The economic climate over the last two years has seen an increase in employees feeling trapped within their current roles – something known as ‘corporate prisoner syndrome.’ Many want to move but aren’t actively looking for a new position because of continuing uncertainties in the economy, with many preferring to limit their risk taking by sticking with the role they have.
This raises some interesting challenges in both the areas of Recruitment and Talent Management.
In Recruitment there is a perception that the job market must be full of candidates looking for work and that it will be easy to find the right resource.
The reality is that the recruitment market is more fragmented than before. Finding the best talent often means combining different methods as the right candidate could be found in a variety of places, and in many cases this means accessing the talent pool of candidates that isn’t actively looking. Tricky for many companies who have relied heavily on one approach in the past, particularly if the talent pool are not pursuing adverts or visiting online job boards. This is where a specialist recruiter can be of particular benefit, delivering a wider sourcing strategy and access to a well honed network of professionals in a specialist area.
Leadership, motivation and talent management can also significantly benefit from an understanding of the effects ‘corporate prisoner syndrome’ may be having on your employees and from an understanding of which type they fall in.
The Six Types of ‘Corporate Prisoner’
One in five employees fall into this, the largest group. Escapers plan to leave as soon as they can find another job.
The visiting star
The worker that arrived to ride out the economic storm or make a quick jump on the career ladder, a too-good-to-be-true candidate that has raised the bar, adding pace and transferring skills and will be looking to move on.
The economic prisoner
The worker who wants to protect their position and can’t afford to move because their pre-recession pay and benefits could never be matched elsewhere. Their loyalty is linked to reward rather than true engagement.
Prisoners of circumstance
The worker that may be stuck with a poor leader, a need to work locally, or to work limited hours. A lack of individual choice may lead to alienation and a decline in performance.
Prisoners of conscience
These employees love what they do, they believe in the cause, you hired them when they were the best available but they have reached the limit of their abilities. Their commitment maintains loyalty, keeps employee engagement high, but does nothing for your business’s performance.
Lifers provide stability and act as the corporate memory bank; they are unlikely to be particularly open to the kind of change needed to overcome the challenges the UK faces over the coming months.