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A.I. reveals which workers are most likely to quit their jobs

A.I. hasn't come for our jobs just yet, but it can figure out who is looking for a new one.

You might not need AI to guess she wants new work.

  • A new study analyzes mountains of data to see which industries have the highest level of employee volatility.
  • Volatility isn't always a bad thing, but it is always good to know about.
  • Moving to new jobs within the same industry is often a route to higher wages.

Have you ever felt like its time to look for another job but weren't quite sure what prompted it? Conversely, have you ever worried that the employees at your firm might be having that feeling en masse? A new study that uses artificial intelligence to determine the circumstances that encourage people to seek new opportunities elsewhere might clear things up for you.

Not precisely the AI-related employment shock you were thinking of. 

The study, carried out by the Workforce Logiq company, uses data from "40,000 sources, 1 billion+ monthly interactions, and analytics on over 100 million candidates and 8 million organizations" in combination with A.I. analysis and a variety of models to determine how a variety of local and global factors contribute to employment stability or volatility.

The model gives every industry, company, and region included in the study a Talent Retention Risk (TRR) score. A higher the TRR, the higher the employee volatility. With it, upwards of 2000 sorts of data, including economic information, news about the industry and company, leadership changes, and other factors are accessed.

The findings, organized here into a chart, show which industries are more at risk for volatility and which are less so:

A score of less than 35 is low, between 25 and 49 is average, between 49 and 69 is above average, and above 70 is rather high. Industries with high scores see higher amounts of volatility in their workforce. They can expect to spend more time trying to find new talent and will have the most difficulty holding on to employees, which can be costly.

Workforce Logiq also made a map showing how much workers in each state would be interested in looking for another job or in unsolicited recruitment messages:

Workforce Logiq

The authors point out that Mississippi has no Fortune 500 companies in it and as a result have little headhunting to drive up their score. On the other end of the spectrum, New York has a ton. While the authors conclude that higher scores relate to more opportunities overall, they also point out that the industries with the highest volatility, as seen above, tend are concentrated in the same areas.

Why are some industries dealing with much higher scores than others?

In some cases, these scores are the result of multiple industry-level issues. The mining industry has a very high score, the highest on the list, partly because of a decrease in demand for coal.

However, a high TRR score isn't always a sign that things are horrible for the industry or at a particular firm. It could also mean that the industry is in a situation where talented workers are willing and able to move around. As individuals, software engineers were found to be very open to new opportunities—a sign of how many opportunities for advancement there are for them.

The authors of the study also mentioned that some of the high scores are typical for an economy that is close to full employment, which is hardly a bad thing. Recruiters are the most willing to respond positively to an unsolicited message from another recruiter. In this economy, headhunters are all but required and the offers are getting better.

Not everyone is so ready for job switching, though. Workers in nursing, education, and public safety (industries with the lowest TRR scores) tend to be comfortable where they are. This is caused by a variety of factors, including the emotional elements of the job, the higher levels of interest in a good working environment for people in these sectors, and the often high level of investment that people in these fields put into their communities.

Why are people so open to recruiters reaching out or switching jobs on their own?

It is often easier to make more money by changing companies than to wait it out at your current job. According to research by Gartner, companies that are looking for new talent elsewhere can be willing to offer as much as a 15 percent increase in pay. At the same time, yearly raises tend to be limited to two or three percent for workers who stay put. This is a recognized trend and a common argument against non-competition clauses in contracts.

Artificial intelligence is making it possible to review and analyze much larger amounts of data than ever before. In this case, it provides a way to look at data from both local and global trends to determine what industries are at continued risk for high turnover and who stands to benefit from it.

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