The cornerstones of traditional career trajectories are crumbling. Gone are the days when employees start their first job straight out of university, climb their way through the ranks and then retire at 65 with a nice super package and a gold watch for their service.
As the largest generation in the workforce, millennials are shaking things up and redefining what an ideal employee is. Unlike previous generations of young people who eventually settled into a company for long-term financial security, millennials – otherwise known as Gen Yers – aren’t that keen to settle.
A new survey from Deloitte shows most millennials have one foot out the door. According to the research, 44 per cent of millennials would quit their current job to join a new organisation during the next two years. By 2020, 66 per cent expect to be working for a different employer than their current one, and only 16 per cent see themselves staying in one place past a decade.
Businesses have known this for a while now, but what might come as a surprise is that job-hopping isn’t always a bad thing. Hiring managers and recruiters have a long history of shying away from candidates who have spent two years or less at previous places of employment. The assumption is that if someone skips around that much, they must be either disloyal, incompetent, volatile, expensive, impatient or perhaps some combination of these.
However, this thinking is antiquated, and automatically passing over the resumes of frequent job changers might cause you to miss out on some exceptional talent.
Leapfrogging from job to job isn’t youthful fickleness – it’s indicative of changing views on the employer-employee relationship. While younger generations want many of the same things out of life as their older counterparts – namely, to start a family and own a home – their demand for leadership skills and their willingness to change careers to get it is what’s new.
The majority of the job hopper set said they felt they weren’t on track to rise in their current company, and were actively looking for their next gig. There is a direct correlation between support and training for employee skill development and loyalty: more than 71 per cent of millennials felt that lack of investment in developing important job skills like leadership drove them away.
Millennials also expect more from the companies they work for, not in terms of benefits and perks, but in terms of sustainability and corporate values beyond the bottom line. The top three values that emerged from this research were fair treatment of employees (26 per cent), company ethics and integrity (25 per cent), and customer care and focus (19 per cent).
Employers should work to bridge the gap between what millennials want out of their workplaces and what they get. Many of these needs are easy to implement and benefit the entire organisation rather than just a few individuals: mentor programs, recognition for work done, a sense of purpose and skill development all made the list.
So if you happen to come across a resume or application that lists three jobs in six years, consider the following before moving on:
Three reasons to hire a job hopper
- They might burn fast, but they burn bright: Short-term excellence is definitely better than long-term mediocrity. Although someone with a history of job-hopping might be in and out within two years, the experience they bring with them gives you and your employees the chance to use their skills and learn from them.
- They are highly adaptable: There’s the assumption that hiring a serial job-hopper will lead to a loss in productivity over time. It’s a lot of work to fully integrate someone into a new company, after all. However, what job-hoppers bring to the table usually balances out the costs. Because they’ve moved around so much, many can quickly and efficiently fit themselves into new roles and workplaces.
- They come with contacts: It’s reasonable to believe that job-hoppers will have more business contacts than someone who has been with the same company for an extended period of time. Working for multiple companies can help employees build an impressive network of contacts within their industry. This can be advantageous to employers, as it offers them a whole new network of work-related resources.