Companies have long cherished a high employee retention rate, while a high level of employee turnover is viewed with suspicion. Employers considered a high churn rate an indication of low team morale or a sign of an organization plagued with mismanagement. After all, why would so many good employees leave if everything was going well at the company?
Suppose you think worker recruitment, retention, and turnover could be better. In that case, this article explores a changing employee turnover paradigm and why employee churning could be the right trajectory in the future of work.
A 2022 Gartner Inc. report  focusing on the U.S. labor market showed the annual voluntary turnover was likely to increase 20% from the pre-pandemic 31.9 million to 37.4 million workers quitting their jobs. The result has been that voluntary turnover, referring to the decision by an employee to leave a company based on their own and not the company’s decision, is now a common cause of concern among company executives.
This unpredictable, voluntary employee churn can cause disruptions in your workforce - if you aren’t prepared for it. Let’s walk you through the current trend of employee turnover and what it means for your business.
The technological developments that have facilitated the advancement of distributed and remote working teams have meant that today’s tech employees can choose when, where, why, and with whom to work. There’s every indication that this new trend, which bears little resemblance to the current work model, will continue into the coming days.
The social and political turbulence have added a new layer of pressure and complexity to existing work models as highly knowledgeable tech workers start to exert more control over their work dynamic. Moreover, combining all these and other factors has aided in creating a hybrid working model, where workers can choose where, when, and how much they want to work.
Employee churn has always been associated with needing to be more appreciated, dissatisfaction with pay, personal reasons, or seeking career advancements via a new field or job title. However, that may no longer be the case.
We’re seeing a lot of the industry’s top talent prioritize interesting and challenging work over salary needs. With their talent in such high demand, it's easy to get their financial needs met. What is more difficult is finding work that will allow them to continue to grow and be challenged. If their current company isn’t able to regularly evolve their position and present new challenges, they’ll continue to move around from job to job.
As employers adopt technology to monitor employees and track productivity, a new breed of remote and distributed workers with solid digital skills prefer project-based contracts to permanent employment.
Companies must adapt to the new “where, how, and when work gets done model” or they’ll struggle to drive their performance and fail to retain top talent or attract new talent for the future of work.
While Millenials and Gen-Z get a bad rap for notoriously short attention spans, their job-hopping is probably about selective attention and not an attention span problem. They seem to want to explore workplaces and careers that offer the greatest return on investment. That ties nicely with project-based hiring, which involves independent contractors when you’re interested in projects that require specialized skills.
This modern business model, such as Gigster’s, is effective in the changing job market as it brings workers for a limited time, say 3-6 months, to complete work defined in a contract. While it seems to encourage employee churning, flexible or project-based staffing enables companies to change how they source labor and reach the market faster with fresh ideas and additional projects while remaining agile and competitive. When it looks increasingly difficult for companies to find skilled labor to fill open positions, consider the following benefits of project-based hiring.
Millennials and Gen Z’s, who make up most digital and tech workers, are shying away from traditional employment and prefer independent contracting models. Seasoned professionals also like using their skills to build businesses based on their experience. This gives them greater control over their careers and greater flexibility.
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We live during the great resignation era, where the power lies in workers’ hands. Companies can use the project-based hiring model to build businesses by accessing top skills when they need them since highly talented employees can’t stick around forever.
Companies are also realizing that employees and contractors who participated for a time period and leave to work elsewhere are not necessarily gone for good. Alumni networks can create a powerful extended talent network, and at a later stage in a particular person’s career, a return to a former employee or contractor might make sense for all involved.
As organizations become judicious due to an impending recession, a flexible hiring model is a better way to reduce expenses. Hiring independent contractors on a project basis or using a company like Gigster for fully-managed development will enable your company to scale up and down without necessarily adding heavily to your bottom line.
Project-based workers offer 100% utilization without the undue demands of permanent employment. That’s better than hiring permanent employees who are no longer needed when a project is finished.
As existing companies look to adapt to the future of work, expect new companies to rise up that are organized to fully take advantage of this model. DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) are already being used to bring together talented individuals for short or long-term projects with a clear end goal and payout structure.
With statistics showing over 51 million remote or distributed workers and the number expected to grow by at least 38% in the coming five years, the project-based hiring model offers you the flexibility to grow and innovate. Consequently, if you’re stuck in the old school of thought that loathed employee churn, your company could be at a disadvantage.
 Baker, M. and Zuech, T. (2022). Gartner Says U.S. Total Annual Employee Turnover Will Likely Jump by Nearly 20% From the Prepandemic Annual Average. [online] Gartner. Available at: https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/04-28-2022-gartner-says-us-total-annual-employee-turnover-will-likely-jump-by-nearly-twenty-percent-from-the-prepandemic-annual-average.
 MBO Partners. (n.d.). Contingent Labor Trends: Corporate Use of Branded Talent Marketplaces. [online] Available at: https://www.mbopartners.com/enterprises/workforce-optimization/corporate-use-branded-talent-marketplaces/