The Intersection of Choice

Motivators for Top Talent to Leave

We all know that hiring and retaining the best employees drives our businesses to success.  Unfortunately, this is still an area which many organizations don’t properly invest in.

Who are your key employees? You know, the ones who always complete projects on time and the quality of their work is considered elite in your industry? Your “go-to” people for new ideas, the ones you rely on in times of crisis and generally to take on extra work? Having this person on your team allows you to sleep easier just knowing they are there. However, are these valued and talented members also keeping their job options open? 

Here is a common scenario: A top employee has a bad day and sees an on-line advertisement in their field of expertise, but busy days stop the employee from applying. Then, a former boss, co-worker, or recruiter shares an opportunity to look at a new position. Top employees are going to evaluate this opportunity because they are too savvy not to keep their options open. They may even agree to an interview with a competitor of yours. They may just walk into your office next week with a resignation letter in hand. At this point, feeling stunned and shocked, you are now trying to replace one of your best employees.

How on earth could this happen? There were no signs of disengagement, and this person had been a loyal contributor for years. Why now? This person is the definition of a passive job seeker, and they comprise the best talent in the marketplace.

What motivates elite talent to leave their employer? This is a great question, and the answers can vary drastically. We looked at our Aureus Group Top Talent candidates who have been placed by our organization during the last 60 days to get an idea of what is driving career changes in 2010. Here’s what they told us:

Top 5 Motivators for Career Change
1. Company is too unstable
2. Employer does not offer ample career growth opportunities
3. Manager does not recognize contributions enough
4. Seeking better work-life balance
5. Would like to relocate closer to family

Surprised?  Stability, growth, and recognition have surpassed the all mighty dollar! Obviously, fair market compensation is a given for these hard-workers, but top producers have something else making them tick. The desire for a culture shaped by vision and growth seems to be the common thread that ties these invaluable players together. They understand that money comes with accomplishment, but this is clearly not a primary factor in deciding on a new path. 

Knowing this, how will you ensure the top talent at your firm remains empowered by the opportunities of growth and recognition you offer? 

Nate Elger, Aureus Group Senior Account Manager
Nate Elgert, Aureus Group Senior Account Manager

About Nate Elgert
Nate was born and raised in Lincoln, Neb., graduated from Lincoln East High School, and went on to The University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) where he was a four year letter-winner on the men’s golf team earning a bachelor’s degree in communication in 1999. Nate took a winding road back to Lincoln that led through Phoenix, Des Moines, Chicago, back to Kansas City, and then finally Lincoln once again in 2005. Before coming to Aureus Group in 2006 as an account manager in the Lincoln Accounting and Finance office, Nate was a golf professional, an advertising rep, and a mortgage lender. Currently, Nate is a senior account manager. He enjoys playing basketball, golf, and time with his wife Angie, his daughter Sofia, 2. Nate and Angie are also expecting their second little girl in May.



Chris Carlson, CPC, Aureus Group Regional Manager
Chris Carlson, CPC, Aureus Group Regional Manager

About Chris Carlson
Chris is an experienced executive in the staffing industry. She has extensive experience in developing and implementing operational analyses and programs and has assisted hundreds of firms streamline processes and upgrade the competencies of its workforce. Finding innovative ways to generate new business and build teams is her passion. She has developed and executed many successful strategic marketing plans. Chris began her career at Aureus Group, a full-service professional recruiting firm, in 1994 and currently serves as the regional manager of Aureus Group specializing in the Finance & Accounting, Systems and Executive search areas.

In addition, Chris is a Certified Professional Consultant, has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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