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Interesting career paths needed to retain talent, Randstad reveals

Finding ways to attract the right, talented employees for their organisations remains a major concern and a challenge to the world’s human resources professionals. But today, HR departments have an even bigger worry, now that people switch jobs and bosses easier than ever: To ensure that the best talent stays with the organisation. That’s according to Randstad’s Employer Brand Research, which says that the (perceived) absence of interesting career paths is one of the key factors that drive employees away, together with unsatisfactory compensation and a lack of challenges on the work floor. 


According to the Randstad Employer Brand Research (REBR) 2018, unsatisfactory compensation (44%), a limited career path (43%) and insufficient challenges (30%) are the key reasons that employees mention for looking for a job elsewhere. For 28%, work-life balance issues make people decide to quit, for 27% a lack of recognition is a factor to drive them away from their employer.


The report by Randstad underlines that for employers employee retention is all about knowing how to keep the music playing and understanding what aspects of their employer brand makes talent stay or drive them away. The report shows that young employees (18-24) are more likely to stay with their employer if they receive good training. Higher educated employees consider attractive salary & benefits to be more important for staying – 47% mention this as their reason to stay. Only 39% of the lower educated employees consider this a major reason to stay.


It is clear that money alone will not keep employees from applying for a job elsewhere. This is particularly true for higher educated employees: No less than 47% of employees in this category consider a limited career path an important reason for leaving their employer. The research findings imply that employers who want their talents to stay should consider ways to improve and expand the career paths, identify new challenges, offer a better work-life balance, better and more recognition and rewards for their employees.


The trend of career advancements being a decisive factor in successful retention also comes up when workers are asked to list the things they look for in an employer. ‘Career progression’ is a strong factor, mentioned by 38% in 2018 (3% up from 35% in 2017). The ranking of the ‘top 10 reasons to choose an employer’ is as follows: salary and benefits (mentioned by 60%), job security (48%), work-life balance (45%), work atmosphere (44%), career progression (38%), a financially healthy employer (34%), flexible arrangements (32%), strong management (28%), good training (28%) and location (28%).


The threat of losing the best hands on the work floor – even after extensive ‘investments’ in education and training – is very real, now that the economic crisis is over in most countries. The report shows that today, people leave their boss fairly easy. At a global level, 45% of the respondents have reported to have either changed jobs in the past year or plan to do so in the next 12 months. Globally, 18% planned to switch in 2017 and 27% actually did. In EMEA and North America, the numbers are 17% and 26% and 20% and 26% resp. In Latin America, the gap between ‘planning and acting’ is much bigger: 19% planned to go, 36% actually left the organisation. This gap can be explained by the low importance of job security in this region.


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