According to Manpower, 84% of the U.S. workforce will look for a new job in 2011. This is up over 20 percent from 2010.

When I shared these statistics with some of our clients, they all asked the same question: “Why?”

Between 2008 and 2010,  many people took jobs that didn’t match their career goals with significant salary reductions. People were thankful just to be working and getting a paycheck given the tumultuous job market. This sentiment lasted through 2009 and most of 2010. In mid-2010, we started to see more confidence in the job market. Corporate earnings started to return due to drastic cuts in operating expenses and slightly improved economics. Even with better corporate earnings, there were still signs of uncertainty with the economy both on a national and global stage.

Some of those uncertainties still exist in early 2011 but the corporate messages are starting to improve. Many companies have already announced massive hiring strategies for 2011. These messages build confidence in individuals increasing their willingness to take a risk and search for a new position.

So, what does this mean for companies? For one, they need to evaluate their workforce. They also must identify the people who are underutilized  in their current position and can offer more to the company. They need to understand the cost of having to hire for positions and train new staff.

In the technology workforce, we have seen a tremendous uptick in demands for Data Warehouse experts, Business Analysts, Software Developers and Testing resources. Companies must understand that their staff in those positions could be at risk if a better opportunity comes along. We have also seen for the first time in 24 months, companies re-evaluating their compensation packages to make sure they are competitive and able to attract new hires. This is a very positive sign for the technology workforce.

Don’t wait until it is too late and you start losing great resources. Quickly evaluate your key positions and try to determine which employees are at risk of leaving. Do salary surveys to better understand how your compensation package stacks up locally and within your industry. Talk to your employees to get a better sense of how they are feeling and whether or not they enjoy their job. Many companies took advantage of the high unemployment rate to hire people at lower salaries. If you did that, recognize it, and try to make adjustments to stay competitive with similar companies.

Andy Frank
COO, Founder