Bad News in a Buyers' Market: I Quit

Brian LaMee
Posted on: 10/07/15
Written by: Brian LaMee

Those are two words that can send a manager's head spinning.  Even if he or she was not your best person, it means you have a gap on the team, and have to find a replacement.  But it is happening more and more.


In the housing market, we would say and use the term: it is a buyers’ market. There are more houses on the market for sale than there are people wanting to buy a house.  So the power of negotiation most of the time is with the buyer, not the seller.

Well, in the job market, we are seeing the same thing.  It used to be that people only looked for a new job when they needed a job or they really hated their current job. Now people are always looking.  

And according to Jobvite, 51% of workers who currently have a job are either actively seeking, or open to a new job.

But they are not looking for the reasons you might think. In fact:

  • 89% of employers assume that their employees leave for more money elsewhere, but only 12% of employees actually earn more from their next company.

  • According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, individuals that voluntarily leave work cite lack of appreciation as one of the major reasons for leaving.

  • From a Towers Watson study, 41% of employees said they would need to leave their current employer in order to advance their careers.

So this means two key things for A/E firms:

  1. There is a need to invest in the career development and recognition of people so they want to stay with a firm.

  2. Top talent within the industry is always open to looking at other new opportunities, so if your firm is looking to grow, are you positioned to snag them up knowing money is not always the key factor?

So you scramble and work as fast as you can to get the position filled, ramped and ready to take on the work they were hired for. You do all of that work recruiting someone, so wouldn't you want to make sure they stay?  Remember the days when people stayed with a firm for 10+ years?  Yea, those days are over because there is so much opportunity to jump around with new and exciting opportunities.  

According to a CareerBuilder/USA Today survey, 56% of HR managers are worried that their top talent will leave for another job within the year.  Stop and think about that for a second. The best people within your firm, how long have they been there?  

You invest in new hires to get them up to speed, but what do you do to invest in them after that?  Are they being groomed for future roles or leadership?  Do they know this? If they leave what impact could it have on the business, a project or a client?  

So why is it that most firms don't have formal programs to groom and develop career paths for their people?  Would you rather invest time with your people so they want to stay, or invest your time constantly hiring and ramping people?

In today's increasingly competitive job market, it is more important than ever to have a solid recruiting strategy with the recruiting metrics to justify your hiring decisions. Learn the metrics you need for recruiting success in the complimentary ebook Top 10 Recruiting Metrics HR Should Care About.  

Download it now!

About the author:  Brian LaMee is Senior Director of Marketing at Deltek. He is also a speaker at PSMJ's 2015 A/E/C Industry Summit, which takes place December 3-4, 2015 in San Francisco, CA.The event brings together some of the brightest minds and the most successful firms in our industry to share experiences, to examine where future opportunities lie, and to articulate a clear picture what sustainable growth looks like, Brian will lead the breakout session "Hire People Faster and Keep People Longer."


August 5, 2022

Cybersecurity for AEC Firms

With news headlines filled with reports of cyberattacks shutting down everything from fuel pipelines, to food distribution, to internet services, it is not unthinkable that your..

Read More
August 3, 2022

PSMJ Resources Announces the Top-Performing Architecture and Engineering Firms for 2022

PSMJ’s exclusive Circle of Excellence highlights firms that demonstrate outstanding business achievement in the architecture and engineering industry. August 3, 2022 (Newton, MA)—..

Read More
July 22, 2022


PSMJ Resources, Inc., the global leader in business management data and guidance for architects and engineers, announces the winners of the 2022 A/E/C Employer of Choice Award,..

Read More