Should I stay or should I go? The fabled words of The Clash have never been more true as more and more employees decide whether or not to make a move and change job.
Studies show burn-out is a key driver of employee turnover, but perhaps we need to consider if people are instead ‘bored-out’ and looking for a change after sitting tight during the pandemic.
As recruiters specialising in executive search as well as finding the best people for roles in sectors including energy, engineering, QHSE, supply chain and contracts, we have seen a considerable shift in the jobs market locally.
The junior and mid-level end of the market has been the slowest over the past few months, with understandable trepidation around leaving a job to move somewhere new, but there is now significant activity at all levels, including senior and executive roles.
Conversely, we are also seeing a rise in counter offers in an effort to persuade staff to stay, something we’ve never seen on this scale before.
Opting to leave a job is not always an easy decision to make but enforced working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic has allowed more time for reflection.
With many companies sticking with the hybrid model of working, this can bring positives – no commute, peace to get on with challenging tasks and the chance to put on a wash at lunchtime – but flexible working and hot desking are not for everyone.
Technology has done little to reduce that ‘treadmill’ feeling, with emails pinging through at weekends and evenings, and it can be easy to find yourself on a slippery slope of being available at all hours.
Many employees have seen changes in their company and a shift in culture or their individual job spec, maybe as a result of acquisitions or redundancies.
Familiarity can be good but it goes without saying that feeling bored, going through the motions at work and feeling your skills are underused are not compelling motivators.
And often employees can be feeling unsettled for months, pondering what a move might look like and if it’s the right thing to do before they pull the trigger and make the leap, which may account for the upsurge in resignations and movement.
More than ever this year, we have seen employees wanting to explore what else is out there. Until now, the domino effect hasn’t been there – but that has begun to change. It only takes a handful of people to move to create ripples and vacancies as employees move around.
There are new opportunities with new companies which have moved into the north-east – they may be based elsewhere but need people here.
There’s also a cascade impact – when a CEO or CFO moves this can have a knock-on effect, with people moving with them or fresh leadership leading to a restructure which can create new roles.
So what does this all mean for employers?
Recruiters are very much in demand right now, playing a key role in helping businesses navigate business and hiring challenges. As many struggle to identify the talent they need, we can provide trusted advice and consultation on hiring practice, candidate attraction, sources of talent and leadership.
Mirroring the national picture, there has been a steady increase in vacancies month on month, while conversely there has been a sharp decline in the number of jobs filled by direct applicants as employers also experience the constraints of candidate shortages and the challenges associated with candidate attraction.
Organisations are also seeking support to ensure their leadership teams have the right combination of skills and strengths to leverage opportunities in renewables and bring new products and services through development.
A recent report by Robert Gordon University on the future shape of the offshore energy workforce, entitled ‘Making the Switch’, suggests around 90% of the regional offshore energy workforce worked in oil and gas in 2021, with the remaining 10% supporting regional offshore wind, hydrogen, and carbon transportation and storage activities.
By 2030, the scales will have tipped, with a projected 60% supporting renewables.
During this period of industry transition, training and leadership development will be crucial so employees understand how they can continue to advance their career into more senior positions but also how they can make lateral moves or cross-sector shifts – avoiding ‘bored-out’ as well as burnout.