5 Reasons Why People Quit (And How You Can Hire Them)

14 August 2018 By Adam Hall

1728 Original

​According to recent figures by Linked In, 1 in 3 employees globally are actively looking for a new job. With the average number of different jobs held during a career rising to 12 – probably more for millennials – employers are battling on both sides: retain their best employees while attracting top performing external candidates that are looking to make the switch.

In payments, when knowledge and expertise is so valuable, people are especially critical to businesses, and losses can be painful.

But why exactly do people choose to leave their jobs? And how can employers tap into this and transform unhappy job seekers to productive members of the team? Here are some of the key reasons…

5 Reasons Why People Quit Their Jobs

01 There’s a lack of career progression

A common reason why people decide to leave their job is that they can’t see where it’s leading to: this is why career progression was cited as the most important factor in leaving a company in one study by Robert Walters. People are increasingly looking for meaning in their work, and defining their identity by their career path – employers who ignore this factor will find their talent leaving in droves.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Often the most ambitious and hardworking people will jump ship if they feel like they aren’t been given the right opportunities. When hiring, target passive candidates who may be settled in their job but would value the chance to progress their career, and use the ‘carrot’ of career progression to sell the role to them. For your current top performers, make sure they are rewarded for their performance, and given a say in how they can shape their career path within the company.

02 Compensation is below market rate

It’s not always about the money… but often it is. 70% of us have left a company due to lack of satisfactory compensation – after all, if we weren’t paid for turning up to the office, most people wouldn’t do it purely for the fun of it.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Benchmark market pay rates, conduct regular salary reviews for your employees to ensure they are happy with their salary and realise it’s fair. When looking externally, make sure you fully understand candidates’ salary expectations, taking this into account to secure the best candidates.

03 They want to do something different

It’s becoming more common to change careers these days, and some people will decide to leave their jobs to pursue a totally different path. What these candidates lack in skillset they may be able to make up in willingness to learn and the fact that they bring a new and diverse perspective to the team.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Promote a culture of opportunity by considering internal candidates that may not fill all the criteria but are talented and motivated. Similarly, tapping into talent in verticals outside your traditional route will widen your pool of applicants.

04 - The work-life balance is unsustainable

Most of us have been there – working a job that is stressful and puts unreasonable demands on your time. If your relationships or wellbeing are suffering, taking a new position with a better balance becomes tempting. Therefore, it’s not surprising that work-life balance is a key factor in deciding to quit a job.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Companies that promote a healthy work-life balance aren’t just benefiting their employees – it can contribute to a more productive and profitable workforce too. Crucially, having a healthy work-life balance can build a strong employer brand, attracting more external talent. Consider policies like flexible working, time off in lieu, birthday leave, paid time off for charity work or family commitments.

05 - They don’t get on with their boss

A survey of over 7000 US professionals carried out by market research firm Gallup found that over half of people had quit a job due to a bad boss. Often, it’s the people that shape experiences of work more than the job itself, and for those that find their boss overbearing or unsupportive, it can be tempting to look for greener pastures.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: You can’t always control people, but you can encourage a supportive working culture, regular feedback and give managers training to help them get the best out of their staff. Although a bad boss may be a valid reason to quit, be wary of candidates who cite this as their main reason – could it be signs of a personality that clashes with people easily?


As an employer, it’s important to be mindful of the reasons why people quit, so you can not only retain your best staff – but hire the best ones externally too.

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