Just as employers are finding it increasingly difficult to fill job openings, their own employees are thinking of leaving in droves. The results of a March 2011 Deloitte survey of 356 employees at large global companies indicates two out of every three employees are considering exiting, stage right.  Among employees surveyed in March 2011, only 35% expect to remain with their current employers. What makes this alarming is the timing: the mass exodus could come as employers are finding it harder to fill openings they already have.

Deloitte’s survey findings also suggest that  companies may be at a greater risk of losing women than men. Women appeared more likely than men to be actively looking for new employment in the next 12 months (55% of women vs. 41% of men). Men, on the other hand, were more likely to be passively looking (24% of men vs. 12% of women).  Women’s dissatisfaction is more related to feeling overworked. That isn’t so surprising as layoffs increased the work loads of colleague left behind and women dominated the survivors. This economic downturn is what put women in the workforce majority for the first time in recorded history.

The Conference Board reported this month that labor demand has increased to the pre-recession monthly high of 4.5 million advertised vacancies. It is a trend that is being felt most acutely in mission-critical and highly technical positions and well as at the senior executive levels.  That’s due in part to hiring managers taking longer to make up their minds. On average, hiring managers invited a half dozen candidates for second round interviews last year, twice as many as before the downturn. In other words, while one might think with all the available talent that time to fill would go down when the exact opposite is true.  In fact, now it appears we have the makings of a perfect storm – a pre-downturn number of openings, time-to-hiring that’s quadrupled, and pent up desire to make a move in two out of every three workers.  It promises to be a long, hot summer . . .

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