Employee confidence on the rise

Published: 7 January 2015

The first week back after New Year is a chaotically fun time for us Executive Headhunters!

The business world is moving smoothly back into top gear and many employees are evaluating how happy they are in their careers. A feature on Radio 4 this week stated that 37% of employees are considering a change of job; that’s over one in three people looking to change jobs!

Radio 4 said this is an increase from 19% on last year, and listening to the radio I thought this number seemed greatly over exaggerated. Surely there couldn’t be that many people unhappy in their careers? However, the first week back we have been inundated by old contacts ‘just putting themselves back on our radar’, and new job seekers looking to make introductions.

Two things have already struck me about many of the conversations we are having:

  1. Most people are in jobs and are generally feeling quite secure with their current employers. These are not people desperately looking for any old job, but are people seeking the right next job. This is a distinct change from the peak of the recession.
  2. Why are people looking? Clearly everyone has their own motivations, but one theme that seems to be developing is ‘lack of recognition and promotion opportunities’ from current employers.

Now not everyone can be promoted, but everyone can be recognised for their efforts. The ‘fight for talent’ has always been competitive, and the last thing good employers want is to lose their best people. My thoughts are that employers need to recognise that there is a rise in employee confidence.

Recognition can come in many guises other than promotion, and based on the conversations myself and my colleagues are having it feels like employers in 2015 may have to work hard developing recognition and reward cultures if they are to stop the 37% achieving their New Year’s resolutions.

Paul Williams is a Consultant in the Berwick Partners Retail Practice

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