Young business people

Employers becoming the new temps

A young and skilled workforce is about to play havoc with companies' long-term plans, says Billy MacInnes
Image: Monstera/Pexels

20 January 2022

Three years ago, I could confidently start this column with the following sentence: “Take a good look at the people in your office.”

Now, thanks to Covid, it is much more accurate to begin like this: “Imagine you’re in your office. Now, take a good look at the people around you. In a few months, 60% of them could be gone.”

That’s right, six out of 10 of the people you are imagining that you are looking at in the office may well be gone by the time you actually get back to the office. In fact, by the time you get back you could be forgiven for thinking it was almost as if they never existed except in your imagination.




According to a survey by LinkedIn of 1,001 professionals in Ireland, 63% of Irish workers are considering changing their job in 2022. Extrapolating from CSO data, the company suggests this could mean as many as 1.4 million people are open to changing jobs this year.

One factor driving some to look at making the move to a different job is the belief that they missed out on up to €6,000 in additional earnings as a result of staying put during the pandemic.

In what LinkedIn dubs a ‘youthquake’, the research found just under three quarters of workers with careers of up to two years were considering changing jobs in 2022 and 65% of those with careers between 1-2 years felt confident enough to push for a promotion or new job opportunities at work.

This is the first year LinkedIn has conducted this survey so we don’t have anything to compare it with to be certain that the ‘youthquake’ is indeed a seismic event or whether it’s just an annual trend as people return to work in the new year and review where they are and where they’d like to be.

There’s nothing new about people starting the new year fired up with a desire to look around for a different job. There’s a very strong impetus to make a change when January begins. People look at the new year as a springboard to refresh their career or to take on a new challenge at a different employer.

The phrase ‘considering changing jobs’ is hardly definitive. After all, if the right opportunity came along, it’s highly likely that 100% of people might consider changing jobs.

On the other hand, the most recent Labour Market Pulse, published in October last year, suggested there was momentum from employers to try and engage new workers with the LinkedIn Hiring Rate (LHR) exceeding pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter of 2021.

The LHR is the number of LinkedIn members who added a new employer to their profile in the same month the new job began, divided by the total number of LinkedIn members in that country (2 million in Ireland).

It’s understandable that employees were cautious about moving jobs during the uncertainty of the pandemic and may well be more confident now that things seem to be turning around. It’s possible this will lead to the unleashing of a pent-up demand to move on this year.

For those seeking to recruit, this means there will be more potential employees applying, provided they can offer them the appropriate conditions and perks. According to the LinkedIn survey, this means access to online training, credit for food delivery services, access to online counselling, subscriptions for mental health apps and access to virtual exercise classes or personal trainers.

It also means that quite a few companies could find themselves forced to go into the jobs market to replace workers that jump ship this year. It’s ironic that as the uncertainty caused by the pandemic dissipates, it could well create more uncertainty for businesses seeking to retain their workforce.

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