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Two out of every five workers who switched jobs over the past year are looking for work again, according to a new survey published by a consulting firm.
These workers will likely account for a good deal of churn in the labour market as the so-called Great Resignation continues, and this suggests employers may need to reconsider pay, benefits and other workplace issues.
“The power is going to the employee right now,” says experts from the survey team. “They are in the driver’s seat.”
Of those recent job-switchers, 40% are already actively looking for another job.
That’s a higher share than the 29% of all full-time employees who are actively looking — which means recent job-switchers are more likely to want a new gig than the overall population of American workers.
There’s likely some shared responsibility between workers and businesses for this buyer’s remorse.
For one, it may be due to a misalignment in job expectations versus reality — perhaps a bad manager or lack of career advancement possibilities. The dynamic is similar to buying a car and then realizing it’s a lemon, likening it to a bait-and-switch by businesses.
Workers are benefiting from a hot labour market in which job openings are near record highs and pay has increased at its fastest clip in years, as businesses are forced to compete for talent.
“We’ve made the recent switch, and it’s proven to be very easy,” said the active job seekers. “So we’re willing to make that switch again.”
Almost 48 million people left their jobs voluntarily in 2021, an annual record. The demand from businesses for labour has rebounded faster than the supply of workers as the economy has emerged from its pandemic hibernation, which has helped create favourable conditions for workers.
Almost 60% of those who recently took new jobs had two or more competing offers when they made their decision, according to the survey.
The war for talent is continuing, and there are no signs of it slowing down.
Some workers may have also jumped at a big raise before weighing all the pros and cons of the prospective offer, he said.
Of the workers who switched jobs in the last year, 40% got a pay increase of at least 10%, according to the survey. That’s more than double the 18% of all survey respondents.
Employees who switched jobs in the last year cited pay (37%), advancement opportunities (27%) and benefits other than health and retirement (18%) as the top three reasons for leaving. Pay and benefits were also the two biggest reasons respondents turned down other offers (42% and 33%, respectively).
A yet-to-be-published survey of human-resources managers demonstrates that companies are somewhat out of touch with the sources of employee stress — which means it may be tough for them to offer enticing benefits.
For example, employees cited personal debt, medical issues, mental health, daily inconveniences and the ability to retire as their top five drivers of stress. However, human resources leaders accurately guessed just one of those top stress-related issues (medical issues).
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