Employees changing jobs is nothing unusual, especially at the start of a new year. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but if you don’t spot the signals of an employee who is on the brink of leaving, then how can you know if there is something that can be done to prevent them quitting?
None of the below ‘signs’ are definitive and there are always other reasons as to why an employee is acting in a particular way.
1) Irregular time off
Looking for a new job invariably involves attending interviews and the accompanying time required to do so.
One telltale sign of an employee who may be meeting with prospective new employers is the request for late starts, early finishes, long lunches or random half days.
However, consideration should be given to other potential reasons for irregular time off. It’s very easy to jump to conclusions which could lead to unnecessary and awkward problems with the employee concerned.
2) Change in work ethic
Being overly relaxed about deadlines, displaying a lack of motivation and a general lacklustre approach to daily tasks could all be signs of an employee who’s had enough and is looking for alternative employment.
If someone’s not enjoying their time at work then they’ll very likely look for another job. The simple mindset change of initiating a job search can be the catalyst for their change in behaviour in the office.
They could also have something other than work on their mind and so, as with irregular time off, caution should be taken when approaching the situation as either a manager or colleague.
3) Taking secretive calls throughout the day
Frequent calls that are always taken in private could be a sign of numerous recruiters calling to offer interview dates or give updates on applications.
This is often an unavoidable peril for any employee involved in a job search, but could also be due to personal circumstances.
4) Sudden increase in LinkedIn connections
Is a certain employee suddenly connected to recruiters?
Even though many would assume that advertising your job search on a popular social network is ridiculous, most people forget to turn off activity broadcasts on LinkedIn and inadvertently publish their new found recruiting friends to all their connections, including their employers.
5) A cleansing of social profiles to look more professional
Has an employee suddenly updated their social profiles to a more professional and targeted version? Are they publicising certain skills or interacting with specific brands?
These could be signs of a job search in progress. One of the strategies recommended by many career websites is to align and optimise your personal brand on social networks and interact with those brands that you’re interested in working for.
6) Smartening up
A sudden change in a persons usual attire, especially into a suit, could be a warning of an impending job change.
Although a long standing joke that suddenly smartening up means an interview, it can, in some circumstances, actually be the case.
Or it could simply be that the employee has decided to smarten up!