At milewalk, we are fully committed to bringing valuable insight to the workforce. Irrespective of your vocation, we believe all companies and individuals can support the growth of our economy. We can help achieve this by elevating awareness of key employment information that will help companies manage their employees more effectively as well as enable individuals to make smart career choices.

We are annualizing this inaugural employment survey to help provide awareness of key factors that affect our work lives. We thank all participants who provided this information. We also welcome any questions and additional thoughts.

We distributed this survey to nearly 4,000 individuals with 967 responding. The respondent base included individuals who hold positions within management and information technology consulting firms, software companies, and a variety of technology-centric organizations.

It was evident that employees have been mobile in the last handful of years. One might draw that “obvious” conclusion as a result of the recently difficult employment market. In our opinion, however, this trend dates back more than a decade.  For this survey specifically, over 60% of the employee base has served its current employer for three years or less.

The more disturbing trend is the level of indifference these employees have for their companies. The majority of these indicating they were “neutral” regarding their happiness level with their current employer and role. Individuals in a hiring capacity did show a greater level of satisfaction (by approximately 20%).

The most critical issue employees voiced is their dissatisfaction with their current level of compensation.  Nearly half (44.6%) of the respondents indicated they felt underpaid.

A staggering 85.7% of employees indicated they would also change companies for the right opportunity, while 58% have actually interviewed within the last 12 months. Even though they have displayed these actions based on their level of unhappiness, a significant majority remain reluctant to accept a new employer’s offer if the compensation level is lower than their perceived value.

We are advising our clients to evaluate the level of compensation required to actually attain the candidate vs. trying to keep the new employee in line with pay levels of their existing employees. In addition, we think organizations need to universally review their current pay structures before they start facing a mass exodus of resources. We are already in an employee-favored market, driven by the “A” players. We are estimating a mere six to 12 months before this becomes a “B” player’s market as well.

As we reviewed the employees’ attitude toward critical areas of their current positions and companies, career development opportunity nudged the management team as the most disappointing. Even so, when we evaluated which criteria would lead the charge as they turned to new opportunitiescompensation, role, and culture (in that order) reigned as the top three. This criteria is a major shift from years prior when company, culture, and boss were held in high regard.

As the employees turn to evaluate the market, they will lean heavily on their personal networks (92.8% indicating so). That is a great sign for organizations that rely heavily on employee referrals to grow. Interestingly, 82.1% will also turn to executive recruiters, while only 67.8% cited social media and social-professional sites such as Linked In as viable alternatives.

As we turned to the hiring officials and reviewed their assessment of upcoming needs, important criteria for the candidates, proficiency level of their recruiting functions, as well as additional avenues they deploy to fulfill their employment needs, we confirmed the upward trend for hiring. Over 85% of hiring authorities indicated they will be hiring this year. 20% of those indicated they will add more than five resources to their teams.

With the hiring needs in place, these officials cited “time to fill” as the greatest disappointment. Candidly, we believe that “time to fill” is not the actual issue, but a symptom of a lack of quality candidates (the second most disappointing criteria).  Employers simply move more quickly when they have a quality candidate in their recruiting pipeline. Our historical milewalk statistics indicate a 39.6% greater level of efficiency in these cases.

Interestingly, although 89% of the hiring respondents indicated they leverage internal recruiting functions to satisfy their recruiting needs, 34.5% also use executive recruiters and 38.1% supplement their staff with independent contract recruiters. We estimate both the latter percentages to rise due to the increased demand for new employees.

As companies interview potential employees, they will favor capabilities and cultural fit over track record of achievement and specific skill sets. While this has historically been the case, specific skills has become a greater focus in the last few years because the hiring needs have waned. Employers have become overly picky as a result.  Now, we are noticing a shift back based on recent hiring trends as well as these survey results.

View full results here.