More Americans Quit Their Jobs than Previous 17 Years. 4 Lessons Hiring Managers Need to Know

More Americans quit their jobs in May 2018 than have done so in any given month since 2001. What does this staggering figure mean? Is something wrong in the workforce? Why are people jumping ship?

This is actually good news. Americans quit their jobs when they feel confident in the job market and their own ability to find another job.

According to the Jobs Report, there are 7.1 million available jobs up 3 percent from May’s 6.64 million, which was the most in the nearly twenty years that records have been kept. In November there were only 6 million unemployed people. That’s way less than the 7.1 million vacant jobs.

So what can we learn here?

What You Need to Know About American Workers Jumping Ship

 1. The power is in the hands of the worker. With so many empty jobs, a job candidate–even if not a dream fit–is hard to come by. At McKinley, we refer to this as “the Candidate’s Market.” In the hiring process, because of the shortage of qualified candidates, it is the hiring manager’s job to woo the potential employee–not the other way around. There are more open positions than there are qualified candidates to fill them. Approaching the hiring process as if you have many options and all the time in the world will not serve you in the long run.

 2. Culture has never been more critical. Retention is more difficult than it has been in recent years and it’s up to leadership to build cultures that make employees feel engaged and appreciated. Both of these factors make employees want to stay put. And staying put is good for business. The hiring process is expensive and long. Retaining strong employees by building a culture they are invested in is worth it.

 3. Workers feel confident that they can find new jobs and command higher pay. So it may be time to ask your employees if they are happy. If they are not, what could you do to improve their experience? Is it a raise? More flex time? More team events? You may be surprised by their responses. Having those conversations with employees that are valued is critical in retaining them.

 4. A clear and thorough job description helps fill positions faster. Before you can find a desirable candidate to fit into a vacant position, you have to get clarity on what matters most in the job. The hiring process becomes lengthy when hiring teams do not have clarity and alignment. We built this Job Description tool to serve as a guide as you create the ultimate job description.

This is only the second time in the twenty years that the Labor Department has been keeping records that vacant jobs have outnumbered unemployed people that. It’s an exciting time to build the best team you possibly can. Contact us today for help finding the perfect fit for your open position.

[Updated Dec. 10, 2018]

by McKinley Marketing Partners