Rebounding Job Market Has Employees Looking for Better Opportunities, Study Says

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By Caryn Freeman

Jan. 30 — With the economic turnaround spurring employee optimism about the job market, half of workers have their eye on a better job opportunity and 45 percent would leave their current position for a new job, even if they are happy there, according to the fifth annual Jobvite “Job Seeker Nation Study: Inside the Mind of the Modern Job Seeker,” released Feb. 5.

The Jobvite survey of 1,282 workers found that 60 percent currently are optimistic about job opportunities.

Kimberley Kasper, chief marketing officer at the San Mateo, Calif.-based social recruiting and applicant tracking software company, told Bloomberg BNA Jan. 30 that knowing the modern job seeker's need for constant change, companies must be prepared for high turnover. She added that hiring in waves or “classes” helps populate workplaces with fresh talent.

“Once employees are hired, accelerate the onboarding process to make the most of the time they do have, and encourage employees to be honest about their goals at the company,” she said. “As the modern job seeker becomes the modern job hopper, staying ahead of the curve means fighting turnover with a smart, savvy recruiting strategy.”

When employees do leave, Kasper said, employers should stay in close contact with these “alumni” for future employment opportunities.

The study found that higher compensation remains a key driver of turnover: 61 percent of respondents said that they would leave their current job for higher compensation, followed by better location (42 percent), work-life balance (38 percent), health benefits (36 percent) and opportunities for growth (35 percent).

Notwithstanding age, industry or education, half of employees said they see their current position as a “placeholder.”

Kasper explained that as the “placeholder” career culture becomes increasingly more widespread, organizations can no longer expect “company loyalty” from employees. “Companies can no longer count on employees staying for five years or more,” she said. “Instead, executives will have to structure their companies to account for high turnover.”

The survey also found that with the popularity of mobile technology, the job search has become a daily activity for both employed and unemployed people. Twenty percent of respondents said they spend under six minutes a day searching for jobs on their mobile devices, 32 percent spend six to 10 minutes, 20 percent spend between 11 and 30 minutes and 14 percent spend over an hour each day.

Kasper said that employers should consider mobile devices as the “modern-day classifieds,” especially for younger workers. “Forty-seven percent of millennials are using mobiles in their job search, whether that's on their commute, during work meetings or even in the restroom,” she said. “Job seekers expect mobile compatibility anytime and anywhere, making job hunting the new constant in the labor force.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Caryn Freeman in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at