New Report Shows Employees Increasingly Open to Job Opportunities in Tight Labor Market

Staff Report

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

Specialty recruitment firms Accounting Principals and Ajilon released the results of a new joint survey exploring job search trends among more than 1,000 U.S. full-time workers who changed jobs in the past two years in professional occupations. The companies' new Secret Workforce Report, which provides an in-depth look into passive job candidates, reveals that despite having changed jobs in the last two years, the vast majority (88.2%) of respondents were open to new opportunities. Approximately 33% report actively seeking a new role – an 8% increase from last year – and more than half of respondents (54.9%) are passively open to new opportunities.

The survey uncovered valuable insights for employers around the current talent landscape and job seeker attitudes toward leaving or staying at a job. More than half of respondents (61.2%) indicated a salary boost of at least nine percent would entice them to leave and 30.2% said being underpaid would most likely cause them to find a new job.

Results also indicate that having a bad boss is nearly as bad as a non-competitive salary, with 29.6% of respondents saying a bad manager or boss would most likely cause them to try to find a new job. Gen Z and millennials were more likely to pick being underpaid than having a bad manager, while Gen X and baby boomers were more likely to select a bad boss over being underpaid. However, more than half of respondents (54.2%) state their top reason that keeps them from quitting their job is the loyalty they feel to their team, boss, coworkers or company. Benefits, like healthcare, and other work perks is the second top reason for staying at 47.8%.  

"We are experiencing an even tighter U.S. labor market than previous years, empowering job seekers and employees to be more selective when considering new opportunities and specific in their benefits expectations," said David Alexander, president, Accounting Principals and Ajilon. "While compensation remains a compelling attribute to retain and attract workers, internal company culture and management styles also play a key role in keeping workers from jumping employers."

In the job application process, the majority of workers (70.7%) report trying to negotiate when considering a job offer with 85% of respondents accepting the position after negotiation. Overall, 86.3% of people who negotiated saw the company improve their offer and, of those, 33.5% got the company to meet their request entirely. However, the gender gap is notable as 77.7% of men say they are extremely or somewhat comfortable negotiating for a higher salary or better benefits, compared to 52% of women.

More than half of respondents (65%) said they would consider relocating for a new job, with Gen Z and millennials more likely to relocate than Gen X or baby boomers. Nearly half (49.5%) said relocation incentives should be awarded as a lump sum signing bonus.

"With more workers willing to leave their current employer for new opportunities, not only are candidates' benefits expectations important for employers to be aware of, but the steps they take in order to attract and land the top talent they need," added Alexander.