80% of Full-time Workers are Actively Seeking or Passively Open to New Job Opportunities

Specialty recruitment firms Accounting Principals and Ajilon today released the results of a new joint survey exploring job search trends among more than 1,000 US full-time workers in sales, office and management/professional occupations. The survey found that one fourth of respondents (25.7 percent) are actively seeking new job opportunities and over half of respondents (55.5 percent) are passively open to new job opportunities.

The survey uncovered valuable insights for today’s employers around the current talent landscape and job seeker attitudes toward leaving or staying at a job. More than half of respondents (59.0 percent) think one to two years is the appropriate length of time to stay at a new job before looking for a new position. This was highest among respondents aged 26-34 (43.2 percent), 35-54 (30.4 percent) and 18-25 (20.61 percent). Approximately fifteen percent of all respondents think you should always be looking for new opportunities.

“With the unemployment rate hitting record lows, the labor market is tighter than ever,” said David Alexander, president, Accounting Principals and Ajilon. “Employees are more receptive to considering inbound job opportunities and the cultural norm for an acceptable length of time to stay at a company has shifted. This means employers need to continually evaluate whether they’re fostering an environment that retains top performers.”

Consistent with expectations, the survey found that salary is the most important factor that respondents consider when deciding to accept a job offer. Additionally, 43.2 percent of respondents would be enticed to leave their company if another one offered a better salary or pay. This is highest among respondents aged 18-25, while respondents aged 55+ are least likely to leave their current position for better pay.

The survey results also indicate that relationships with colleagues and managers can make or break job satisfaction. Over half of respondents (53.6 percent) state their top reason that keeps them from quitting their job is the loyalty they feel to their team, boss, coworkers or their company. On the contrary, 32.5 percent of respondents would quit their job or start trying to find another job due to a bad manager or boss. Aside from being underpaid (34.8 percent), this was the second top reason why respondents would quit or start looking.

“Loyalty is a big factor for why employees stay at a job,” added Alexander. “Workers who feel connected to their teams and company mission are more likely to be engaged and seek out growth opportunities, while those who feel they are suffering under inadequate managers are likely to look elsewhere. To that end, it’s important for employers to place an emphasis on leadership development in today’s candidate market. Implementing formal management training programs is one way to shape strong leaders and ensure consistency throughout the company, helping retain crucial team members.”

View the full survey results here.


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