SOURCE: Plateau Systems

talent management software

March 08, 2011 08:00 ET

Plateau Survey Reveals High Percentage of Passive Job Seekers Lurks

Despite High Overall Job Satisfaction, Most Will Consider Job Offers; Cite Salary and Career Opportunities

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) - A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive(1) on behalf of Plateau Systems reveals that despite high job satisfaction, a wide majority (74%) of employed full time/part time & not self employed workers would consider a new job opportunity. 

After several years of recession marked by widespread layoffs, benefit reductions, and pay cuts, many assume US workers would be singing, "I can't get no satisfaction," and actively hunting for new jobs. While certainly true for many, they survey indicates that most workers are satisfied or very satisfied with their current employment, and only about a quarter have an updated profile or resume on a job board or networking site like LinkedIn or Monster. But despite these promising signs, there is a large "silent majority" of passive job seekers. In nearly equal proportions, workers surveyed say they would consider a new job or career opportunity if approached, even if they're not actively looking (74%), a percentage that is even higher among college graduates (77%) and those with a household income of more than $75,000 a year (76%).

The survey further reveals that the desire for higher salary (57%), general change (31%), and the lack of adequate career and/or advancement opportunities (29%) are the top three reasons workers are actively and passively job hunting, with active job seekers citing career and advancement opportunities as the number one reason for looking.

"There's a lot of talk about widespread job dissatisfaction, so we were frankly surprised by the findings," said Jeff Kristick, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Plateau. "The large percent of passive job seekers presents an interesting challenge for HR leaders as the predicted 'war for talent' heats up -- this is clearly larger than a top performer's problem." 

While most workers are seemingly just a better offer away from jumping ship, HR leaders have the opportunity make a significant impact on workers' perceptions, if not the reality of their circumstances. One way they can do this is by putting career and development programs front and center, for example ensuring that employees have an individual development plan (IDP) in place that gives them a clear picture of their future with the firm. HR can also play a role in providing greater transparency around what it takes to meet advancement opportunities, for example by establishing position-based competencies. Additionally, linking pay to performance can help ensure that top-performing and high-potential employees are fairly compensated, and thus less likely to jump when a competing firm "flashes some cash." 

An executive summary and infographic of the findings are available at  


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Plateau from January 25-27, 2011 among 2,516 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Trip Kucera, Sr. Manager of Corporate Communications, Plateau.

About Plateau
Plateau Systems is the industry's premier provider of enterprise-class SaaS talent management suites. Major global corporations and government agencies, including General Electric, the U.S. Air Force and Capital One Services are using Plateau's integrated talent management solutions to improve productivity and facilitate strategic workforce initiatives around learning, performance, compensation and career and succession management. Plateau is widely recognized throughout the industry for its commitment to customer satisfaction, forward-thinking vision and for consistently delivering best-in-class functionality. Founded in 1996, Plateau is headquartered in Arlington, Va. and has offices across the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information about Plateau, please visit, or follow us on Twitter @PlateauSystems.

1 Survey conducted online from January 25-27, 2011 among 2,516 U.S. adults aged 18+

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Trip Kucera
    Plateau Systems
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