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Nearly One-Third of Employers Are Concerned About Top Talent Leaving Their Organizations, Finds New CareerBuilder Survey

Employers Share How They Plan to Hold on to Workers, Reduce Turnover

CHICAGO, May 13, 2010 - As the recession eases and companies begin to add to strained staffs, employers are also taking action to retain existing top talent at their organizations. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, nearly one-third (32 percent) of employers are concerned about losing their high performing workers in the second quarter, while one-third (33 percent) of workers said it is likely they will start looking for a new job when the economy picks up. As a result, employers are turning to a variety of different retention strategies to hold onto those workers and their valuable intellectual capital. The survey was conducted between February 10 and March 2, 2010 among more than 2,700 employers and 4,800 workers.


Increased workloads, longer hours and fewer resources related to the recession may be contributing to higher job dissatisfaction. Looking at key factors that influence job satisfaction and company loyalty, workers reported the following:

  • Pay - Nearly one-third (32 percent) of workers said they are dissatisfied with their pay, up from 29 percent during the same period last year.

  • Work/life balance - Nearly one-quarter (22 percent) of workers said they are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their work/life balance, up from 20 percent last year.

  • Career progress - Twenty-seven percent of workers are dissatisfied with the career advancement opportunities provided by their current employers, up from 24 percent last year.

Of workers who have their sights set on making a career move, they shared the attributes they will be primarily looking for in a new employer in addition to competitive pay and benefits. Good career advancement opportunities (60 percent) and good work culture (57 percent) topped the list. These were followed by:

  • Company’s financial stability and growth potential - 52 percent

  • Training and learning opportunities - 47 percent

  • Less stressful work environment - 45 percent)

  • Flexible work arrangements - 43 percent

  • Sense of ownership in their position, that they can make a difference - 42 percent

  • Camaraderie, more family-like work environment - 34 percent

  • "Many employers were forced to make unpopular, though necessary decisions during the recession in terms of adjustments in headcount, pay and overall strategy," said Jason Ferrara, vice president of corporate marketing for CareerBuilder. "As the economy improves and resources are reinstated, companies are employing different ways to repair and enhance the employee experience and strengthen morale."


    Employers are implementing different measures to help hold onto top talent and reduce turnover. Offering more flexible work arrangements, investing more in training and promising future raises or promotions topped the list. More performance-based incentives such as trips and bonuses and providing a higher title without a higher salary also ranked in the top five.

    Survey Methodology
    This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 2,778 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions; non-government); and 4,803 U.S. employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; non government) ages 18 and over between February 10 and March 2, 2010(percentages for some questions are based on a subset US Employers or Employees, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,278 and 4,803 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.86 percentage points and +/- 1.41 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

    About CareerBuilder®
    CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

    CareerBuilder Media Contact
    For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

    Jennifer Grasz
    (P) 773-527-1164
    (E) jennifer.grasz@careerbuilder.com