Nearly three-fourths of information technology (IT) workers in the Washington, DC area would consider leaving their employer to work at Amazon HQ2, according to new research from Eagle Hill Consulting. About half of all workers (51 percent) say they would consider leaving their current job to work for Amazon, with the percentage even higher for Millennials (60 percent).
The research, Should I Stay or Should I Go? D.C. Metro Area Workforce Considers Whether They Should Work for Amazon was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Eagle Hill in December 2018 to assess the potential workforce impacts when Amazon opens its new headquarters in northern Virginia.
“Area employers should be worried, especially those that need to retain their tech talent. Employers should do all they can now to hang on to their employees before Amazon arrives – especially in such a tight labor market,” says Melissa Jezior, Eagle Hill’s president and chief executive officer. “And given the ongoing government shutdown and chronic morale issues, federal agencies should be particularly concerned about losing their top performers to Amazon.”
The national unemployment rate is at a historic low – at 3.9 percent for December 2018.
The survey revealed that:
- Half of all employees (51 percent) say they would consider leaving their current job to work for Amazon, with the percentage even higher (60 percent) for workers aged 18-34.
- 71 percent of IT workers say they would consider leaving their job to work at Amazon.
- The most compelling reason to consider leaving a current job to work for Amazon would be for a better salary (71 percent), followed by securing more interesting work (45 percent) and working for a progressive company (45 percent). These numbers are somewhat consistent for IT workers – 71 percent say it’s salary, followed by securing more interesting work (55 percent), and working at a progressive company (51 percent).
- 52 percent of all workers say they would not consider leaving their job because they are happy with the work they do, while 45 percent say it’s because they are happy at their current job. Only 32 percent say they would stay put because they feel they are well paid.
- 88 percent say Amazon’s arrival is good for job prospects for job seekers. This is slightly higher for IT workers (92 percent).
- 73 percent say Amazon’s arrival will have a positive impact on overall compensation in the local market.
- 83 percent say Amazon will have a positive impact on the local economy.
- 77 percent say Amazon’s arrival will have a negative impact on traffic.
“Importantly, the data reveal that people who would choose to stay at their job rather than going to Amazon say it is because they are happy with their work and job, feel they have work life balance, like their organization’s culture and believe they are well paid,” Jezior explained. “Employers who dig deep to understand their employees’ satisfaction and deliver what their workforce needs are positioned to hold onto their star employees when Amazon moves in.”
Local employers who are concerned about retaining their employees in the face of competition from Amazon HQ2 should ask the following questions: What makes employees happy in their jobs? What can we do to help employees better juggle work and personal obligations? How are stress levels? Do we have a culture that empowers our workforce? Do employees feel fairly compensated? Getting this insight can be accomplished through employee conversations and surveys.