Employer Branding

Let The Competition Begin: Are Your Employees a Flight Risk?

Today, companies need to evolve alongside the fast-paced workforce to survive. Recruiting quality talent has always been a top concern for business leaders and HR professionals, but still there is work to be done to retain employees that may have one foot out the door for another opportunity.

The competition for talent is intensifying, and companies can no longer compete with traditional offerings and expect new hires to stay for the long haul. In a recent iCIMS study, 400 U.S. full-time employees were surveyed to discover the latest factors that lead to job satisfaction as well as possible motivations for leaving a company.

Meet the Competition

It’s time to face the reality that 83% of full-time employees in the United States would consider leaving their current company. More individuals are looking for better opportunities, and the days of sticking with one job until retirement are over. With 77% of employees considering an industry change altogether, there is more evidence of flight risk than ever before, and employers must be aware of the competition they face for high-quality talent.

What does the competition look like? In the survey, full-time employees ranked entertainment, banking and finance, consulting, and technology and software development as the top five industries they would consider moving to. It is no surprise that Google, Disney, and Facebook were named as the most attractive employer brands.

In addition to the threats of popular companies and industries, 56% of employees are turning to the gig economy to take a stab at alternative work, including temporary, freelance, and independent contractor roles. The trend of untraditional work arrangements is picking up, according to research from prominent labor economists. The new research shows that the amount of Americans transitioning from working full-time positions has jumped from 10.1% 10 years ago to 15.8% in late 2015. Interestingly enough, nearly 40% of those seeking alternative work have their bachelor’s degrees, dispelling the notion that the gig economy is for those without college degrees.

Hang On to Talent

Without a doubt, there is always a risk of losing great employees to their next big career move, and it is more than just a consideration of the 63% of full-time employees who are actively looking for a new job. The question really is, why? Forty-two percent of full-time employees believe their growth potential is limited at their current job, no longer believe in the company’s mission, have inflexible schedules, or don’t get along with their coworkers. The biggest factor to consider however, is that 69% are not satisfied with the employee benefits they are currently offered. Employee unhappiness and disengagement costs companies in the U.S. between $450 and $550 billion a year, and with so many willing to jump ship, it is essential to understand what incentivizes employees to come on board and stay. Standard benefits are no longer enough, and 92% of full-time employees believe that companies that offer nontraditional benefits are more likely to recruit top-tier talent.

Adapting to today’s employees by recognizing what is most relevant to their lives is the key to creating an attractive benefitS package. With younger employees flooding the workforce, implementing benefits that relate to their stage of life is a great way to appeal to fresh talent. For example, 66% of employees said that if they were starting a family in the next year, paid parental leave for mothers and fathers would be most important to them. Some other benefits that employees listed as important include tuition reimbursement for children, on-site video games, pet insurance, mental health days, on-site massages, or the ability to bring a pet to work. The culture of a company goes further than its mission statement, and when jobseekers are looking for a work/life balance, they need to know that their employer will be supportive of that.

Generational Divide

Although all full-time employees want to be understood by employers, there is a gap in what defines happiness and company loyalty across generations. With 71% of Millennials actively seeking a new job, greatly outweighing the 44% of Baby Boomers, it is safe to say that younger talent is more willing to leave for a better opportunity. In terms of motivating factors, a higher salary will win over Generation X, whereas Boomers would like better retirement plans. Considering recent shifts in benefits packages, younger workers tend to focus less on salary when accepting a position, with 94% of Millennials now reporting that nontraditional benefits will be what seals the deal for employers. Culture is so important to them that 66% have put off their job search because they did not want to leave their fellow employees. Only 38% of Boomers answered the same way. Each generation is motivated by something different, and companies must alter their offerings to the employee base they are aiming to attract.

The Opportunity

There is a huge opportunity here for employers to attract high-quality candidates by giving them the better offering they are looking for. It is important to develop a culture that will attract new talent while also staying alert and aware to retain current employees. Conducting internal surveys to ensure that the company is aware of evolving needs while using the results to identify strengths and weaknesses within the organization could save a company from decreasing headcount. It all comes down to understanding one another. If employees believe their cultural experience is not reflective of their requests, they will find an employer brand that is. Companies must go beyond the dollar signs when it comes to promoting a magnetic culture in order to attract top-quality hires and remain on the leading edge of the competition for talent.


  • Fred Pierce

    I have a retained executive search practice, established in 1985, with a focus on finding those rare talents that always seem to be near the epicenter of thriving and growing business enterprises. I have always found it interesting that companies (including client companies) spend more time, energy and resources on attracting new talents and very little (in comparison) to keep key talents from leaving.

    While money is certainly a motivator it is not the most important factor/reason people leave their current role for a new opportunity. I agree that culture plays a major part in decisions to leave and to stay (I’d suggest that the number who stay because of culture is higher than 66%). This large number indicates an area in which companies/hiring execs should, in my opinion, focus their effort when sourcing, screening and interviewing prospective candidates. By doing this a significant impact is made on turnover and at the same time makes the company more attractive to new hires (something every recruiter should emphasize).