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Half of Your Employees Are Looking to Leave

Half of Your Employees Are Looking to Leave

by Matt Mosser

Let me say that again for the people in the back -- half of your employees are looking to leave.

That's one of two key findings from our 2023 State of the Global Workplace report that caught my eye:

  • In 2022, the world experienced a widespread resurgence in jobs.
  • Globally, over half of employees expressed some level of intent to leave their job.

53% say now is a good time to find a job where they live.

It's not surprising that employees are viewing the global job market more positively today than they did a year ago. Millions of workers permanently exited the workforce amid the pandemic, and lockdowns slowed the rate of immigration, further restricting talent pools. Check any job postings site and you’ll find the number of open listings is massive, often exceeding the pre-pandemic norm.


The current labor shortage does have its advantages. It’s led companies to rethink the way they hire. Most resumes don’t predict future performance. The more you focus on who a person is and how they fit a role and less on where they went to school and interned, the better. This is also great news for job seekers who are getting opportunities today they never would have had five years ago.

While widespread layoff concerns continue to make headlines -- and yes, many companies that over-hired in the past few years have been “right-sizing” over the last 12 months -- there are still significant opportunities for high-potential, high-performing candidates. I’d caution leaders against concluding that this is suddenly an employer’s market. The pendulum moved, but not that far.

51% of currently employed workers say they are watching for or actively seeking a new job.

Here’s what you need to do as a leader to protect your talent:

1. Retain your stars.

This is who recruiters are coming after. To prevent losing them, start here:

  • Build deep relationships. When you do, employees will be more likely to tell you everything, including if they’re looking for another job. Then you can manage accordingly.
  • Talk to them every week. Whether formal or informal, these ongoing conversations help you stay in sync.
  • Conduct stay interviews. Each year, do an in-depth interview with your stars -- ask why they stay, what might make them leave and what's most important to them.

Want a scary thought? Picture your three best people -- now think about what it would take to replace them if they left your organization tomorrow.

Want a scary thought? Picture your three best people -- now think about what it would take to replace them if they left your organization tomorrow.

2. Make your values known. Then live them.

Are your organization’s values so inspiring that people want to be a part of them?

If not, clearly define your values. Then live them with your customers and employees every day so they experience these values in every interaction.

3. Recruit, recruit, recruit!

With the balance of power between employer and employee remaining in employees’ hands for the foreseeable future, I’d bet on companies with strong recruiting approaches and employment brands to come out as winners.

If you're unsure whether your organization is good at recruiting talent -- odds are, you aren't.

World-class recruiting organizations resemble sales organizations much more than they do HR. Employ recruiters who are great at selling what you have to offer versus those who love to process resumes.

Keep in mind, if you’re really good at hiring to begin with, you can take a lot of the randomness out of turnover.

Winning the war for talent is about the basics: a strong defense to protect your existing talent paired with an offensive approach toward recruiting that makes the most of this hiring environment. The companies that execute these things consistently and with excellence will win.

Make purposeful decisions and inform your workplace’s development with global employee trends. Download the State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report.


Matt Mosser is Chief Human Resources Officer at Gallup.

Jessica Schatz contributed to this article.

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