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Staffing Management: Up Front

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Vol. 4, No. 2

Why Workers Quit, Come Back

Employees expressed, in a new survey from the Bernard Hodes Group, that a limited career path in their present position (cited by 51 percent of those responding) and pay and benefits that are not in line with their skill set (cited by 50 percent) were two reasons why they were looking for a new job or at least open to the idea.

The survey—2007 Workplace Study: Playing for Keeps/Recruiting for Retention—of both full- and part-time employees focused on drivers for retention and how companies should concentrate their recruiting efforts on retaining top talent.

Of those asked, 21 percent revealed that, at some point in their career, they had returned to work for an employer from which they had resigned. Sixty percent said they would reapply for the same job at their current employer.

"Fifty-three percent of those responding to our survey are passive job seekers," said Alan V. Schwartz, president and CEO of Bernard Hodes Group. "Engaging these employees to determine their needs can help shape a company's retention efforts and keep valuable employees with the company."

Bernard Hodes Group Senior Vice President Paul Austermuehle says that a retention strategy builds "on the friendships and sense of belonging that make so many jobs so satisfying in the first place. This takes considerable pressure off of the staffing team.

"Our study proves the old truism that 'people don't quit companies, they quit supervisors,' " adds Austermuehle. "It's great news to know that one in five of those people find a way to return to the company. And the data demonstrates that the power of community is what draws them back."

For more information about the survey, visit the retention study page .

Baby Boomer Retirements Most Significant Trend

Almost half of the senior executives surveyed by Robert Half International say baby boomer retirements will have the greatest workforce impact over the next decade.

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and included responses from 150 senior executives with the 1,000 largest companies in the United States. (For more information, visit were asked, "Which of the following trends do you think will most significantly alter the workforce in the next decade?" Their responses:

  • Baby boomer retirements - 47 percent
  • Global business interactions - 31 percent
  • Outsourcing - 11 percent
  • Remote work arrangements - 5 percent
  • Other - 5 percent
  • Don't know - 1 percent

"The looming retirement of baby boomers has captured the attention of business leaders who are concerned about retaining the expertise of their most tenured employees," says Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half.

"Businesses that accommodate valued staff members who are not ready for retirement but seek new work arrangements, such as flexible or part-time schedules, are best able to keep top per­formers. Consulting arrangements allow individuals to remain challenged professionally while maintaining the flexibility to pursue outside interests."

Senior Execs Worry About Competition, Economy, Retention

Competition, the health of the global economy, and failure to attract and retain talent top the list of threats to business success for senior executives at some of the world's largest companies, according to new data reported by Accenture. (For more information on the survey, visit .)

Questions were posed to more than 850 C-suite executives—representing all major industries and the public sector—in China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The executives perceived the top five threats to business success as competition (cited by 73 percent), the condition of the global economy (67 percent), the inability to attract and retain the best talent (67 percent), company reputation (62 percent) and the inability to develop new products and services (51 percent).

These same issues topped the list of threats cited in a similar Accenture survey in 2005. The one growing concern, however, is talent retention. Cited by 60 percent of executives in 2005, it rose 7 percentage points in the new survey. 

Furthermore, executives reported that their companies' global reach had grown in terms of the suppliers they use, their own employees, their office locations and their customers. More than half (56 percent) said they are concerned or very concerned about the impact of the global economy on business. 

Respondents also expressed concerns about their ability to maintain a common corporate culture (cited by 54 percent), to serve remote customers effectively and to understand local ways of doing business (52 percent each). One in five (21 percent) said their organizations are not adequately equipped to succeed as global enterprises.

Help Wanted: HR Volunteers

Second Chance Employment Services (SCES) is looking for a few good HR volunteers. The nonprofit organization is expanding the services it offers to high-risk women who often are the sole support for their dependents and who have limited job skills or extraordinary barriers to seeking employment.

"Employment is a key component to ending domestic violence," says Ludy Green, president and founder of SCES. Recruiters play a key role in the program by identifying jobs for the women and assisting them in preparing resumes and learning interviewing skills as well as by serving as advocates for these victims in their companies.

SCES needs more support from human resource managers and recruiters, Green says, because "as our services are expanding nationwide, more women victims of domestic violence and their children come to our doors for help." The organization currently has offices in Washington, D.C., and New York. 

SCES provides individualized training and counseling services, such as bilingual and translation assistance, interview coaches to accompany applicants to interviews, and pre-placement and post-placement follow-up services for employers and employees. The organization also provides workshops that teach skills such as resume writing and assists in the completion of government and private-sector employment forms. In addition, SCES trains applicants on business communications and workplace image.

Green says that since its founding in 2001, SCES has successfully trained hundreds of women, placing them in meaningful, long-term positions with top-tier companies. SCES clients can receive pro bono services, such as legal services, dentistry and salon makeovers.

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