The Wall Street Journal has an interesting piece today on the fact that the rate at which people change jobs is decreasing due to the economic downturn. According to the article, a growing number of professionals are saying "no, thanks" to prospective employers asking them to change jobs.
Spooked by the shaky economy, 46% of U.S. middle managers polled in mid-September said switching employers in the current environment is risky. Just 13% said they were actively looking for a new job, down from 30% in 2005.
The article indicates that search firms say they are finding it harder to lure prospective candidates. In my own practice, the search firms I deal with have noticed more caution on the part of prospects. Certainly I think employees would do well to insist on firm offers in writing with signing bonuses and/or guaranteed terms of employment with cause protection or buy-out provisions. An oral promise and a handshake just isn't going to be enough to get quality prospects to leave their current employers in these difficult times.
Here is a link to the whole article.