The employment situation in the European Union looks as good as it has for a long time. With an unemployment rate of 3.6% in December 2017, Germany is in second place within the European Union, behind the best-placed country, Czechia, which has an unemployment rate of just 2.3%. As such, Czechia has very nearly achieved full employment. According to forecasts for 2018 and 2019, the number of unemployed people in the European Union is due to fall further. While this is highly positive news for employees, this risks economic stagnation for employers, as a lack of qualified, skilled labour is already causing employer to reject contracts. As a consequences, candidates (including those changing careers) are extremely well placed to secure a foothold in businesses. For businesses, however, filling vacancies is becoming more of a challenge than ever. The labour market has developed from a buyer’s to a seller’s market, so that businesses now have to sell themselves to potential candidates and position themselves as attractive employers, so large is the choice of jobs for the right candidates.
One trend that runs counter to this is the rise of digitalisation, as a result of which career options are changing and many jobs will disappear. As such, the world of work is in a state of flux, leading to changes in the way that the job search works. How, therefore, will candidates find the right job for them? To what extent are today’s candidates open to changing jobs? And how flexible are they in terms of the job’s location? We examine these questions in depth.
Although most employees are satisfied with their jobs, they are nevertheless open to attractive job offers. Studies suggest that 75% of employed people would switch jobs if presented with the right opportunity and the right package. This leads to the conclusion that employees’ emotional attachment to their companies has changed over time. Many employees no longer remain with one company for several years, let alone decades – instead, they take the opportunity to change when it presents itself. It is not simply the case that many economically active workers are ready to change companies: many would also move to another country to work. In the aviation sector, for instance, there are many attractive career opportunities in France. A survey, performed for Indeed.com, reports that the reasons for moving to another country are defined by both personal and professional considerations. 20.8% of those surveyed reported emigrating for personal reasons. Almost exactly the same number of survey respondents would leave their home countries for an exceptional job offer. For example, ARTS offers its employees the chance to work on a variety of cross-border projects within the company’s organisational network, sometimes on a temporary basis. Most respondents reported leaving a country for professional reasons; however, it is interesting to note that those who remained in their home countries wished to remain due to personal and family reasons.
Regardless of whether employees change their job and their country, or just their job, the question as to why they leave remains relevant. Why do some businesses have such low levels of employee loyalty? Why do employees change jobs? Apart from the economic reasons such as redundancy, the reasons for voluntary changes are also interesting. Almost 75% of survey respondents stated that they switched employers due to their direct boss. Reasons for the change included feeling undervalued, a lack of feedback, and failure to involve the employee in decision making. This often leads to employees resigning from their posts.
While businesses are increasingly aiming to optimise benefits packages for employees, by expanding them and tailoring them more closely to their specific employees, the behaviour of supervisors and managers is what actually causes employees to leave their employers. As a result, this area needs to be worked on to ensure employees’ loyalty over a longer period. It is often the case that supervisors and managers are hired because of their outstanding ability to do their existing job, rather than for their outstanding leadership or management skills. Basic, soft skills, such as ability to manage conflict, an open style of communication, and the ability to give and accept criticism, are fundamental to successful a management style. If these factors were to improve, resulting in lower staff turnover, the German economy could save up to 105 billion euro per year. Poor employee retention results in reduced motivation, lower productivity, and poorer quality. Problems are not addressed, and suggestions for improvement are not shared, and as a result, businesses should do all they can to ensure that their employees are both satisfied and motivated.
Many businesses draw attention to the benefits for their employees as part of their efforts to attract candidates. Companies have innovated a great deal in this respect over the last few years. One of the most important factors in choosing a new employer is the ability for candidates to achieve a successful Work/life balance, with flexible working hours and the ability to work from home. Surveys suggest that 25% of candidates also value a business’s reputation particularly highly. However, a high proportion of potential candidates primarily value hard facts – such as salary, working location and the requirements placed on jobseekers. These factors help explain the high degree of popularity of employer rating portals: before submitting an application, almost every candidate will look at portals such as Glassdoor or Kununu to check a potential new employer’s image and learn about its corporate culture and benefits.
ARTS is always on the lookout for new, qualified employees as it continues to grow, with employees working in Germany and across Europe on innovative projects. With ARTS, you have opportunities to take part in international projects, contribute to exciting tasks, perfect your language skills, and expand your specialist knowledge. See the benefits of ARTS as an employer for yourself and make the most of the flat organisational structure, the flexible working hours, company retirement plan, and extensive training opportunities.