Nearly Half of U.S. Middle Managers Seek New Jobs, Accenture Survey Finds

NEW YORK; Aug. 20, 2003 Nearly half of middle managers in the United States are either currently looking for or plan to look for another job, according to the results of a survey released today by Accenture.

The U.S. survey, which entailed querying more than 500 middle managers, found that more than one-third (38 percent) of respondents are currently looking for another job, and another 10 percent plan to do so when the economy improves and the job market strengthens. Of those currently looking, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) said they will intensify their searches when the job market strengthens.

“Given the early indicators of a possible U.S. recovery, companies need to identify their top performers, rethink their investments in them and find ways to keep them happy and loyal,” said Edward Jensen, a partner in Accenture’s Human Performance service line. “As a first step, they should understand the issues that are top-of-mind for those managers. They should then address those issues with specific programs, which might include compensation discussions, but may also focus on quality of life or training and development concerns.”

When asked to identify the one factor most motivating them to seek different jobs, more than half (56 percent) of respondents cited better pay or benefits. Others cited better conditions or job prospects (12 percent), better training and development opportunities (8 percent), lack of prospects or advancement at their current jobs (8 percent), dislike of their current jobs (7 percent) and dislike of their bosses (6 percent).

The findings show that respondents are somewhat pessimistic about a quick rebound in the job market and the economy. For instance, only 13 percent said they believe the job market will strengthen and the economy will improve within the next six months, whereas nearly one-third (30 percent) reported that they believe it will be two years or more before that happens. The majority said the economy will rebound either within 6-12 months (26 percent) or between one and two years (27 percent).

“Companies should recognize that people will leave, and, rather than trying to manage overall attrition, they should align their key managers and workforce programs with the company’s overall strategy,” said Jensen. “They should understand that the current talent war is more about access to talent than just owning it, and they should consider alternative resourcing strategies that include a mix of full time, flex-time, outsourcing, etc. Finally, they might take this opportunity to begin gearing up their recruiting efforts to attract talent that is – or may soon be – available.”

The survey, part of an ICR/International Communications Research omnibus survey conducted by telephone in July 2003, entailed querying 509 full-time middle managers in the United States.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting and technology services company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them realize their visions and create tangible value. With deep industry expertise, broad global resources and proven experience in consulting and outsourcing, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, alliances and technologies. With more than 80,000 people in 47 countries, the company generated net revenues of $11.6 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2002. Its home page is


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