Human Resources News & Insights

2 big reasons employees are more willing to quit than ever before

There are two recent findings by the DOL that don’t look good for your retention efforts.

No. 1: The number of job openings hit a 14-year high of 5.1 million in February, according to the latest figures from the DOL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And as you can imagine, more job openings mean more opportunities for talented individuals to find greener pastures elsewhere.

No. 2: The number of employees who’ve voluntarily quit their jobs reached a seven-year high of 2.8 million in January and remained steady through February, when 2.7 million employees quit their jobs.

This proves the threat of employees finding greener pastures is very real.

Are your retention efforts prepared?

In search of higher salaries

What exactly are employees looking for? If you believe a recent CNN Money report, it’s higher salaries.

Average pay increases have hovered around the 2% mark since the Great Recession (a time when employee raises were next to nil) — and it appears workers are tired of their pay not keeping pace with inflation.

On top of that, employees don’t believe the fastest way to grab more cash is to walk into HR’s office and ask for a raise. Instead, they feel the best way to pump up their bank accounts is to leave their current employers for others.

And it’s working.

CNN Money told the tales of two job-hopping U.S. workers and the impressive salary gains they’ve been able to muster thanks to their disloyalty to their employers.

The first, Ben Baxter, has quit six different jobs since February of 2013. And for his troubles, he claims he’s increased his salary 31%.

He said his decision came down to this: Remain loyalty to an employer and have his salary remain relatively flat — or leave for a 10% boost in pay.

The second, Mark Bivens, has worked at three different places in the past two years and, as a result, he’s garnered what he calls a “big jump” in pay.

Both employees had one thing in common: They were always actively seeking employment elsewhere.

So there you have it — a boom in job openings and a desire to earn more are threatening to shake up your workforce.

Stories like that of Baxter and Bivens, which are aimed at your workers (CNN was titling it “Job hopping: The fastest way to earn more money”), are becoming more prevalent, and they’ll do nothing but make more employees step out into the job market.

If your business isn’t prepared for that reality, you could be in a world of hurt talent-wise.

One more interesting finding from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: All regions of the country have experienced the recent uptick in employees quitting — so it’s not a phenomenon that’s localized to a few select areas.

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  1. When I look over applications, if I see that someone has jumped jobs multiple times in a short time, I usually throw out the application. Is this not a commonly used filter system?

    • Maybe if organizations paid what other organizations were willing to pay to snatch up talent, this wouldn’t be a problem. Loyalty is a thing of the past since employers have decided that they can’t afford to take care of their employees in the long haul…pensions have all but disappeared which were the one of the most significant motivators of employees to remain loyal to their companies in the past. I know many may wonder why employees were so much more loyal 20, 30, and 40 years ago, it may be due to the fact that they were being taken care of. I really wonder if the older generation would have stuck it out with their employers had it not been for all the benefits/pay they received. While companies have said they could not longer afford to be loyal to their employees (and be that as it may), maybe employees can no longer afford to be loyal to their organizations.

    • I still use it as a screening tool but you I also take into account the
      great recession. Many employees had to take temporary work, part-time
      jobs or were laid off multiple times during that time period.

  2. Employers
    held back on pay increases during the recession and for good reason.
    Now that business is better, its time to pay employees what they are
    worth. Turnover is ultimately bad for a company – losing key employees
    and their intellectual capital can set the company back months in that

    • While in a recession, is it O.K. for employees to “hold back” on their performance or what they put into their jobs? Tell me, on an ethical/fairness level, what is the difference?

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