Why employees leave - it's not money!

Author Justin Byrne

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​One of the main reasons companies choose to employ the services of a recruitment partner such as us is the pre-qualification process which candidates experience; it’s our job to get to know your potential employees, to get to the bottom of any gaps on their CV, really assess their skills and experience, and ultimately ensure that their goals and aspirations level with those of your business. And a big part of what we do involves defining just why they’re looking to leave their current position – it’s an absolutely imperative part of the recruitment process regardless of level, sector, job title and role.

From the weird, to the understandable, to the downright wonderfully random, we hear every manner of ‘reason for leaving’ in this job. But, here’s a little secret: you, the employer, may not get the full story.

No one wants to burn bridges, but unfortunately sometimes your place of work just isn’t the ticket for them.

Here are a few common reasons people leave their jobs – and it might not be why you think.

Lack of recognition

In sales or marketing based jobs, for instance – jobs where the work ‘Employee A’ puts in can be clearly turned into numbers and figures on a spreadsheet – it’s easy to recognise and reward positive results and a job well done.

However, in what we might call ‘back office’ jobs, it’s not necessarily the case. For ‘Employee B’, who works in a job role undoubtedly as important as those at the forefront albeit not necessarily under a performance-based system, it’s easy to feel somewhat ‘left behind’. Whilst their job impacts the business wholly, it’s not uncommon for businesses to forget that these employees too need to be incentivised, recognised and rewarded for the hard work they put in.

Otherwise, you risk losing them to a competitor or somewhere which promises to do exactly those things.

Progression – or a lack thereof

Whatever the size and function of your organisation, it’s important for employees to be able to find something to be reaching for – and if they don’t, they may leave, period.

If you’re a small organisation looking to grow, it’s important to instil your staff with the company’s vision for the future; mostly, they want to know how they can be a part of that, and what it means for their career progression. As a larger business, you walk the edge of a knife – wanting to ensure employees know that the potential to progress is there, but imparting confidence that whilst there’s healthy competition for that promotion, everyone’s in for a shot at progressing in some way, shape or form.

Those unable to understand the route to further their career within their current organisation are oftentimes those who come through our doors; as a manager/decision maker within the business who’s likely experienced internal progression first-hand, it’s all well and good that you yourself know the progression is in fact there. Illustrating that to your employees is another matter entirely.

Their next move is horizontal, not vertical

A graduate secures their first role out of university; it’s a graduate sales scheme, and they do really well. Everyone’s happy – they with their job, and their manager with their performance.

A year in, and that same graduate has been talking to their friend in the accounting team; they’ve realised that they share a lot of skills, and that the career path offers a lot of what they’re after long-term. However, when they approach their boss about a potential move, they’re discouraged; they’re doing so well in sales! Why would they want to change job roles entirely? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

It’s not unusual for people to want, at some point, to make a horizontal career move – that is, changing job roles altogether, taking a side or sometimes even a backwards step in order to diversify their experience and try something new. If an employee has been with a business for a while or has only worked within one division, it can lead to them feeling pigeonholed and limited to doing only that; they feel as though they’ll always be ‘that sales guy/gal’ whilst working here. And from here, it’s just a short hop, skip and jump onto the job market.

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There’s no right or wrong reason for someone to wish to seek pastures new – and there’s only so much we as employers can do to retain staff beyond staying competitive and creating a positive, rewarding workspace. Being aware of the reasoning behind their seeking opportunities elsewhere can not only provide well-needed feedback for your organisation, but in some situations could allow you to divert those thinking about leaving and improve company turnover.

In such a competitive employment marketplace, these are just a few of many reasons candidates choose to leave their current employers. Rest assured, each candidate you interview from us at Certus will have been fully pre-qualified to determine everything you need to know; we’ll know it’s a good fit before you do.

Get in touch to hear more about the in-depth recruitment model we operate here at Certus Recruitment Group.