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1 in 3 candidates are continually searching for next role

More than one-third of employees across the globe are always on the lookout for their next role or opportunity, a study conducted by ManpowerGroup Solutions has found.

So many in fact, that they have even been given their own title by recruiters: the continuous candidate. One in three of us make it into this category with Mexico and the US’s job market leading the way in the trend, with 50 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively. 

The Economic Times of India proposed that the prevalence of the trend in the US is due to the fact alternative forms of employment emerge faster here than anywhere else.

However, it is rare that such a phenomenon is noticeable across continents. So what is it exactly that has caused this schism in global career aspirations?

Unhappy workers won’t stick around

One explanation the report suggested was: "The popularity and visibility of the gig economy with companies like Uber, Lyft and Task-Rabbit are redefining how people work”.  

In addition, the unstable global economic climate has played a large part in the uncertainty. The recession taught everyone, young and old, that job security is not necessarily guaranteed. Skills become displaced and wasted when not utilised in the right role. Which in turn leads to unmotivated and unhappy employees.  

The report further notes that a “lack of quality jobs” was consistently ranked as first or second as the “greatest personal career challenge among candidates globally.”

Employees unhappy with their prospects for progression will continually look to see how they can improve their employment situation, “whether they are unemployed, under-employed or seeking greater stability.” 

This is a shared concern for graduates leaving university. A lack of quality jobs mean that many graduates are stuck in roles irrelevant to their degree or career aspirations, simply because they need to pay the bills until the right role comes along. The disconnect between graduates and potential employers is just one of the motivations for creating GradLink.

Millennials (aged 18-34) make up around 60% of the continuous candidate category and are the most likely to be habitually looking for jobs. The stigma of ‘disloyalty’ or ‘job-hopping’ is often attached to this age group for this very reason.

But should we really penalise a peer group for wanting to advance? Rather, we should commend millennials for making career progression their top priority, as Sue Howse, general manager at ManpowerGroupSolutions suggests.

The report notes that “If an employer is not meeting a candidate’s expectations or aspirations for advancement, it is likely they will actively look for the next opportunity.”

The employment landscape is changing and with it millennials’ career attitudes and aspirations. Through not adapting to new needs employers “may be unwittingly contributing to the Continuous Candidate phenomenon by not meeting candidates' expectations for advancement or promotion," it continued.

The employee churn is an expensive reality for many companies, therefore it is paramount that employers work to improve their retention efforts and recruitment processes to accommodate for the changing work force. Continual revision and adaptation have always been intrinsic and necessary for long-term success.

By David Gee Published: August 23, 2016


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