Morocco Candidate Pulse Leaving & Returning Image

Quitting a job is rarely an easy decision and it’s unwise to make assumptions about why people do it. For every professional who leaves a position because they are unhappy, there are others who love their current colleagues and employer and are simply looking to take their careers to the next level. 

In a competitive hiring market, companies can’t afford to “forget” about talented employees who leave on good terms and who could be tempted to return if the opportunity arose. That’s why many employers now have return programs that allow them to keep in touch with their alumni and, if circumstances allow, re-hire them.  
To learn more about why people quit and whether they would consider re-joining a former employer, we surveyed 2,774 job applicants in Morocco. Let’s look at what they said. 

How many people quit — and why?

Six in 10 (65%) respondents said they’d quit a position voluntarily at least once. So what factors triggered their decision to leave? 

  • 49% said they wanted to acquire more responsibilities and boost their career development 
  • 33% said it was due to personal reasons, such as moving to a new city 
  • 30% said they needed a better remuneration package 

A key takeaway from these results is that a feeling of having reached their limit is a critical factor in many people’s decision to leave. Some employees have aspirations and ambitions that simply can’t be satisfied by their current employer. Steps companies can take to retain these workers include fast-tracking their career development and offering improved compensation packages. However, if an employee wants to change industries altogether or needs to leave for personal reasons, there’s little a company can do to stop them.   

To quit or to switch?

Not everyone who leaves a company has another position lined up. (43%) of respondents said they’d resigned from a job at least once in their careers without having a new job to go to.  

Do leavers regret their decision?

About 12% respondents said they’d left a position and later regretted it. Of these: 

  • 58% said the new company was not what they expected or hoped for 
  • 42% said that they did not find anything better 
  • 33% didn’t like their new position  
  • 8% mentioned missing their former colleagues  

What can we learn from these findings? First, they confirm what most professionals already know: moving to a new position is always a little risky and not every opportunity lives up to its billing. Second, they underscore the importance of the human factor. Employees often form very close and mutually rewarding relationships with their co-workers. Even people who don’t regret leaving a job often miss their former colleagues. Given this, does it not make sense to think about former employers when considering your career options? Let’s look at the data… 

To return or not to return?

Can going backwards in one sense take you forward in another? 31% of respondents said that they have either taken a position with one of their former employers or would consider doing so if the opportunity arose.  
That’s a big potential talent pool for companies struggling to plug gaps in their workforces! But are companies doing enough to promote their return programs and encourage these former employees to return to the fold? 
It appears not. About three-in-five (68%) respondents said they hadn’t even heard about these programs.  
Companies clearly have their work cut out to make these initiatives more visible. At the same time, they need to be continually reviewing and improving their organisational culture, with 80% of survey respondents agreeing that this is a critical factor in whether an employee decides to return.  
The good news for companies is that only a minority of respondents thought that returning to a former employer was a mistake. About half (48%) disagreed with the statement that candidates should never go back, while 31% neither agreed nor disagreed. Furthermore, a majority (75%) thought that, in the end, returning was a win-win solution for companies and their former employees. 
These are encouraging statistics for companies considering making re-hiring part of their recruitment strategy. By setting up return programs and using social media and other channels to make them as visible as possible, employers can broaden their talent pools to include familiar as well as new faces. 
Organizations can draw inspiration from our findings, which show that candidates gravitate towards employers who foster professional growth and an employee-friendly culture. Contact us today to learn how Michael Page can help you position yourself to attract the talent you need in the South Africa. 

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