People Quit Jobs For Careers. That’s Also Why They Take Them (P.S.: Money Counts)

Money is important, but career opportunities trump all other reasons for changing jobs, and that’s as true in Mumbai as it is in Manhattan.

LinkedIn asked 10,532 job changers worldwide why they left their old job and what influenced them to accept their new job.LI survey Why left

In both cases, career advancement and opportunities were the strongest influencers. In North America, 48 percent of the 5,344 respondents said, “I was concerned about the lack of opportunities for advancement.” Globally, 45 percent said the same.

Other reasons, naturally, played a role in deciding to leave. Company leadership, the work environment, recognition, and the nature of their work were all cited by at least a third of the respondents. Money and benefits came in fourth.

However, when deciding on a new company, the comp package was a more powerful influencer. After an improved career path (cited by 63 percent in North America; 59 percent globally), money and benefits was the second most cited reason mentioned by 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian respondents and by 54 percent globally. Three-quarters of job LI Why joinedchangers got a salary increase in their new job.

Women were more influenced to change jobs by career concerns, management, and their work environment than were men. Half of all women in North America cited the lack of opportunities for advancement as one of the reasons for making a job change; men cited that 47 percent of the time. The disparity widened when it came to dissatisfaction with senior management, which was cited by 48 percent of the women to 43 percent of men; and by the company culture cited by 45 percent of women versus 38 percent of men.

There was little difference between the sexes on money and work challenges on job changing.

The survey results — presented in two “Why & How People Change Jobs” reports — include breakdowns by generational groups that show millennials are far more active job seekers than either Gen X or the Boomers, and that by large percentages career advancement, money, and the nature of their work are significant job changing influencers.

Millennials globally are more likely to find their new job via websites, job boards, and social networks than are older workers, who most often cite referrals and headhunters.

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LinkedIn’s global and North America reports offer suggestions for employers and recruiters to improve their talent acquisition efforts. Some of them are as obvious as strengthening referral programs. “Start every search assignment with the question: ‘Who knows my candidate?'” And, “Use LinkedIn to search connections’ connections.”

Others, though, are more nuanced, even running counter to prevailing wisdom. For instance, with the survey showing a third of job changers changed careers entirely, LinkedIn recommends, “Be open to recruiting them. Assess how their transferable skills and accomplishments apply to your role.” And use job boards, social sites, and online career resources to attract millennials and women.

“Close candidates on career opportunity not compensation,” LinkedIn suggests. “Describe the work and expected results, not the background requirements and personality traits to be checked off.”

And with half of all respondents complaining that the biggest obstacle to making a change is not knowing what it’s like to work there, “Share content about what it’s really like to be an employee — perks, warts, and all.”

Find the reports here: Global;  North America (U.S. and Canada);  Europe:  AsiaAustralia and New Zealand;  Hispanic Latin America

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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1 Comment on “People Quit Jobs For Careers. That’s Also Why They Take Them (P.S.: Money Counts)

  1. “LinkedIn asked 10,532 job changers worldwide why they left their old job and what influenced them to accept their new job.”

    Yet again, a ‘survey’ masquerading as proof of something when it’s proof of nothing. Once more, on surveys people almost always give the answer they think they’re ‘supposed’ to give, or in other words the one that sounds the best. The fact that money/comp came in second is equally useless information. The only factor worth noting is that 75% of people did see an increase in salary when changing jobs. Look at what people do, forget about what they say. You’ll never know or be able to tabulate and study what their real motivations were at any given moment in time anyway, so don’t bother asking. A real positivist scientific approach would disregard motivation and simply look at actions; what did they do? They left, and the vast majority left and got more money. If you want to validate career development, you’d need to follow up and see how many actually saw changes and advancements in titles and responsibilities. my guess is comparatively few would change/advance, but many people will still change jobs, leaving money as the only real, verifiable motivating factor.

    How many recruiters reading these pages hear the “lack of opportunity” reason for wanting to leave a job? It’s a canned answer, a catch-all for a myriad of reasons and circumstances that have lead to a stall in a person’s career and salary advancement. The real take-home is, when they leave, most people expect and get more money. And, since most companies offer little to nothing in terms of true opportunity or career development, they’d better start competing on money real soon… or, revamp their standard hiring practice of looking for someone to do Job X who already has ten years of experience doing Job X elsewhere. But the key to doing that is to hire people up, not laterally, and almost no company in existence is willing to do that.

    Hence, the conundrum of modern recruiting; companies always want to find a person with ten years of experience in Job X who is willing to accept the salary of someone who has never done Job X and would be looking to advance into Job X as a career move. Or, in other words, they want senior people at junior prices. The Sales! drama continues unabated…

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