Even the most satisfied employees are open to new positions

  • finding jobs
  • August 26, 2016

Should I stay or should I go?

People who have jobs and aren’t currently looking for a new position are referred to as “passive” candidates — as opposed to “active” candidates who are engaged in a job search. Passive candidates are usually happy in their current roles. Given the speed and magnitude of technological change, it behooves even passive candidates to keep an eye on what’s happening in the IT job market.

Results from a recent Randstad Technologies survey of IT professionals in the U.S., Canada and Australia paint an interesting picture of their attitudes regarding their current positions and openness to taking a new job.

When asked about their level of satisfaction with their current position, the majority of professionals in the U.S. and Canada stated they were either extremely or very satisfied. However, respondents in Australia were less happy:

When these currently employed IT professionals were then asked about their job seeking status, they were given four choices from which to select:

  • I am actively looking for another position
  • I am scanning the market to see what is available
  • I am open to another position if I was contacted about one
  • I am not open to another position right now.

Even in the U.S. and Canada, with their high rankings of job satisfaction, only 24% and 14% respectively indicated that they were not open to another position. So about four out of five IT employees in the U.S. and three out of four employees in Canada were satisfied in their current jobs, but only one out of four in the U.S. and only about one out of seven in Canada would rule out leaving their current jobs.

In Australia, only two out of five professionals were satisfied with their jobs, and only one out of seven were not open to a new job. The numbers for the Australian IT professionals indicate higher levels of job dissatisfaction to go along with their willingness to move on.

Perhaps the openness to a new job, even when one is satisfied in a current job, has to do with the belief that the “ideal” job is out there. When asked whether reaching their ideal position was very feasible and within reach, the positive responses across geographical boundaries were similar:

The openness of so many satisfied job holders to leave their current positions has implications for even passive candidates. In today's hot IT job market where many workers jump from position to position, employees may actually be hurting their careers by staying in one job too long.

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