Forty Percent of Employees Looking for New Job

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Twenty-seven percent of employed job seekers attending the 2005 Lancaster (PA) County Chamber of Commerce Job Fair had one thing to say: "Show me the money." Better pay was the most important benefit sought by 421 attendees who completed a survey conducted by Success Performance Solutions.

"The future does not look good for traditional jobs" if you can believe what you read in the November-December 2005 issue of The Futurist. Apparently over 1500 hundred job seekers and seventy-plus businesses and organizations in Lancaster County didn't get the message. Resumes in hand, these job seekers strolled up and down the rows of booths filled with recruiters at Clipper Stadium for the 2005 Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce Job Fair in late September.

Twenty-seven percent of employed job seekers had one thing to say: "Show me the money." Better pay was the most important benefit sought by 421 attendees who completed a survey conducted by Success Performance Solutions. This is the third year Success Performance Solutions conducted the survey in conjunction with the Lancaster Chamber. Respect and recognition from supervisors and job security were the second and third most common benefits employees sought in their next job. This is consistent with prior surveys except that more pay and respect from supervisors swapped positions.

Nearly 40 percent of the job seekers were employed, which should throw up a warning sign for employers: nearly 2 out of 5 employees are ready to walk. Overall, twenty-four percent of the employed job seekers indicated they were dissatisfied with their current job, an 85 percent jump from last year! Based on the unexpected high turnout of employed job seekers, turnover and vacancies will remain a problem for employers/

Age played a significant role in the level of job satisfaction, too. Approximately 70 percent of the job seekers between ages 27 and 44 were dissatisfied. The number dipped just slightly for the 45-54 year old group. When compared with the 55 and older job seeker, only 30 percent expressed any level of dissatisfaction. Faced with impending retirements, losing workers in the 27 to 54 age group can create serious workforce challenges for management.

When asked "how likely you would be working for the same company two years from now", only 12 percent said very likely and 10% likely. This is a significant decrease from last year when 34 percent said very likely and 21 percent said likely.

The number of businesses represented at this year's job fair even exceeded Chamber officials' expectations. While this is a good sign that businesses are hiring, it also confirms all the hullabaloo about the skills gap. It is not coming, it's here. If this were a dating service, many job hunters and employers would be left standing as wallflowers at the end of the day. Why?

The answer lies in skills - or lack thereof. While four out of five candidates rated themselves very high at relating well with a lot of people, they don't consider themselves so competent when it comes to handling stressful situations, solving complex problems or understanding how a business operates.

Even more surprising was the number of job seekers who admitted they needed training when it came to computer skills, internet and emailing skills. Nearly 29 percent of the already employed job seekers said they "need training" compared to only 9 percent last year; nearly 14 percent said they need training for computer skills too, nearly twice as many as last year. Consequently the number of individuals who felt they had excellent or average computer skills declined.

Finally, despite the growing concern about ethics in business, only 47 percent said it was very important to work for a company that has a strong code of ethics, a decrease from 53 percent just a year before.

After all was said and done, it can be said that more businesses were looking for employees and more people were looking for jobs. While that sounds like a match made in heaven, all may not end up happily ever after as the skills gap widens between what employers need and what employees have.

For more information, contact Ira S Wolfe at Success Performance Solutions, 717.291.4640.

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