People Hired in the Pandemic Are More Likely to Quit Their Jobs

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For those starting new jobs during the pandemic, welcome drinks and informal chats by the coffee machine have been replaced by formal meetings over Zoom. That lack of bonding time with other colleagues poses a problem for employers, who are less likely to retain those new hires than if they’d joined back when people worked primarily out of offices, according to a new study. 

The differences are modest but meaningful. Of more than 1,000 employees surveyed in March, 73% of those who joined in the past year reported feeling like part of the team, vs. 78% among those hired in the previous two years, according to the study released on May 26 by Perceptyx Inc. of Temecula, Calif., a specialist in what it calls employee listening. Sixty-four percent felt their employers cared about their health and well-being, vs. 71% in the pre-Covid cohort.

New hires are usually highly engaged, but “employees who onboarded during Covid-19 were never part of a honeymoon phase,” Brett Wells, the company’s director of people analytics, said in an interview ahead of the study’s release.

While pandemic hires felt even more welcomed by their bosses than the prior cohort, they didn’t bond as much with people outside their immediate work groups, Wells says. That could reflect a lack of face-to-face contact with a wide circle of colleagues.

Experience shows that people who feel less attached are more likely to quit, making this a “ticking time bomb” for employers, Wells says.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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