More Workers Starting to Quit: Has the war for talent begun?

Managers are hearing something they have not heard in a while, I quit!

Dating back to the early 1970’s every recessionary period has been followed by a period of reduced unemployment. Although, each downturn is unique, a constant is the war for talent which begins as soon as the recession ends.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this is the first time since late 2008 that the number of employees voluntarily quitting surpassed the number being discharged or fired. This is significant as recent sentiment indicates that this will continue in the coming months. A poll conducted by Right Management at the end of 2009 had roughly 60% of the participant’s state; they intended to leave their positions when the market improves.

Cutting Edge Recruiting Solutions, a South Florida based Recruiting & Consulting Firm, has seen several clients request candidates for key positions after employees made surprise resignations, says, Founder & CEO, Andy Cohen. While it appears to be relatively contained, Mr. Cohen has recently launched a web-site to help business with critical questions they must be able to answer in order to minimize their risk of losing a key employee(s). You may visit, www.losingakeyemployee.com for additional information and the 8-critical questions that you must be able to answer to protect your company.

A recent article by the Wall Street Journal cited a series of expert testimony about this very subject. One VP said “We’re preparing for a massive reshuffling of talent at all job levels in all industries”, noting this recession was very different from the short and shallow one earlier this decade. Turnover will be much greater this time.

Another expert spoke to the mindset of the employee. “During the recession, even if they heard of an opening, employees were reluctant to switch employers. The idea of moving when the world was already in uncertainty was quite scary,” he said. But those hang-ups are disappearing, and employees are becoming more receptive to recruiter calls and beginning to tap their networks again for signs of opportunities, he says.

It’s not all doom and gloom as we experience another shift in this economy says, Andy Cohen of Cutting Edge. “This is a great time to evaluate your team, reengage your workforce, and acquire talent that will build your business for the future”. If you have not built a formal succession plan make sure you at least have a proactive recruiting strategy so should you need bench strength you have it, he said.