Gen Y job hops for experience, not money, which means learning leaders have the power to keep them happy and employed.
by Ladan Nikravan
September 28, 2015
Don’t think that a boost in pay is going to keep Gen Y employees. Although a 2013 survey by Millennial Branding found that 30 percent of companies lose 15 percent or more of their millennial workers within a year, chances are it’s not because the pay is greener on the other side.
According to a July 2015 study by crowdsourced talent acquisition platform RecruitiFi, millennials acknowledge that job hopping has the potential to look badly on their résumés, but 86 percent say that would not prevent them from pursuing their professional or personal passions.
The organization’s CEO and founder, Brin McCagg, talked with Chief Learning Officerabout what millennial job paths mean for learning leaders.
Even though Gen Y recognizes the risks of job hopping, they’re still open to doing it. Why?
Millennials are adapting to a new corporate climate in America. The world they live in today vs. 50 years ago is much more competitive and transparent. Now labor moves more freely and companies are a lot less loyal to their employees. Millennials must be able to navigate the job market with more agility and adapt to our evolving economy.
While 86 percent of millennials would consider job hopping despite possible negative implications, only 25 percent would leave their current position to join a competing company. The majority of millennials surveyed are really only changing jobs because they want exposure to a different geography or because they are trying to find a better career match. Job-hopping is worth the risk to them because in doing so, they hope to land at a job that better suits their wants and needs.
When they leave, is it for a specific reason?
Millennials are looking for stronger personal development opportunities and the ability to make a contribution in whatever they are doing. Fulfillment in these areas plays a huge role in whether millennials leave their jobs.
Millennials are not leaving for more money. Experience is playing a much bigger role, whether that means the opportunity to gain life experience or grow their skill sets. Millennials are willing to relocate or choose a completely new career path if it means the possibility of higher satisfaction, personally and professionally.
Your study found most millennials feel their employers are not currently striving to build better programs for their generation (57 percent). What kind of programs are they referring to? How does learning and development fit into this?
Just as millennials are adapting to new career norms, companies must adapt with them. This generation is working longer hours and giving up more of their personal freedom to answer emails at all times of the day and night. Despite job hopping that’s occurring across the country, we’ve noticed the commitment by millennials is typically very high. There’s also a greater expectation from millennials that their employers embody that same sense of commitment.
Employers should actively be reinforcing this commitment through internships, externships, apprenticeships, career advancement options and other programs. These programs will help companies maintain a competitive edge in the job market. Perhaps more importantly, they will help to retain and foster the skills of their existing talent.
Does this seem entitled of millennials? Did previous generations expect programs created for them?
I don’t think millennials are entitled at all. Millennials are simply adapting to the corporate world’s shift to a more fluid, consultative and contingent workforce over the last decade. Employees used to have entire careers to grow, learn and develop within a company. With this no longer being the case, millennials are looking for companies to create new training programs to accelerate that development and allow them to stay marketable.
This is less about entitlement; it is a form of survival. If we learn to handle this economic shift properly, it can become a positive on both sides. Ultimately, we can produce a well-rounded, skilled workforce, while maintaining the labor flexibility that corporate America wants.