career mobility outlook q2

Report finds that 92% of employers are planning to hire in the next three months

SAN JOSE, Calif., August 19, 2021 — Leading outplacement and career mobility provider Randstad RiseSmart today released the findings of its Q2 2021 “Career Mobility Outlook” report, which found that more U.S. employers are hiring, with many tapping current employees to fill open roles. According to the report, 92 percent of employers are planning to hire in the next three months – an increase from 87 percent in Q1.

The second edition of the quarterly report, which surveys U.S.-based HR professionals and employees from a wide range of industries, provides an in-depth look at respondents’ expectations on key aspects of the workplace, such as economic sentiment, recruitment trends, internal mobility, job transition behavior and in-demand skills. 

While most employers have plans to hire in the coming months, the manufacturing sector is the most bullish, with nearly 1 in 5 manufacturing employers saying they plan to hire more than 10 percent of their total workforce in coming months. They are immediately followed by professional services and financial services organizations, both of which anticipate significant hiring in the next several months.

Employers are increasingly optimistic about labor market recovery

The survey also found that nearly 60 percent of employers (versus 50 percent in the first quarter) are optimistic about the trajectory of the U.S. economy over the next three months, while only 39 percent of employees (versus 23 percent in the first quarter) shared the same sentiment.

The positive economic outlook among employers closely aligns with current labor market trends, in which more jobs were added to the U.S. economy in July than at any point in the past year, resulting in the unemployment rate falling to its lowest level since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In conjunction with the latest Randstad RiseSmart Labor Market Barometer figure of 106.6, which improved by 0.8 points compared to last month, this signals that the labor market recovery is trending in the right direction.

The Labor Market Barometer aggregates ten key labor market indicators using statistical computations into a single, monthly figure, representing the pulse of the U.S. labor market. For perspective, the barometer has a baseline figure of 100, marked by the initial pandemic outbreak in March 2020.

“The progress we’ve seen in our nation’s economic recovery has led to an improvement in overall economic sentiment among both employers and employees, but individuals continue to operate with cautious optimism,” said Dan Davenport, CEO at Randstad RiseSmart. “Employees are rethinking their career opportunities, contributing to what many are calling ’The Great Resignation,’ and as a result, employers are facing challenges recruiting and retaining talent. To alleviate some of the tensions employers are facing, it will be critical to focus on offering continued opportunities for internal career development and growth to employees at all levels.”

Employees look to switch jobs, while organizations focus on retention and career development opportunities

While the first edition of Randstad RiseSmart’s “Career Mobility Outlook” report found that employees were hesitant to make a switch from their current jobs during the first quarter, those perspectives changed in the second quarter, with 42 percent of employees indicating they are likely to move into different roles within their current company – a 19 percentage point increase from Q1. Employees from the technology sector (73 percent) and financial services sector (57 percent) are the most likely to make internal job moves in the next three months. Additionally, 38 percent of employees are likely to move to a new role externally in the coming months, revealing an increase in employees’ likelihood of switching jobs when compared to just 17 percent in Q1.

Given this job switching trend, organizations are increasingly prioritizing career development initiatives and adopting proactive employee retention strategies. Seventy-six percent of employers confirm they currently offer skilling and career development opportunities to their employees, with 60 percent of employees having a positive perception of the opportunities offered at their current organizations. This does, however, point to a disconnect between employers and employees, presenting an opportunity for organizations to ensure all individuals have access to and are aware of available career development and skilling opportunities.   

Organizations embrace internal mobility to retain talent and fill open roles

With a focus on developing talent from within, organizations are also increasingly relying on internal mobility. According to the survey, 87 percent of employers believe that at least 10 percent of current open jobs at their organization can be filled through internal mobility in the coming months, an increase over 71 percent in Q1. Additionally, the survey found that managers may be more willing to share talent: 61 percent of employees surveyed (versus 51 percent in first quarter) have a positive outlook on their current manager’s openness to internal mobility opportunities.   

“The current supply of talent is simply not meeting existing demand,” said Davenport. “Due to the high cost and overall difficulty of recruiting in today’s labor market, organizations are recognizing the numerous benefits internal mobility can offer, including decreasing recruitment and onboarding costs and building a more engaged, agile workforce that can better respond to evolving business needs. To support true internal mobility, it must be a priority at an organizational level – which includes offering all employees equal access to career development and skilling opportunities and encouraging managers across the organization to embrace a talent sharing mindset.”

To learn more about the Randstad RiseSmart Career Mobility Outlook report, visit:



About Randstad RiseSmart

Randstad RiseSmart is the fastest-growing outplacement and career mobility provider, and an operating company of Randstad N.V., a €20.7 billion global provider of flexible work and human resources services that helps nearly two million candidates find meaningful work every year. Our outplacement, career development, redeployment and contemporary tech and touch solutions strengthen employer brands, improve retention and re-engage talent. Employers hire us because we deliver superior outcomes through expert coaching, professional branding, contemporary resources and on-demand analytics. Today, we are a trusted human partner of successful companies across more than 40 industries and deliver services in over 100 countries and 40 languages. Our passion and dedication to innovation, responsiveness, and results have earned us extensive recognition and awards from organizations such as Bersin by Deloitte, Gartner Inc., the Brandon Hall Group, and Fortune magazine. For more information, visit

Media contact:

Janelle Laignelet
(201) 968-6148

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