As The Job Market Improves, Job Hopping Will Heat Up

By Laura Stevens

While most employees have clung to their jobs in the past year, employers are bracing for a wave of turnover when the economy picks up as expected next year.

A survey released today by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), based in Alexandria, Va., and CareerJournal.com, reveals that half of the 389 SHRM members polled say they haven't seen a change in voluntary resignations in 2004, as compared to 2003. However, 38% say they've seen a rise and 12% report the rate dropped.

Still, 67% of the survey respondents say it's very or somewhat likely they'll see more employees heading for the exits in 2005 as the job market begins to improve. Only 26% say it's somewhat unlikely that the improving economy will change their voluntary turnover rate, and just 8% say it's very unlikely.

The survey also queried CareerJournal.com visitors for the perspective of employees. These respondents included active job hunters and those who are "just looking." Nearly half (47%) of the employee respondents who were currently employed say they plan to begin or ramp up a job search as the economy and job market improve.

Employees and HR pros agree that the top reasons for quitting are: a better-paying job, a better career opportunity, and a greater chance for career development.

Some companies are making a pre-emptive strike to prevent an exodus of employees. About a third of those in human resources say their company will take steps to retain employees as the economy improves.

Foremost among these efforts will be monetary rewards, with 59% of respondents reporting they will provide competitive salary increases and 41% of HR professionals saying they will award bonuses. Half of the respondents provide career-development opportunities and 57% say their company promotes qualified employees to keep them satisfied.

-- Ms. Stevens is an intern with CareerJournal.com.

Article from CareerJournal. November 2004

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