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How Has Your Organisation Weathered the Tide of January Job Changers?

Working in recruitment, naturally I am surrounded by people who, for various reasons, are looking for their next career change. At the start of each year however, there is always an annual migration of ‘new year, new job, new me’ candidates. I’m not sure if it also being the start of a new decade has had an impact, but rather than a tide this year, it’s more like a tsunami.

Clicks has received record numbers of applications for its advertised vacancies since the start of the year, and the standard of applicant has been high. Whilst this is great news for those looking to hire, it also begs the question of whether there is a ‘leaky bucket’ happening…if so, what can we do about it?

During the course of the hundreds of interviews Clicks’ recruiters conduct each week, it is standard practice for us to ask candidates why they want to move on. So we have a pretty good idea of the main reasons. Nothing will ever stop turnover completely, but a focus on the below might turn the tsunami back to a trickle. This is far from an exhaustive list, but these are some of the reasons we hear most often.

Timeliness of Paperwork

If we are talking contractors, one of the main reasons for moving on is uncertainty at extension time. We understand that some larger organisations have complex approval processes for extension paperwork. Being on top of this a couple of months out, and communicating your progress regularly (see next point) will make a huge difference to your ability to retain people. Contractors have mortgages and families to support, so a confirmed source of income is their number one priority. Which is completely reasonable; we mustn’t forget the importance of the human factor.


When it comes to permanent applicants, communication plays a major role in their decision to leave. This could manifest as a lack of access to managers or management support; a lack of regular feedback and coaching or professional development; or a lack of structured performance and salary reviews. All of this rolls up into a person feeling under-valued, which may often not be the case at all. This leads to disengagement and ultimately resignation, at which time their employer makes a hasty counter-offer, but the bad taste is left in everyone’s mouth. Even if the employee remains, it just ‘gets weird’. Studies show that those who have accepted a counter-offer and remained are highly likely to have moved on anyway in the following 12 months.

Lack of Flexibility

I recently had a vacancy in my own team for someone to work two days a week. Now it doesn’t matter to me how they spread those two days out over the week, or where they work from, as long as the work gets done. I wasn’t sure whether anyone would even be interested in this arrangement when I posted the ad. Boy was I wrong. I was inundated with extraordinarily skilled people who are under-employed and desperate to do meaningful work. These people were largely primary carers of school-aged kids, who had been forced to leave their previous roles because their employer only wanted someone full-time in the role. I’m sorry, but I think that is just crazy in this day and age, especially in large organisations. I am personally delighted because I’ve just been able to hire someone with a background and culture fit that dreams are made of.

Clicks conducts thorough exit interviews each time someone we have placed completes an engagement. If you are a current Clicks client, please reach out to your Contractor Care team, who would be happy to share this data with you. Or if you’d like us to share any of our market knowledge please call your Clicks Account Manager or call 1300 CLICKS.



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