At milewalk, we’re 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. Following is the executive summary from this year’s employment survey. For a more detailed view of the information, please visit milewalk’s 2014 Annual Employment Survey Results.

The survey was initiated to help provide awareness of key factors that affect our work lives. We thank all participants and also welcome any questions and additional thoughts.

We distributed this survey to over 8,000 individuals with 765 responding. The respondent base included individuals who hold positions within management and information technology consulting firms, software companies, and other prominent organizations.

It was evident that many good trends from the recent years have continued, but one element was noticeably different—employees are happy with their current company. In fact, happy employees outnumbered unhappy employees by 6.5 times! This affords employers the luxury of low turnover, but can cripple recruiting efforts seeking top talent.

When polled in 2013, we noted that the employee base had been quite mobile in recent years. This most recent survey shows that more than two-thirds (68%) have been with their current employer for three years or less.

Even though the workforce is not well tenured, the noteworthy trend that is accelerating is employees’ “happiness quotient” in how they feel about their companies (as mentioned above). Happy employees outweigh unhappy ones by 6.5 times as it relates to their company and 3.5 times as it relates to their role.

One other element that continues to optimize is how employees feel about the alignment of their compensation. 72% of hiring officials and 65% of employees feel they earn the right amount of compensation.

When it comes to job changing, employees’ attitudes have been the same as in recent years, but their actions have not. They are open to changing jobs (80%) and half have been interviewing, but the critical note is that 25% more employees have actually not interviewed in the last year than in the previous year. We are also seeing this trend as we attempt to recruiter top talent for our clients.

As we reviewed the employee’s attitude toward keys areas of their current positions and companies, career development opportunities once again nudged the management team as the most disappointing. Even so, when we evaluated which criteria would lead the charge as they turned to new opportunities, (once again) compensation, culture, and role (in that order) reigned as the top three.

One other trend we’re noticing as we recruit for our clients is that employees apparently care more about what they do than for whom they do it. While we try to teach our job candidates that “you join a company, you don’t join a job,” the data would seem to support that they are far more concerned about their specific position than many of the other critical factors.

As employees evaluate the market, there was no surprise that an overwhelming majority (95%) would tap their personal network. Holding consistently from last year was the number that would turn to executive recruiters (83.3%), which was also accompanied by a bit of an uptick in the social media sites (from 70% to 75% for 2014).

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, there was a mixed review of hiring. There was a whopping 71% increase in the percentage of companies expected to require no additional resources for their teams, but a 100% increase in those companies expecting to add 1-3 resources to their teams. There were also precipitous drops of 81% and 63% for those looking to add 4-5 resources and more-than-five resources to their teams, respectively.

With the hiring needs in place, these officials cited “time to fill” as the greatest disappointment (for the fourth year in a row). 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. Over the last nine years, our historical milewalk statistics indicate a 38.2% greater level of efficiency in these cases.

Ninety-two percent of companies are leveraging internal recruiting resources. Significant portions also rely on executive recruiters (32%) and independent contractors (36%) to supplement those internal functions. These numbers, with minor variations, have been holding steady in the recent years.

As companies interview potential employees, they will favor cultural fit and capabilities and over track record of achievement and specific skill sets. While this has historically been the case, specific skills had become a greater focus in the last few years because the hiring needs have waned. What we are noting in practice is that this shift is becoming greater and organizations are now trying to recruit “best athletes” even if they don’t have the specific skill sets. It is our opinion that this precipitates from the difficulty employers are encountering in their recruiting efforts.

For the detailed results, please visit milewalk’s 2014 Annual Employment Survey Results.