We’ve been talking almost since the recession began about a talent exodus. Our view has been that as soon as the economy begins recovering and companies start hiring again, there is going to be a tidal wave of staff movement. We’re calling it a talent exodus.

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It should be obvious why this will happen. People have been overworked, and often abused, by their employers during the downturn. Imagine, for example, what it must be like to work for BP right now, when your boss has just announced his retirement at age 53 and a £ 600,000 a year pension for the rest of his life. You will be paying for that pension out of your salary, which has not increased in two years, nor will you get a bonus this year. Most other company examples are less extreme, but the same outcome exists – people are ready to look around at other options.

Secondly, when companies begin expanding and looking for new talent, they will not favour the currently unemployed. They will prefer to hire new staff from other companies, and they will not be constrained by industry boundaries either. So, your staff will be getting head hunter calls soon, and most will be willing to take the calls.

And now, a survey confirms our instinct. According to Deloitte LLP’s fourth annual Ethics & Workplace Survey, one-third of employed Americans plan to look for a new job when the economy gets better. Of this group of respondents, 48% cite a loss of trust in their employer and 46% say that a lack of transparent communication from their company’s leadership are their reasons for looking for new employment at the end of the recession.

It’s not too late to do something about this now! But you need to start now. This issue should be top priority and the head of every management agenda for the next year! If it’s not on your leader’s radar, your company is in big trouble.

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