Dear Job Doctor, what are the reasons behind people changing jobs in Luxembourg?

We discussed in previous columns that the most common reasons for considering changing employers were the ‘relationship with manager’, ‘new challenge/opportunity’, 'work-life balance' and ‘better pay or conditions’

Today I will address ‘
Job security’.

The definition of job security has changed over the years where there was a strong desire to secure a ‘job for life’. This is no longer applicable, especially in the private sector.

Those in clerical and supervisory roles often value job security quite high. Gen Y highly skilled managers are quite the opposite and value changing jobs more often to enhance their career options and are less concerned about job security. In Luxembourg, today, changing jobs every 3-5 years is common and acceptable to most employers when looking at a potential employee’s work history.

The Company Health Barometer

As recruiters we tend to see candidates when there is a change of management and/or company strategy, where they fear their own role is no longer secure.

Recruiters make a very good barometer for an organisation’s health, as it’s not uncommon for us to see many employees from the same firm contacting us in the same week seeking new opportunities. We know there has been a major change or one is coming, sometimes this occurs after the first ‘town hall’ meeting with a new manager or management team.

Staff Turnover

Be mindful that some staff turnover can be a good thing. Such as a new management team arriving to change the culture for the better by ousting toxic employees and implementing a more appropriate strategy.

In general, staff turnover indicates how well a company is doing in regards to ‘employee care’. Those who value job security consider staff turnover a priority criterium when selecting a new employer.

Just as an employer wishes to see a candidate’s longevity with the same company, it’s important for a candidate to uncover the employer’s track-record by asking questions, such as:

How long does someone typically stay with the company?

  • What is average annual staff turnover percentage over the last 5 years?

(Voluntary and Involuntary)

  • How do these compare with your closest competitors?
  • What percentage of staff do not complete their trial period?
  • (Voluntary and Involuntary)

The last point is likely to uncover how successful their selection process is or is not and/or how well employees are integrated into the company. The answers can lead to good follow-up questions to discover what it takes for an employee to succeed or fail.

Don’t jump out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire

It’s difficult to say what constitutes good or bad turnover in Luxembourg due to the size distribution of entities. According to Statista almost 90% of entities are micro companies (less than 10 employees) and under 1% large companies (more than 250 employees).

Comparing the industry average is a good start, noting that the Hospitality industry is likely to be 2-3 times higher than the Financial Services industry, where most pundits will say between 5-15% is the norm.

Before deciding on changing employer, talk to the recruitment experts to get an informed overview of your sector and the options available to you. It’s important to take out the necessary due diligence and risk evaluation, only then can you decide whether the benefits to change outweigh the risk factors.

Darren Robinson has been recruiting since 1996 and is currently the Managing Partner for Anderson Wise.