Why despite continued higher unemployment, employers still face challenges to fill vacant positions?

Talent Challenge 2012: Providing Meaningful Work and Careers for Your Employees

November 2, 2012 by Jeff Schwartz

The economic turbulence of the past few years, as described in previous columns, has created a talent paradox: Despite continued high unemployment, employers still face challenges filling positions requiring scarce skills. Many discussions of the talent paradox focus on the challenges faced by employers. In this column we turn our attention to the employee perspectives of this paradox: what employees are doing and seeking in this challenging economy; why they’re staying, why they’re leaving and what they want. These perspectives are found in the September 2012 Talent 2020: Surveying the talent paradox from the employee perspective, the most recent survey in Deloitte’s longitudinal Managing Talent in a Turbulent Economy series. This report features results from a survey of 560 employees at large businesses in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As documented in the report, 80% of respondents indicated they plan to stay with their current employers in the coming year. This is a significant 45-point swing from the results of the 2011 employee survey, in which 65% of respondents indicated they were thinking of leaving. Are all of these employees truly satisfied? Or are they merely “making do” with their current employers because of a difficult job market? Consider that nearly a third (31%) of surveyed employees report they are dissatisfied with their jobs. And at least one group of employees is at much greater risk of leaving. Given these results, employers may be tempted to become complacent about employee retention. However, if they want to keep critical employees, we suggest employers pay close attention to who is staying and why, and who is at most risk for leaving and their reasons.

Employee Engagement = Meaningful Work

Why are some employees staying while others plan to leave? Surveyed employees said they value meaningful work over other retention initiatives. Of those planning to stay with their current employer, 72% feel their talents are being utilized in their current jobs. Of those planning to leave, 42% do not believe their talents and abilities are being used effectively. Additionally, those planning to leave cited a lack of career progress (37%) and a lack of challenge in their jobs (27%) as the two top factors influencing their career decisions. It is interesting to note that 46% of those surveyed either moved to new jobs (9%), received a promotion (22%), or changed roles (15%) during the past year — all factors that one might think would make them less inclined to move during the next 12 months.

Emergence of “Turnover Red Zones”

Turnover intentions now appear to be concentrated among specific groups of employees at certain points in their careers, creating “turnover red zones” or employee segments at high risk of departure. The survey results reveal a “generational two-year itch.” Specifically, those at greatest risk of leaving are Millennial and Gen X employees with two years on the job. The survey indicates:

Employees with less than two years on the job expressed the strongest turnover intentions, with 34% indicating they expect to have a new job within a year. Keeping high-performers and high-potentials beyond two years appears to increase their likelihood to pursue a career — or part of a career — with an employer. Slightly more than a quarter (26%) of all Millennials (those <_32 surveyed="surveyed" reported="reported" they="they" plan="plan" to="to" leave="leave" their="their" employers="employers" at="at" some="some" time="time" in="in" the="the" next="next" year="year" this="this" is="is" highest="highest" rate="rate" of="of" any="any" generational="generational" group.="group." generation="generation" x="x" employees="employees" are="are" more="more" satisfied="satisfied" with="with" jobs="jobs" and="and" likely="likely" stay="stay" than="than" were="were" _2011.="_2011." however="however" gen="gen" planning="planning" much="much" actively="actively" seeking="seeking" a="a" new="new" job="job" other="other" colleagues.="colleagues." p="p">According to the survey, satisfaction seems to dip after the first year, with 27% of employees in their first year strongly agreeing that they are satisfied, compared with only 13%in the one-to-two year period, and 18% in the two-to-three year period. This dip positively correlates with how employees feel their skills and abilities are being used, with those who strongly agree that their skills and abilities are being used at 29% in the first year, 13% in the one-to-two year period, and 18% in the two-to-three year period. Both metrics, for satisfaction and for use of talents and abilities, improve after both five- and ten-year periods.

Source: businessfinancemag.com


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