According to Statistics Canada, one in three of us (the Millennials – born between 1980 and 1995) live with our parents. The rest of us mostly live in a dwelling co-financed or down-paid by our parents. Cost of detached homes in Metro Vancouver was at an average of $74,000 back in October 1978. This month, it’s a whooping $1.5 Million. That’s about 20 times what our moms and dads had to pay for their first home. We are more in-debt to student loans, mortgages and credit card bills than previous generations were at this same life stage. How does this influence our behaviours and expectations in the workplace? We job hop, because we can. Because we’re exposed to opportunities all the time.
Today’s job market is fluid, ever-changing and more accessible than ever. Job postings have become paid advertisements on every platform of social media as top employers brand and re-brand with new perks like flex hours, telecommuting, and flex dollars for wellness or extra vacation time. Meanwhile, the best of us are regularly courted and tempted by recruiters at the height of their strategic sales game, because landing us provides them the best pay-out.
We are Job Hoppers (but that’s a good thing!)
Compared to job static Millennials, job hopping Millennials are more likely to:
- Have strong social and team building skills to create new relationships quickly
- Bring priceless cross-enterprise knowledge from different organizations and industries
- Leverage flexible management techniques from role modeling different managers
- Maintain a wider professional network and knowledge community reach
- Excel within a dynamic environment as an agile change adopter
- Solve problems through innovation based on exposure to different workplaces
- Find areas of improvement and functional gaps in operations and process structures
- Develop careers on a faster track by moving upwards from position to position
- Provide different perspectives during brainstorming and team huddles
- Understand their value in teams and contribute directly for quick wins
There are 3 main reasons why so many Millennials are chronic job hoppers who don’t stay at a company for more than 2-3 years:
Reason One: We are getting married and starting families later, giving us more financial and social commitment freedom through our 20s and 30s, so we can pivot until we find the right workplace where we feel a sense of belonging and has the financial incentives for us.
Reason Two: Cost of living is moving significantly faster than the 1~2% bump that companies adjust for internally year-on-year. Whether the hops are vertical or horizontal, these job changes tend to result in landing jobs with higher wages through negotiating based on a current compensation package.
Reason Three: Job hopping Millennials aim to scope and scout out whether there is growth longevity in a team or company. Often times, companies can be “dead-ends” if we can’t envision moving upwards within the next 3-5 years. Companies that provide personalized career plans retain the best of us.
Gallup’s US study revealed that Millennial turnover costs the US economy $30.5 Billion annually. The study showed that about 60% of Millennials are open to new job opportunities and over 20% report changing jobs within the past year. Only half of these Millennial employees plan to be with their company a year from now. Half say they would consider taking a job with a different company for a raise of 20% or less.
Here’s the kicker though, 96% of us believe that the primary marker of adulthood is having a steady job (more than owning a home, getting married or having children – unlike our predecessors). So, that’s the reality. After all the changes, we aspire to staying with the “right” employer. An employer that values our priorities (according to Gallup):
- Work-life balance
- Financial security
- Wealth generation
- Flexibility on the job
Pride & Prejudice
Most hiring managers today are Baby Boomers (born 1940s to the early 1960s) and Gen X (born 1960s to the early 1980s). These generations take great pride in loyalty and service length. Some of them are the proud recipients of recognition awards for work anniversaries in the double digits. Commitment is a value that they try to seek out in candidates during the screening process via resumes, but this can create a systematic discrimination against Millennials who change jobs more often.
It’s important to remember that a resume doesn’t actually define a candidate’s potential to commit. Before you toss a great resume into the “rejection” bin, get in touch with the candidate and have a conversation. Learn about them without prejudice. Don’t pass on qualified Millennial candidates because of job hopping. If the Millennial candidate has great reviews, it means they have the potential to bring unique value. Listen to professional referrals and references to best understand if the candidate could be the “right” fit, because chances are they are also looking for the “right” fit with an employer.
As part of our Millennial Management Training Program, we also offer Recruitment Planning, where we coach your teams on how to screen and interview Millennials. We create interview questions that are derived from your company’s vision and core values. We will even partner with you to understand if there are pinch points in your recruitment process and strategy, so you can avoid systematic discrimination. To attract the right talent, we will improve your Employer Branding on Social Media platforms and optimize your candidate experience.