Nearly a third of American employees, or 31.4%, voluntarily left their jobs during the past year, according to iHire’s 2021 Talent Retention Report. Behind their moves: career changes, unsatisfactory pay, desire for workplace flexibility and employer COVID-19 policies.
The survey of 3,948 U.S. workers found that voluntary turnover rose 6.5% year over year, from 24.9% in 2020 to 31.4% in 2021. That 31.4% compares to 20.2% for involuntary exits. Salary is the prime motivator for leaving (or staying), iHire said. Some 70.9% of those surveyed indicated they would leave a job due to unsatisfactory pay, while 77.9% said a raise would convince them to stay with their employer even if they received a better job offer.
There are also indications that workers are changing careers. More than 21% said they’d made a major career move in the past year, such as leaving a position to pursue work in a completely different industry. iHire thinks this might have to do with employees in industries hit hard by COVID reevaluating their career goals and considering sectors that promise greater stability.
COVID-19 policies come into play as well, as far as workers are concerned. Some 58.8% would leave their job because of either too few (41.9%) or too many (16.9%) COVID-19 restrictions. In addition, one in five employees would leave their job because of employer-required COVID vaccinations.
Nearly a quarter, 23.9%, would leave if hybrid work wasn’t an option for them. In addition, employees want more say in how and where they work. For example, 41.3% said a more flexible schedule would encourage them to stay with an employer, while 31.8% said the same about remote work options. Also, 62.8% said they’d leave a job due to a poor work/life balance.
With 4.3 million Americans quitting their jobs in August, while 10.4 million positions remained unfilled, “the labor market is experiencing a shakeup,” observed iHire CEO Steve Flook.