“If your trigger for moving is money-driven, it may not always give you the job satisfaction on the other side,” said Grant.
“They’re maybe not getting much learning and development and are not happy … Unless you work through that, you could get into a new role and it could be exactly the same challenges.”
Some workers have come to this realization and are returning to their previous employers (who are welcoming them back with open arms) in higher positions with better pay, in what Gartner HR research and advisory vice president Aaron McEwan calls the “boomerang phenomenon”.
Remote work has also made job-switching arguably easier than it has ever been in history. Though the talent pool is larger now that borders have opened, organizations are finding themselves jogging with global rivals.
“Prior to the pandemic, if I was offered a job in Perth, that means pulling my kids out of school and relocating; you might as well be in another country,” McEwan said.
“When you’ve got jobs that can literally be done from anywhere, the cost of switching, from an economic and social and family impact [standpoint], is actually much lower. As a result, we’re expecting attrition rates are going to remain high forever.”
Social media has also made poaching quicker, easier and cheaper than ever. “There’s very little cost in sending requests to somebody, or hitting them up on their Instagram account,” said McEwan.
In key areas of critical skills shortages such as the digital and tech sectors, some employees are receiving messages so frequently that they’ve “retired” their LinkedIn accounts, making it even harder for organizations to find talent, he added.
winners and losers
All these factors have given job candidates the upper hand. Employers will need to be the ‘whole package’ for their pick of top talent as the cost of living continues to rise and frequent unsolicited messages from recruiters on LinkedIn become a common experience across the workforce. In this context, the “old tools” of promotions and money don’t talk as loudly as they used to, says McEwan.
“What if you were using a different set of tools?” he asked, pointing to more reasonable workloads and better work-life balance. Companies like Atlassian, known for its ‘TEAM Anywhere’ policy and approach to the environment, aren’t struggling for talent to the same degree other companies are, he added.
“It’s that radical flexibility that people really want.”
But the proactive strategy of poaching is one that generally benefits bigger employers, according to Indeed career coach Sally McKibbin.
“Unfortunately it’s often smaller organizations that fall victim to talent poaching as they may find it difficult to compete with larger organizations when it comes to enticing salaries, career development opportunities and various other perks and benefits that large organizations can offer,” she said.
Recruiters are enjoying high demand for their services, while some organizations choosing to handle the poaching themselves are compiling “internal databases” of employees at rival firms, McKibbin said.
Workers might find themselves taking part in the hunting process. “Employee referrals can be a brilliant source of identifying targets,” she said.
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