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Cath Everett

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Talent drain evident as ‘notice week’ ends

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Almost half of UK workers intend to start looking for a new job by the end of the year, but more employees are likely to hand in their notice this week than at any other time during the previous 12 month period.

 
According to a survey undertaken among 7,500 staff in 10 of Europe’s leading economies including the UK, France and Germany by HR consultancy Aon Consulting, some 47% of staff in the UK are keen to change employer, second only to the Irish at 49.4%. Job satisfaction is highest in the Netherlands and Belgium, on the other hand, where only 17.4% and 17.5% are keen to move on.
 
In the UK, however, the most likely groups to start job-hunting are 18-24 year olds (53%) and those working in engineering (54%). This compares with only one in five 55 to 64 year olds and 21% of people working in logistics. The desire to change employer is not gender specific, however, with roughly the same number of men (48%) wanting to move as women (47%).
 
Peter Abelskamp, executive director of health and benefits at Aon for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said that many European employers had introduced austerity measures such as salary freezes and cuts to reduce costs and maintain profitability, but had tended to do so uniformly, making little distinction between high- and low-performing staff.
 
“Not surprisingly, high-performing employees are starting to feel unmotivated and trapped, and with a glimmer of hope for economic recovery, many such individuals in the UK are now asking themselves whether better opportunities lie elsewhere,” he explained.
 
Whether there are jobs out there “remains to be seen”, but companies nonetheless risked losing key personnel, which could seriously undermine their competitive position once the recovery took hold, Abelskamp added.
 
As a result, now was an “ideal time” to start incentivising talented staff by taking a strategic look at their overall renumeration package. “Possibilities include the introduction or redesign of flexible benefits packages, which allow employees to tailor their benefits to their own personal needs, or by extending long-term incentive plans to wider groups of employees including those with the most attractive skills,” he said.
 
A second study undertaken by Salesforce.com recruitment specialists Resource on Demand indicated that more staff are likely to hand in their notice this week than at any other time during the year.
 
Year-on-year statistics gathered by the firm revealed that 37% of resignations occur in the third week of September, while a further 24% take place during the first week of February. In both instances, this is four weeks after the end of traditional holiday seasons.
 
Therefore, the situation would appear to indicate that many career changes are triggered by staff re-evaluating their careers and considering their options when on holiday. On returning to work, they take an average of four weeks to find a new job and a further month to work out their notice. This means that the majority of post-summer resignations start their new job at the beginning of November.
 

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