"Staggering" number ready to switch jobs

More than half of New Zealand professionals are either thinking about or ready to change jobs, a report has found.

The survey, which canvassed 700 New Zealand employees across a range of industries, found 55 per cent were dissatisfied with their work. The New Zealanders were part of 2101 professionals across New Zealand and Australia surveyed for Candidate Buying Behaviour, a report commissioned by recruitment agency Hudson to be released today. It found that job seekers were now acting in a similar way to a consumer attracted by emotional and self-serving benefits rather than rational business aspects.The report said that despite historically low unemployment levels and a skill shortage, many employers were still ignoring job seekers' needs and wants.

Hudson general manager Roman Rogers said the number of dissatisfied employees was "staggering"."When you consider the need for organisations to be more productive, that's a tough challenge to get those sorts of gains within an organisation when you've got over half your staff not fully engaged in their current role."Rogers said the factors that made employees satisfied were different from those that caused them to look for a new job."In the past we've assumed that what was causing them to leave would be the areas they would focus on in pursuit of their next role. In fact that's not the case, their decision-making process is a lot more complex than what we thought."

Relationships with managers and company culture drive satisfaction, while financial considerations are the main trigger to begin the job-seeking process."When organisations aren't actually meeting those needs, that's when the candidate starts to become disengaged and looks for greener pastures."

Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) advisory services manager David Lowe said the report needed to be taken with a grain of salt.He cited the New Zealand Staff Turnover Survey, which found the national turnover to average 21 per cent. "That's a very recent survey which draws the distinction between those who might be thinking about changing jobs as opposed to those who actually do."But Lowe agreed some employers could do more."It is about making your workplace a desirable place to be. The key thing though is that the drivers for each individual are different. It's actually about making sure you are able to work with each of them, rather than trying to have a one-size-fits-all arrangement."

  • Perhaps we can learn from others' mistakes... Hoover will never again underestimate the power of the word "free" after a promotion which relied on the laziness of its customers in Britain backfired. The customers were offered free flights to Europe and New York for every  £100 spent on Hoover products. The company had been relying on customers not bothering with the complicated application but was inundated with responses. It cost £48 million to honour many of the deals but many customers never got their flights. The company endured years of bad publicity and senior staff involved lost their jobs.

  • Perhaps we can learn from others' mistakes... Gerald Ratner's 1991 speech rubbishing his own jewellery company's products is rated as one of the greatest gaffes in business history. Ratner, whose name underpinned a British chain of cut-price jewellery shops, killed the company in a speech to the Institute of Directors in which he joked that one of his products was "total crap" and some of the earrings were "cheaper than a Marks & Spencer prawn sandwich but probably wouldn't last as long". The share price nosedived. Ratner lost his job and his name was expunged from the company's title in 1994. He later collaborated with jeweller Goldsmiths in a much smaller online business called Gerald Online.

  • Perhaps we can learn from others' mistakes... A typing error in 2005 caused Japanese brokerage giant Mizuho Securities to sell 610,000 shares in new stock J-Com Co for 1 ¥ rather than the intended one share for 610,000 ¥. Problems at the Tokyo Stock Exchange meant Mizuho couldn't cancel the order for 10 minutes, during which traders from domestic and international investment banks bought large amounts of the wrongly priced shares. Mizuho lost about US$347 million on the mistake.