Physicists Find No Sign of Time Travelers. You’re Stuck With the Bad Hires Unless They Find New Jobs

Jan 10, 2014
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

time travel many earths - freeBad news for those of you making a bad hire: You can’t fix it by going back in time.

We here at ERE know how devastating this news is to hiring managers who made an offer to a hyena instead of a cheetah. Equally bad news to the recruiter who sourced the candidate.

But don’t head for the roof. The door isn’t slammed shut for absolute positive on finding a way to travel back in time and undo the error. Slim though it may be, there is hope.

Two physicists from Michigan Technological University went looking for “informational traces” on the Internet left by visitors from the future. They checked  tweets, combed for communications, and exhaustively employed search engines, all for naught. (Note to readers: Kind of useful news is on the next page.)

But — and here’s the bone the physicists offer — “Although the negative results reported here may indicate that time travelers from the future are not among us and cannot communicate with us over the modern day Internet, they are by no means proof.”

The Dissatisfied Walk Among Us

ECS Q413 Top Career ResolutionsThis is also disappointing news to employees, especially the 21 or 22 percent who insist they’re going to change jobs this year. Some of them, no doubt, wish they could jump in their time machine and tell their past self not to accept the job their present self has.

CareerBuilder’s survey says 21 percent of full-time workers plan to change jobs this year, up from the 17 percent who told that to survey takers last year.

A Glassdoor survey found a nearly identical result, though Glassdoor’s questions were all about resolutions. (Both surveys were independent, but done by the same company.) A third resolved to get raises. And 20 percent promised themselves to take all their vacation this year.

(Oh, how much time travel would improve our resolutions. In December we’d know if we got that raise, took our vacation, and changed jobs. Then we could just travel back to, say April, and kick our past self in the butt to get going.)

CareerBuilder also asked about job satisfaction to find that 59 percent of us are satisfied, down from last year’s 65 percent. The truly dissatisfied came in at 18 percent of the workforce.

CB Survey job changing plansThat leaves 23 percent unaccounted for. If I was a manager, that’s the group I’d want to keep my eye on. They either don’t care (the disengaged, to use a cool HR term of art) or they don’t know, which is kind of scary.

Scarier still is CareerBuilder’s finding that of the dissatisfied, only 58 percent are going to look for another job. If I do my math right (that’s just false modesty), about 8.6 percent of your workers are dissatisfied, but planning on staying.

There’s one other little data point you might want to pass on to hiring managers: Glassdoor discovered three percent are actively working get their boss fired.

Illustration courtesy Victor Habbick /
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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