HOW HR CAN HARNESS THE POWER OF A TRANSITORY WORKFORCE
By Greg Karr
The average employee tenure across industries is slightly
longer than four years, but among certain high-demand
job profiles, that timeframe drops to approximately 18
to 36 months. While this was once a sign of an unstable
employee and had detrimental career implications, today, it’s the
new norm. How should companies respond to this job-hopping
phenomenon? What are the implications and what needs to
change in order to harness the power of a transitory workforce?
Talent is investing only 1.5 to three years at your company before
moving on. Why are they moving on? In most cases, they
are offered more enticing opportunities, better pay and a chance
for a better work-life fit. The idea of leaving to get a raise has
morphed into a focus in improving your income, job responsibilities
and overall career trajectory. People don’t climb the ladder
in the same company anymore; they use multiple companies to
build their career momentum.
WHAT’S DRIVING THIS CHANGE?
A few major factors have driven this change. One, the speed of
company evolution has increased exponentially. Consider Square,
Zynga and Pinterest – they all achieved a level of revenue of more
than $1 billion in 2.5 to three years. With such high stakes, recruiting
the best talent becomes a hyper-competitive business
function where incredibly aggressive tactics are used to attract
top talent. Candidates will naturally listen to enticing offers.
This quickening of the business cycle has also sped up employees’
expectations related to how long they should stay at a job and
maximize their potential. What used to take years now can take
months in many companies. This has led to a supply and demand
imbalance, where many companies are competing aggressively for
fewer qualified candidates.
There has also been a shift in workforce psychology. Technology
has trained us to have much shorter attention spans as well as an
almost addictive expectation for continual change. Global job opportunities
are as close as our smartphones, and there is an overall
change in how people assign meaning to the concept of work. It
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ SEPTEMBER 2016 ❚ 43