The Big Quit: More than a Third of Professionals Leave Jobs Without Another Lined Up, According to Korn Ferry Survey

Majority Say Counteroffers Not Effective at Making Them Stay

Los Angeles, Jan 20, 2022 – As employers continue to grapple with retention, a new Korn Ferry survey shows that employees are not waiting for a safety net before they say “I quit.”

More than a third (38%) of professionals say they either recently have or are planning on leaving their job without another one lined up. The biggest reason to leave a job, according to the survey, is company culture (32%) followed by a bad boss (28%). Increased salary/benefits came in third at 22%.

According to the survey, the top reason to stay with a current employer is challenging and rewarding work (28%) followed by great co-workers and management (26%). Only 16% say increased salary/benefits were the top reason to stay.

“The issue of retention can’t be solved by salary increases alone,” said Brian Bloom, Korn Ferry Vice President, Global Benefits and Mobility Operations. “Employers must take a more holistic approach to employee satisfaction, including creating an empowering culture and giving managers the training they need to effectively lead.”

Nearly half (47%) of respondents say they have received counteroffers when they announced their resignation, but 70% say it did not incentivize them to stay.

More than a third (39%) say they would stay if the counteroffer was at least 30% of their salary, 24% say they would stay if they were offered 50% more, and 35% say no counteroffer would convince them to stay.

Less than one quarter (22%) say their boss convinced them to stay by promising a better work environment.

“More now than ever, it’s critical to focus on the well-being of employees and give them the tools they need to stay engaged and enabled,” said Bloom.

About the survey:

The Korn Ferry survey of 728 professionals took place in early January 2022.

Have you recently or do you plan on leaving your job without another one lined up?

Yes                                                                              38%

No                                                                               62%

Has an employer ever given you a counteroffer when you told him/her you were leaving for another job?

Yes                                                                              47%

No                                                                               53%

If you did receive a counteroffer from an employer, did it incentivize you to stay? 

Yes                                                                              30%

No                                                                               70%

What is the minimum salary percentage of a counteroffer that would cause you to stay at your current employer, even if you were less than happy with your job? 

10%                                                                             2%

30%                                                                             39%                

50%                                                                             24%

No counteroffer would make me stay                         35%

Has your boss ever talked you out of leaving for another job by promising a better work environment? 

Yes                                                                              22%

No                                                                               78%

What’s the biggest reason to leave one employer for another? 

Salary/benefits                                                            22%

Bad boss                                                                     28%

Too much stress                                                         12%

Not challenging enough                                                2%

Company culture                                                        32%

Can’t work remotely                                                    4%

What’s the biggest reason to stay with your current employer instead of taking a new job? 

Challenging, rewarding work                                      28%

Increase in salary/benefits                                          16%

Great co-workers, management                                 26%

Company culture                                                        22%

Can work remotely                                                       8%

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with our clients to design optimal organization structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward and motivate their workforce while developing professionals as they navigate and advance their careers.

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