Retention in 2007: Most Workers Expect Strong Job Market

The results of two surveys released this week indicate that workers are optimistic about job prospects in 2007 — a confidence that may translate to more and more of your hard workers heading to the nearest competitor.

When the Society for Human Resource Management and CareerJournal.com conducted a poll to determine opinions about the effectiveness of retention strategies from the perspective of both HR professionals and employees, the results showed that more than 75% of employees are looking for new jobs.

Another poll this week — this time from Hudson quizzing U.S. workers — found that 78% expect their job prospects to be as good as, if not better than, this year.

However, based on workers’ expectations, this poll suggests that only 39% will be actively seeking a new job in 2007.

In terms of salaries, the Hudson survey shows that 21% of workers believe they will earn significantly more in 2007 than in 2006. Another 42% expect to earn a little bit more, for a total of 63% having a positive outlook regarding their financial situations next year.

Challenges for HR Professionals

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Elevated energy prices and rising interest rates experienced earlier this year were “not enough to dampen workers’ spirits, which were in fact encouraged by the stability in the market,” said Steve Wolfe, senior vice president of Hudson, in a news release.

The Careerjournal poll also suggested that, in 2006, HR professionals:

  • Had 12% of the workforce voluntarily resign since the beginning of 2006
  • Noted that non-management employees were the most likely to resign (71%)
  • Were concerned about voluntary resignations (73%)
  • Implemented special retention processes (50%)

“As the economy and job market continue to improve, employee retention poses a greater challenge for HR professionals,” said Gail Griffin, CareerJournal.com’s general manager, in a news release.

The Careerjournal survey shows that employees and HR professionals tend to agree on the top reasons employees choose to leave their organizations: better compensation elsewhere (30% of employees, 40% of HR professionals); career opportunity elsewhere (27% of employees, 48% of HR professionals); and dissatisfaction with potential for career development (21% of employees, 29% of HR professionals).

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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