In 2019, U.S. workers quit their jobs at the fastest rate on record, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A record 4.48 million people packed up their desks in August alone.
And as it turns out, the people most likely to be open to hearing from recruiters about a new job are recruiters themselves.
Recruiters and other HR professionals are 115% more likely than the average worker to explore a new job opportunity, according to recent research from Workforce Logiq, a provider of artificial intelligence technology and services to businesses.
In its Workforce Management Benchmark Report, Workforce Logiq uses an artificial intelligence model to calculate how likely workers of a certain title, industry and city are to quit their job. The algorithm draws on more than 1 billion data points and 40,000 sources to track events that can impact employment volatility, such as general labor market trends, company-level social media sentiment, employee churn indicators (like hiring or layoff announcements) and industry news and events.
Using these indicators, workers were given a Talent Retention Risk, shortened to TRR, score to represent the likelihood they would respond to a recruiter message inviting them to consider a new job opportunity.
Given the historic tight job market, recruiters are all the more important in bringing in new talent to fill open positions. That said, moderate wages for recruitment work don't reflect the high demand for it, says Workforce Logiq chief strategy officer Joe Hanna.
"Recruiters in general have not been on the higher end of compensation, outside of the very few who hire at a higher level of talent," Hanna tells CNBC Make It. According to Payscale, recruiters earn a median salary of $49,819 per year. Hanna adds that, according to industry data, entry- and mid-level human resources workers tend to have a median tenure of just 18 to 21 months with a given employer.
In addition to recruiters, people most likely to be open to new job opportunities work in software engineering, marketing, finance and investing.
While these workers are at higher risk of quitting their jobs, researchers say it could indicate confidence in where they stand within a competitive job market.
The algorithm uses data points that point to both positive organizational impacts (such as stock price increases and new office openings) as well as negative events (such as executive departures and accounting scandals).
"Higher TRR scores don't always correlate to a negative culture or environment for workers," Christy Whitehead, chief data scientist and talent economist at Workforce Logiq, tells CNBC Make It. "It also correlates to talent demand and market dynamics."
Take the job outlook for technology workers, for instance.
"The market for software engineers is robust," Whitehead says, "and they are smartly taking advantage of the market demand to increase compensation and move up the corporate ladder."
In general, the best way for workers to earn more is to quit their jobs and change employers, Brian Kropp, vice president at research firm Gartner, previously told CNBC Make It.
"Companies are willing to pay about 15% more for new employees, but they're only willing to give their current employees about a 2% or 3% annual raise," he explains, citing Gartner's research. "So to get ahead financially, what a lot of employees have realized is that in today's tight labor market, the best thing to do is to go to another company to get more money rather than trying to get more money by staying at your current company."
At this point in time, Hanna points to the need for employers to invest in their retention efforts to engage current workers and give them reason to stick around.
"An expression that's starting to trend in our world is that retention is the new recruiting," Hanna says, "meaning employers need to do as much internal recruiting, marketing and engagement work as they do externally."
Whitehead adds that employers should examine what their strengths are as a company and how they can maximize those offerings to current talent. That includes providing a positive working environment, good culture, competitive salary and benefits, and opportunities to help workers advance within the organization.
Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. And contrary to the belief that they're all entitled newcomers to the working world, today's millennials are between the ages of 24 and 39 in 2020.
Older millennials who are taking on more financial responsibilities, such as buying homes and starting families, may be buoyed by the strong job market to change employers and secure better pay.
Research has also shown that millennials, more so than previous generations, place great value in a company's culture and opportunities for advancement. As a result, they may be more willing to move around and find an employer with these attractive working conditions.
"The mindset of millennials — the most impactful generation in the workforce right now — is to seek best-in-class fits: flexibility, jobs that align with their interest, strong compensation and benefits, etc.," Whitehead says. "So they are, generally speaking, more open to hearing about new opportunities."
That said, the report debunks the myth that younger workers are the only ones moving around.
Roughly half of chief marketing officers, for example, were identified as being more likely than the average worker to quit their job. These executives earn a median salary of $172,492 per year, according to PayScale, and more than half of those represented in the report have more than 20 years of experience.
On the opposite end of the quitting spectrum, workers in skilled trade, education, public safety and health care were least likely to be open to new job opportunities.
While health care workers are some of the most in-demand professionals — the BLS projects the field will see above-average growth of 14% through 2028 — wages haven't increased over time in the same way a tech-skills shortage has increased the earning power of today's computer engineers.
"There isn't a huge incremental economic benefit to job-hop," Hanna says. "If I work for a health care system in my metro area and I'm happy there, the likelihood of having a huge benefit after moving to another one is usually not there."
Furthermore, "there's usually an emotional connection with the people and the work they're doing," Whitehead adds of health care, education and social assistance workers. "A lot of times, these workers are invested in the people they're working with, and that might make it harder to pick up and change jobs the way people in other jobs tend to do.
"That's a very strong bond that makes these job categories and industries less volatile," Whitehead continues. "And finally, our algorithms are also able to see that a positive and stable environment are most important to them in their decision to stay or to go."
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