fully-employed expect their employment to continue through the next 12 months.

There is a down side to this that employers need to be aware of.

“This number is important to watch as the economy continues to improve,” said GfK’s Thomas Hartley. “Employees are more likely to stay with their company during lean times, and so companies have taken them for granted. When the economy strengthens, experience tells us that employees will begin weighing their options and considering other jobs. Since it takes up to 12 months to improve employee engagement, companies need to plan ahead and take the proper steps to ensure their employee retention rates remain high.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Although we only flag these types of reports from time to time, we see them all the time. Our sense of the consensus is that while the study-producers are not seeing any earth-shaking economic improvements in the near future, most seem to be guardedly optimistic.

We doubt that any of the prognosticators have utterly reliable crystal balls straight from the secret long-lost chambers of the wizard Merlin, but the preponderance of opinion is what it is, and it sure beats a body of prediction that leans mildly or catastrophically negative.