Experience Counts, But Dollars Still Drive Quits

Unhappy at Work

For all the talk we hear about the importance of culture and balance, a new report’s found the majority of employees will remain in place under less-than-ideal circumstances.

iHire’s 2019 Talent Retention Report says that while candidates and employees highly value culture and engagement, money carries more weight when they’re deciding whether to stay at their current company or look for new opportunities.

For all the talk we hear about culture and balance, a new report finds the majority of employees will remain in place under less-than-ideal circumstances. #HR #HRTech #HRTribe Share on X

The report said nearly 17 percent of employees would leave their job because of unhappiness with their pay. That compares to 12 percent who cited a lack of growth or advancement opportunities. Nearly half—49 percent—said a raise or bonus would increase the chances they’d turn down an external job offer. That’s more than double the 22 percent who said “clear growth opportunities” would do the trick.

Like other reports, iHire’s said that job-hopping is now “the norm.” However, its findings hint at a possible shift in attitude. While 52 percent of workers said they left a job voluntarily sometime over the last five years, 76 percent intend to stay with their current employer for just as long. More than two-thirds will remain for at least a year, while 44 percent will stay for one to five years.

In addition, 35 percent said they’ve been with their employer for three to nine years, while 22 percent have been on board for 10 years or more.

While a number of reports have focused on high levels of employee disengagement, iHire said 60 percent of workers are either “somewhat satisfied” or “neither satisfied nor unsatisfied” with their jobs. About 24 percent said they’d quit over a culture-related issue, but only 11 percent would leave over a negative work environment and 7 percent would quit over poor work/life balance. Just 3.5 percent would leave because their values didn’t align with their employer’s. That seems markedly different from many reports we’ve seen claiming Millennials look for employers whose outlook is close to theirs.  

Dollars and Quits

As more economists speculate about the advent of a recession, we can’t help but read these results with a sense that uncertainty is creeping into the labor market. Admittedly, that puts us at odds with the conclusions reached by trade and other media.

Bloomberg, for example, says one reason not to fear a downturn is that “the American consumer has remained a pillar of growth” in part because of the low unemployment rate. “While the U.S. labor market has shown signs of easing, it should continue to support household spending,” the news service said, adding that “hiring sprees elsewhere have also helped and the Conference Board reported this week that its index of global consumer confidence remains near a record high.”

Such reasoning sounds eerily like opinions expressed before 2008, when sub-prime lending powered consumer spending to unsustainable levels. And, reports MarketWatch, consumer debt levels are now higher than they were before the economy seized that year. Today’s consumer debt per person stands at a record $41.77, and higher than 2008’s $41.68.

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