Inevitably, with every business people change jobs. However, at a time when talent is at a premium, if critical people do leave there is no guarantee that replacements can be sourced quickly and cost-effectively. For some businesses, losing a key staff member can be the difference between being able to operate a market or not. Now with the millennial generation entering the workforce, this is becoming especially problematic, where a recent Gallup report reveals that 21% of millennials say they have changed job in the past year, which is three times more than the remainder. One other startling insight to emerge from the survey is that 55% of millennials do not feel engaged with their workforce, meaning they are indifferent to their job and are open to a move at any time.

With that in mind, managers should be aware of the tell-tale signs that someone is thinking of leaving. Knowing what to look for can be a challenge. Helpfully, academic research has pinpointed some of the key issues to help identify the behavioural differences when people are thinking of leaving, these include:

  • Reduced work productivity, so works to minimum KPI’s.
  • Working to the clock, or always finding reasons to arrive late or leave early.
  • Higher than average absence either through looking to take extended vacations or through sickness.
  • Reluctant to commit to longer term projects.
  • Work colleagues that they had a strong bond with have recently left.
  • Friction with another co-worker. In a scenario where two people have a toxic relationship, you risk losing one permanently.
  • Has just had a major life change, for example, companies not allowing remote working risk losing staff who need it due to changes in their life.
  • Lower level of interest in team events.
  • Has just earned professional qualifications (For example, up to 80% of MBA graduates change jobs within 1 year of finishing)
  • More negative about working conditions, also more cynical about the company ethos and mission

Obviously getting an early heads-up that someone is thinking of leaving is only half the issue. As a next step, there are three key questions.

  • How critical is this individual and assuming they intend to leave, what steps can be taken to minimise their criticality?
  • Do they have any genuine grievances which could be resolved by a change in management approach? Would those changes create more problems or benefits?
  • Is this person an outlier or part of a trend? If part of a trend what steps should managers take to improve engagement internally?

Technology can also help detect when people are thinking of leaving. For example, hiQ labs is a San Francisco based technology company that scrapes LinkedIn to identify when people are updating their profiles and how they are engaging online, to inform HR of people who may be at risk of leaving, another example of quantitative data enabling better decision making.

In the same way, Vacancy data can help consultants interested in finding out which businesses have the highest employee churn. Through aggregating vacancies by company and cross-referencing against other data points, such as total revenues, growth and profitability and whether they have had VC funding (freely available on companies house) one can quickly identify which companies seem to have the greatest employee churn. Having this insight can then help businesses needing help improving their engagement with employees, as well as identify who may be most susceptible to an approach for another job.

Over the last ten years Vacancysoft has worked with recruitment firms of all sizes to help them map out market activity in order to identify changes in demand. For more information about how we can help, please contact us.

 

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