While normal and well-adjusted people were celebrating Mother’s Day this past weekend, I was scouting for interesting stuff to blog about. One fascinating article that I caught was from HR Magazine out of the UK – ‘Money and skills are all that’s stopping an exodus of passive jobseekers, finds survey of 3,000.’
If you can’t be bothered to click on the piece, (really, it’s better that you don’t, we want eyeballs over here on FOT as long as possible), I’ll sum it up for you in a couple of sentences.
A recent survey of 3,000 people and sponsored by Microsoft’s Bing search engine revealed that 60% of UK employees want to change their job. The primary reasons cited for the inability of these folks to actually change their jobs instead of just talk about doing it to survey-takers were – lack of finances, (46%); and not having the right skills, (42%). Ironically, those are the same reasons I was very unsuccessful in dating while in high school and college.
Additionally, the survey revealed that among the UK Top 10 ‘dream jobs’, theoretically the kinds of jobs that would counteract the lack of finances and skills mismatch issues that seem to plague many of their current roles, were pilot, musician or singer, race car driver, and actor. It is either comforting or disturbing, (depending on where you fall on the general optimistic/pessimistic continuum when you consider what the future will be like), that many of these ‘dream jobs’ are the same ones that you’d hear if you surveyed 8-year olds instead of employed adults. Although I suppose it’s good to know that if you happen to be recruiting for a few race car driver positions this year you will likely have your pick of candidates.
But the main reason the article and the survey result grabbed my attention was the fact that the most commonly cited reasons for the inability of employees to quit their jobs and chase after something better, (like driving race cars), were finances and lack of skills. People are reluctant to walk from their jobs if they aren’t financially secure enough to take that risk, and secondly, they might find their current skill sets not only do not qualify them for a ‘dream job’, they might not set them up for simply a ‘better job’. Sort of tough for employees, but maybe not so bad for you, the talent professional that doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of unwanted and messy turnover, having to backfill for the guy in logistics if he could actually land a job in Formula 1, or has to try and justify to the higher-ups an improved compensation or bonus scheme.
How’s that you might say?
We have heard for ages now that retention is high on the list of concerns for organizations, if good talent were to leave, they would be hard to replace, knowledge and skills would walk out the door, and organizational performance would suffer. So if you want to avoid all that bother, the results from the Microsoft UK survey give you a simple game plan – keep salaries low, so people’s financial situation doesn’t improve enough for them to feel safe in quitting, and don’t provide any training and development that actually might have transferable application and value on the external market. Simple, right?
Now you just need to convince everyone of your competitors for talent to do the same, and, as my UK friends might say, Bob’s Your Uncle.
Note – my list of Top 10 ‘Dream Jobs’ would be a little different than the survey list. Relief pitcher for the Mets would easily crack the top five. And professional BBQ cook would be on there as well.