Is January the most popular time to change jobs?

If you weren’t quite jumping out of your skin to get back to work after the break, take heart. A new survey by Glassdoor has found almost one in five employees (18%) cited January as the most popular month to change jobs.

That’s no surprise to us. We see a surge in job applications every January, as more people opt to change direction after the break. Coincidentally, January is widely reported in legal circles as the most popular month to divorce, which may also contribute. A lengthy commute, stressful workload and long hours are all triggers for change, too.

Here’s the good news. It’s the Year of the Rat. In Chinese culture, this symbolises abundance, and is great for careers. This Metal Rat is sending you positivity, diligence and success.

It is also an ideal time for leaders to think about retention. Whilst there are different views on this, what is clear is that high turnover knocks profits around.

A few years ago, we surveyed the costs of replacing staff.  Even when people left on great terms, costs were still up around 100% of the employee’s salary.  Aside from the cost of recruiting and training new staff, fill-ins and loss of productivity, the impact on team morale is inevitable.  As for executives who leave under less than amicable circumstances with hefty handshakes, well, let’s not go there.

When it comes to creating a happy, productive workplace, it’s hard to go past setting clear expectations, along with the resources and training to help your team thrive, a degree of flexibility with hours and social support. Last month, we explored retention from an employee’s perspective (click here to find out more).

On the subject of finding the superstars, this is as much about a candidate’s potential, as their skills-set. Transferrable skills, like values, attitude and people skills, are so important.

Have you ever invested time and emotional energy into finding the perfect person? Only to find out they’re not that person. Even if they have a stellar CV, we can still make snap judgements based on our beliefs, rather than fact.  It’s easy to go for the one we like, but that doesn’t make them right.

According to new data from Seek, 71% of candidates admit to being dishonest when applying for roles.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to finding the best talent. So beware of trusting everything in CVs, and watch for the red flags, like vagueness around tenure and referees that aren’t direct managers.

We advise our clients to identify the key attributes of your most successful people, as this helps you attract similar people.

It’s a good idea to find out why people leave. Exit interviews are a great way to seek feedback that otherwise might not be offered.

You may like to consider the mix of your hiring team, and go for people with different perspectives working from the same interview questions.  By comparing interview notes in this way, you are more likely to select the best candidate.

We find structured, open-ended interview questions work best, premised by “Describe a time” or “Tell me about”.

Talking to direct supervisory referees is a really important step, as past behaviour is a strong indicator of future performance.

Skills testing is crucial to making the right hiring decisions. They are a objective, fair and transparent way to assess skills and capabilities that may not be revealed in interview, and help to predict performance.

So, now we know they can do the job. But will they fit in? Do they have the personality traits and values you need?  Behavioural Profiles are a useful tool to understand the whole person (and even tailor your interview questions accordingly). They give you an insight into suitability for your role and how they are likely to react in different situations. They can help you understand their values, strengths, limitations and preferred management style (and help you probe further with referees too!).

Top Office Group can assist your next recruitment process with cost effective DISC based behavioural profiling tools. Connect today on 07 3812 2920 or email for a sample report and quotation.

Compiled by Jan Gadsden, Founder/Director of Top Office Group Pty Ltd.