Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Bumper year ahead for HR Professionals and Recruiters

Rejoice! If the results of a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers are to be believed, 2010 promises to be positively the best year since the invention of sliced bread for the UK’s HR and recruitment community!

HR Magazine: One in three employees make it their new year's resolution to quit their job

Apparently a third of UK employees (33%) say they have not felt valued by their employer during the recession and would leave for another job if they could.

So, let’s look at what this means for those HR and recruitment professionals who have been twiddling their thumbs over the last year or so.

According to the International Labour Organisation, the general level of employment in the UK amounts to 29,475,000 individuals aged 16 and over. That therefore means that if 33% of this population moves jobs, 9,825,000 individuals will be on the move in 2010.

Clearly all annual leave for HR Managers and recruiters will be cancelled, and weekend working will be required to cope with the fact that on every day this year 26,917 posts will need filling, with a corresponding number of exit interviews and inductions.

The manufacturers of “Sorry you’re leaving” and "Good luck in your new job” greetings cards will already be rubbing their hands with glee as they prepare for the 134,589 cards that will be sent each week.

Assuming that each departing employee receives the stingiest of leaving presents (a Parker Jotter Ball Pen (stainless steel with chrome plated trim, priced £3.49)) this still amounts to a boost of £34,288,250 to the economy. Good news again!

If each departing employee invites 10 colleagues for a swift pint at the local pub to mark their departure, that’s 98,250,000 pints (or a mere 12,281,250 gallons) of beer to be commemoratively swilled away. At an average price of £2.60 per pint, that’s a staggering £255,450,000. A Labour victory at the election is almost a cast-iron certainty, as the tax revenue from increased alcohol consumption alone will be sufficient for Alistair Darling to lower income tax. Hallelujah!

And just think of all the other new suits, ties and briefcases that will be needed as employees move into their new jobs.

I feel most sympathy (or perhaps jealousy) for the new breed of cyber-recruiters. Assuming a miserly 20 applications for each vacancy that needs filling, that’s still 196,500,500 CVs to sift during the course of the year. If I were a recruitment consultant, I’d make sure that my laptop was backed up regularly, as there will inevitably be frequent system failures due to the excessive demands on all networks.

It’s going to be a tough, but nevertheless good year. I’m sure we’ll survive together!


  1. The calculator must have been working overtime this morning Mr Salisbury.

    Your piece makes a couple of rather large assumptions:
    1) that organisations wish to replace the departing individuals. They may just breathe a sigh of relief as it saves them having to make 33% of the workforce redundant. Natural wastage rules!!
    2) that organisations actually carry out exit interviews and inductions (see previous blog discussions)

    It does feel like one of those puzzles you get in your Christmas cracker with one square missing. People will typically only leave if they have a job to go to. But then there won’t be any jobs for them to go to until people start leaving!! Which piece to move first? A dilemma indeed!

    Let’s make a date for the end of 2010 to see if we’ve survived!!

  2. Hello Graham,

    There is something missing why do people feel that way? What about retention?

    It seems HR win all ways! Do you think there is any responsibility taken for HR 'Employee Engagement strategies when a "third of UK employees (33%)say they have not felt valued by their employer during the recession and would leave for another job if they could"? I already know the answer a resounding 'NO' they are just moving on to 'Change' and 'Transition' strategies....... Never accountable.

    Rant over

  3. Hmm...

    Or perhaps some employers will think as follows.

    We've got a huge HR department who claim to be there to help us to manage our people. We spend £XM on these folks, their policies, their initiatives, their programmes, their strategies... They are supposed to help us set our salaries at the right level, to attract, motivate and retain our people. They work with us on employee engagement programmes. They provide hundreds of Management Information reports every month and work with us to help us understand and act on the issues which these reveal.

    And STILL, with all that and in the midst of a deep economic downturn when jobs are, supposedly, a precious commodity, a third of our employees want to leave us!

    Well, would the situation be any worse if we got rid of the HR department altogether. Nice bottom line saving once we've paid for the redundancy costs.

    Just playing devil's advocate here... But here are two sides to every story!