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Growth in the Workplace

One of the most popular questions to ask friends, family, and acquaintances after they have given the great news that they have been hired at a new job is, “do you feel there is room for growth within the company?” Unless the newly hired employee has the power to see into the future, how else would he or she know?

During job interviews, it’s not always just the interviewer doing the asking.  Many prospective employees have a number of things they would like to find out about the position, as well as the company.  After speaking with a number of people who are actively seeking new positions, it was obvious that the majority of those interviewing were doing so because they felt as though they had moved up as far as they could in their current jobs.

A search and recruitment firm based in Northern California collects data, for research purposes, as to why people contact them.  Speaking with the firm, some of their findings certainly knocked many common beliefs.

“It’s common thinking that people are looking for jobs because they are desperate, or have a sense of urgency,” said one of the senior recruiters at the firm.  “That is actually not often the case” he said.

“Most people who contact us already have work, but have either plateaued in their jobs, or see no room for growth,” said one of the recruiter’s colleagues.  “They have time, unlike what employers might think,” she said, “and they have the power to be selective.”

When asked if there were certain positions that are more desirable or popular to job seekers, we were given the following information: “most people are not seeking a certain position, as much as they are leaving a certain position,” she said.

Based only on this particular firm’s research, the higher turnover rates, we were told, “tend to be in more technology related positions. With so many technology positions developing and new research constantly on the horizon, technology-focused individuals are constantly looking for growth. If the position is either not challenging enough, or does not offer the chance to be as hands-on, or for the employee to learn more, they will tend to seek what they believe to be greener pastures,” the recruiter concluded.

When asked what some of the positions that tend to show employees staying longer, the recruitment professionals all offered the same answer: accounting based positions.  “In today’s market, we often see roughly a two-year lifespan of an employee in a certain company,” said one of the recruitment professionals.  “This does not apply to everyone, but is roughly what we tend to see as a general idea of the amount of time an employee will stay within one position, and within the same company” she continued.  “Senior Accountants often tend to stay longer within the same company, with the hope that there is the possibility of growth within the same department at his or her company.”

The good news is people are more happy than unhappy in the workforce. According to one of the recruitment professionals, “we are not usually contacted by unhappy people.  They allow us to do our jobs, and in return, we are here to help them move along in their career goals.  It’s a win-win for both!” she concluded.

Businesses can benefit from knowing that offering growth opportunities in the workplace for their employees also means an opportunity to grow their business.