Employee Dissatisfaction = Boon to the HRO Industry?

While this headline sounds counter-intuitive, let’s look at several news pieces published in just the last week.

An August 26 article by Hudson (a recruitment and talent management services provider) stated, “The global financial crisis has had a severe and divisive impact on the sentiment of the workforce in Australia and New Zealand.” “Employees’ feelings of disaffection are already playing out in the market, more employees are now seeking new roles (jobs) compared to before the downturn, almost half of the workforce is seeking a new role (47 percent) and 56 percent said they would consider roles they previously would not have looked at. If employees are disgruntled or unhappy with their current roles, the moment a better opportunity presents itself they will leave.”

Also on August 26, Jobfox, an Internet-based job site reported, “A recent study concluded that 54 percent of employed Americans plan to look for new opportunities once the economy begins to turn around”.

According to an August 31 USA Today article, “More than eight in 10 employers feel that their workers are just happy to have a job, but just 53 percent of employees feel this way, according to Monster.com.”

17 percent of workers are thinking of changing jobs in the next 12 months, per a survey employment website SnagAJob.com released on August 27.

And in a nationwide telephone survey of 500 hiring managers and 500 workers from various sized businesses – conducted by Robert Half International and CareerBuilder between April 30 and May 31, 2009 – more than half of employees plan to make a career change or go back to school.

Now, think of the impact this employee churn will have. Many are using the term “the jobless recovery” and talk of how the return to job creation will likely lag other evidence of recovery. This could lull in-house HR departments and HRO service providers into thinking the need to gear up for greater volumes will not be needed until later in 2010. While I agree, some churn may well pick up earlier. And churn triggers so many HR transactions – in virtually all aspects of HR including administration, payroll, learning, benefits hiring and staffing – that even if jobs aren’t growing, just replacing current positions will cause HRO activity to pick-up, as in-house HR departments have been cut to the bone.

I believe the economic downturn will be an economic upturn for the HRO industry. What do you think?

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

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