The great resignation, as we know the phenomenon by which 47 million people voluntarily left their jobs in the United States, arrived in Spain, a year later and smaller, but also with record numbers. During the first nine months of the year and until September of this year, 54,000 Spaniards quit their jobs, more than double last year around the same dates, when 22,839 had done so. These numbers don’t sound spectacular, but they represent an all-time high for any academic year since 2001, the first year for which data is available.
If last April, the 5,467 people on permanent contracts who filed their voluntary departure with the State represented an absolute record since January 2001, the date on which they began to be counted, their number has only increased since. In May, 6,464 workers on permanent contracts voluntarily quit their jobs. In June there were 7,553, in July 8,267 and in August 7,490. September saw a new record by reaching 8,450 permanent workers leaving his work voluntarily. It helps that the labor reform has multiplied permanent contracts, considerably limiting the conditions under which temporary contracts can be concluded.
Knowing that over the past twenty years 4,500 voluntary victims had never been exceeded of people with a permanent contract and that the most common figures before the pandemic were between 1,000 and 3,000 voluntary departures, this jump represents a significant change in the culture of Spanish work. It comes just at a time of uncertainty over the war in Ukraine, high inflation and the risk of recession. Because? And why now?
Comisiones Obreras Labor and Economy Secretary Ricard Bellera says “the reduction in unemployment that has gone hand in hand with labor reform” is the main reason that drives people to take risks. “The more unemployment there is, the less there are guarantees of finding a job,” he defends himself. “Qualified people are more likely to change jobs and people with poor working conditions to leave. Let’s not forget that there are a lot of qualified people working in sectors like hospitality and if they find a better job, they leave,” he argues.
In effect, a recent labor mobility study by Randstad shows how the hospitality industry is most affected for job changes. 63.7% of the hotel companies consulted observed an increase in their turnover over the last twelve months, 20 points above the next most affected sectors, real estate and the supply of water, gas and of air conditioning. Across the spectrum, 38.5% of companies see an increase in job turnover over the past year.
77% of companies that have seen this turnover increase They attribute it to the fact that workers have more job opportunities in other companies or sectors, an argument that coincides with the explanation of Bellera, from Comisiones Obreras, while 21% say that their sector is considered riskier than before. There are 24% of these companies who claim that they cannot react to requests for salary increases and 23% who say that workers are asking for more flexibility.
Healthcare mobility and hospitality
Another study, this one from the consulting firm Kenjo, states that 5 out of 10 people leave their jobs in search of a higher salary, while 2 out of 10 are looking for a better job and the remaining 3 out of 10 are changing sectors and looking for a radical change in their lives. 40% of resignations concern young people, between 25 and 35 years old, while 20% concern people over 40, a percentage which is in any case double that of 2021.
Sectors with high employability such as health (13%) of the total or that of software and internet (15%) or with less good working conditions such as detail (17%) are the most affected by voluntary resignationsalways according to Kenjo.
Human resources company Grup Montaner agrees that “There is a lot of movement” in companies. Who says so is Eva Espinosa, head of executive selection and talent search. “From the pandemic, a lot of things have changed, salary is no longer everything in many sectors, what is demanded is a better work-life balance,” he explains.
“They seek in many cases that the company’s strategy is aligned with what candidates want: a professional career, a professional project, training, telecommuting… Most candidates want a hybrid work and companies realize that they have to change their minds, even if some are more resistant to change and more prone to losing talent,” he explains.
Espinosa claims that there is sectors, such as pharmacy, which are more rigid despite good wages and hours, and gives the example of a worker who decided to leave a company in the sector despite an offer of a salary increase of 12,000 euros. “The company offered him the salary, but did not relax the conditions”, adds Espinosa, who specifies that the Montaner group offers consulting training in order to set up teleworking. “A company must trust its employees,” he adds.
The increase in resignations will go hand in hand with an increase in salaries, Cruz Espinosa, “The market sets the rewards”, He says. “Now it is no longer the companies that choose their workers, but it is a balance and a lot of people demand certain conditions.”