Nearly Half of Satisfied Employees Open to New Opportunities

By Roy Maurer Feb 19, 2015
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The current economic upswing is emboldening job seekers and challenging companies looking to retain top talent, according to a recent survey.

The 2015 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study, which measured 2,084 U.S. workers’ career attitudes in November 2014, asserts that the growing economy is putting job seekers back in the driver’s seat.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 was the best year for jobs since 1999. Reflecting that positive trend, 60 percent of respondents said they are equally or more optimistic about job opportunities in 2015 compared to last year. The percentage of respondents who reported that it is more difficult to find a job has decreased to 35 percent, down from 61 in 2012.

The study’s findings indicate that job satisfaction is no guarantee of employee loyalty, as 45 percent of employees claiming to be satisfied in their current job are open to a new one. The largest age groups of those who said they were satisfied but open to new job possibilities were 18- to 29-year-olds (53 percent) and 30- to 39-year-olds (55 percent).

The industries with the most employees who reported being satisfied but open to new job options were health care (55 percent), IT (53 percent) and education (51 percent).

Over one-quarter (28 percent) of employed respondents consider their current position a “stepping stone,” with younger workers in particular viewing their jobs as temporary. This likely contributes to the finding that Millennials are twice as likely as those in their thirties, and four times as likely as those in their forties, to change jobs after just three years, according to Jobvite.

Other key findings include:

  • Job seekers primarily leave their former positions for higher compensation (32 percent). Sixteen percent cited limited growth opportunities as their reason for leaving.
  • Increased compensation has the biggest impact on job seekers’ decisions to take a new job at 61 percent, with location (42 percent), work/life balance (38 percent) and health benefits (36 percent) the next most important factors.
  • Facebook is the social network of choice for job seekers of all income levels (67 percent), followed by Twitter (45 percent) and LinkedIn (40 percent). LinkedIn is more popular among highly educated job seekers (67 percent of post-graduate seekers) and higher-income seekers (56 percent making over $75,000 annually).
  • Nearly half (44 percent) of Millennials are using mobile devices in their job search. Forty-two percent spend an average of 10 minutes or more job searching on mobile devices each day.

    Fourteen percent spend over an hour a day job searching. Thirty percent reported that they are job searching while at work.
  • Younger, highly educated people are most likely to use social media to research a company of interest. Facebook is the top choice overall (18 percent) of networks to assess a company’s culture, and also the top choice of Millennials (28 percent).

“Today, job seekers are using social and mobile to apply for jobs and gain insight into a company’s culture and values,” said Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite. “Ignoring these platforms isn’t an option; companies must showcase their brand and be everywhere job seekers are.”

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM. Follow him @SHRMRoy

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