Research Shows the Jobs People Are Running to (And Which Ones They’re Leaving)

September 10, 2015

New LinkedIn research has found that professionals today are generally leaving larger companies for smaller ones, and are leaving retail, professional services and government jobs for ones in the healthcare, energy and tech sectors. These findings are based on data analysis of LinkedIn member behavior and a survey of over 10,000 professionals.

Why more and more people joining small companies

One of the biggest takeaways was that people were more likely to leave companies with more than 5,000 people to join companies with less than 500 people. One of the main reasons why people left big companies for small ones is they wanted more challenging work, where they felt they could make more of an impact:

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The industries professionals are leaving and joining

The research also found people were most likely to leave jobs in the professional service, government and retail sectors. Conversely, people were most likely to switch to jobs in the energy, healthcare and tech sector.


What’s interesting though is people left certain industries and joined others for very different reasons. Specifically, people left retail jobs because they weren’t happy with the work/life balance in the industry, whereas they left professional services jobs because they were unhappy with their paychecks.


Meanwhile, people were joining the tech and software industry because they wanted more challenging work. On the other hand, people joined the oil and energy industry largely because they wanted better compensation and benefits.

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What this all means to recruiters and HR professionals

There’s obviously a lot of value for recruiters in the data above. Knowing what people are looking for in certain industries – for example, tech workers looking for challenging work – can help shape your conversations with them.

Additionally, if you are a large company, and yet you see people are switching to smaller companies, it doesn’t mean you are helpless. Instead, you can overcome that by changing your messaging from emphasizing the size and scope of your organization to the freedom and impact employees can make there.

There’s also a lot value for talent management professionals in the data above as well. Let’s say you are in HR in retail, for example, and want to improve your retention rate. The solution isn’t necessarily more money, but giving your employees a better work-life balance.

To find more granular information about certain industries and regions, you can check out LinkedIn’s Talent Pool Reports. Or, if you want to find more about why and how professionals change jobs, you can download our ebook on the matter.

* image by Mark Sebastian

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