This Week's Herman Trend Alert

HR in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 29, 2003

Testing the Waters

Thousands of employees are searching for their next job opportunity, and their employers have no idea what is happening. A significant number of workers is highly dissatisfied and ready to jump to a new job as soon as something---anything---is available. Others are not quite as dissatisfied, but are interested in what is happening in the employment marketplace. All these employees shopping for possibilities are targets for corporate recruiters. They are restless, willing to change employers, and often locations.

How serious is this problem? One survey reported that 72 percent of respondents were dissatisfied with their current job. We believe that this is an unreasonably high figure, and acknowledge that the survey was performed by a major internet job board. We suspect that at the time of the survey, many respondents were visiting the job board site because they were dissatisfied, so results may be skewed.

Other research conducted over the past few months has produced consistent results that we feel are more reasonable. These responses suggest that between 30 and 40 percent of today's workers are ready to leave their employers. The News: Over the past few weeks, activity has increased in the employment section of many corporate websites. The movement has begun.

People are searching specific corporate websites, not just the multi-company listing services like or These prospective applicants are looking for more than merely basic information about the company; they now desire to build relationships with their potential next employers. Expectations are rising among job seekers. They want to receive acknowledgement of their submitted resumes, answers to their questions, information about specific openings for which they may be qualified, and maybe even a personal contact.

The traditional approach of posting a resume and hoping someone might respond is being replaced by interactive systems of electronic recruiting that exchange personalized messages with applicants. These software systems, powered by companies like and Recruitmax, enable applicants and employers to build relationships, creating communities of people interested in joining particular companies. The communities are becoming more populated; more people are actively looking, selectively, for new opportunities.

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