Survey shows that 95% of employers are looking to hire, many at least partly from within, but only 51% of employees expect to change jobs internally or externally, down from 80% in Q2 

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 29, 2021 – Leading outplacement and career mobility provider Randstad RiseSmart today released the findings of its Q3 2021 “Career Mobility Outlook” report, which found that while employees are becoming less likely to leave their current job for another employer, they are also more pessimistic about their chances to switch to a new role within their current company. 

These findings are in direct contrast with employer sentiment, which found that 95% of organizations are looking to hire, including promoting from within, to fill existing job openings: 68.4% of employers are optimistic about filling open roles with current employees, down 11% from Q2. By contrast, only one third (30.3%) of employees said they are likely to opt for an internal job change, while those who were likely to make an external job change dropped even further to one-fifth (20.6%) of all respondents, indicating that the pace of “The Great Resignation” of employees leaving their jobs for external opportunities may be slowing.

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The third 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. It also looks at differences by company size and industry.

Employers and employees not aligned on internal job and reskilling opportunities

According to the Randstad RiseSmart report, only 43.2% of employees are optimistic about finding new roles internally, down from 52.3% in Q2 2021. Additionally, the number of employees who think their managers are open to them transitioning into new roles within their organization dropped to 48.4%, the lowest this year. By contrast, 78.7% of employers think their managers are open to internal mobility.

Although employees expressed skepticism about their ability to advance internally, employers overwhelmingly said they plan to fill existing job openings through internal mobility, with 71% of employers saying they plan to fill 10-50% of open jobs internally, a percentage that is relatively unchanged since the first quarter of 2021. 

The Q3 “Career Mobility Outlook” report also shows that major disconnects exist between employees and employers regarding skilling and career development opportunities. Nearly three-quarters (73.5%) of employers believe they are offering their employees such opportunities. However, only 52.3% of employees agree with this sentiment. This disconnect is even larger within specific industries, such as financial services. Employers and employees also diverge in the type of skills each feels is important to learn.

“Individuals are telling us that they want to learn new skills to be able to grow and develop their careers, and businesses want to train their employees so they can advance within the company. But for some reason, they can’t get on the same page,” said Dan Davenport, CEO at Randstad RiseSmart. “Our goal is to help organizations and their workers realize that they both want the same thing and provide them with the career coaching expertise and tools to build agile workforces that benefit individuals and the organization.”

Organizations and employees have negative outlook on U.S. economy, but feel ready to meet business challenges

According to the latest Randstad RiseSmart Labor Market Barometer, released today, there is sustained growth momentum for the U.S. labor market. The barometer reached a high of 107.4, which improved 0.3 points compared to last month and has reached the same level as in February 2020, just before the pandemic shuttered the global economy. However, the current complexities of the labor market, along with concerns about the supply chain and inflation, complicate employers’ and employees’ outlooks.

The Career Mobility report reveals that despite falling unemployment and solid job growth, only 49% of employers have a positive outlook on the U.S. economy, while only 14.8% of employees share that view, a decline even from Q1. However, both employers (72.3%) and employees (46.5%) have a far more positive outlook regarding the economic prospects of their own sectors. 

Encouragingly, when it comes to the availability of internal reskilling opportunities between employers and employees, both groups believe that their organizations’ workforce is ready to meet business challenges: 75% of employers feel their workforce has the skills they need to be successful, while 71% of employees feel they are prepared to help their company achieve their business goals. 

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: 

Nick Palladino 


29 November 2021

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