The Millennials have arrived. The young, enthusiastic job candidates who experienced the brunt of the recession are everywhere in the workforce. From entry-level to management positions, Millennials are coming in and changing the work environment in a multitude of ways. One of the concerns about Millennials is their commitment to a company – or perceived lack thereof.
One of the associations most often made with Millennials is that they’re “flighty” when it comes to their positions at a company. Millennials are defined as the “job hoppers” or “job jumpers” – they change careers and they change them often.
Does Generation Y change jobs often? In a way, yes. Do they any more frequently than previous generations?
First, let’s look at the idea that Millennials are continuous job hoppers, going from one position to another every few years, sometimes changing careers entirely. This can be argued as fact. In a 2012 article, Forbes noted that a staggering 91% of Millennials don’t anticipate staying at a job for more than three years. Two years later CareerBuilder reaffirmed this statistic by noting that by 35 years old, one in four workers have had five or more jobs. Assuming that these workers enter the workforce at 22, that’s at least one job every 2.4 years. Furthermore, employers have begun to expect this, with 45% of surveyed employers saying they expect a younger candidate to stay at the job for two years or less.
So, Millennials do change jobs frequently. But is it any more frequent than their older, more seasoned counterparts? Not necessarily. In the 2012 Forbes study it was noted that the average worker stays at his or her job for 4.4 years – higher than 2-3 to be certain, but not much more so. According to CareerBuilder, 20% of workers 55 and older have had more than 10 jobs. The stigma in changing jobs, therefore, doesn’t seem to originate from the act itself, but the belief of how long an employee should remain at a job for. CareerBuilder notes that 41% of employers believe that job bouncing isn’t as acceptable when an employee reaches their mid-30s, and 28% find job hopping not acceptable after 40. The issue, therefore, isn’t that Millennials change jobs often, it’s that Millennials do not seem bothered by changing jobs compared to older generations.
But is that acceptable? Is hiring a candidate who seems like a job hopper a good idea, or is it a risk waiting to happen? It can certainly be a risk to invest in an employee that has shown a pattern of leaving a job after a few years, but there are a great deal of benefits that are overlooked if employers are too focused on a candidate’s job hopping history. Candidates can offer more perspective, insights from competitors, and can be easier to train when they’ve been to multiple companies – and that’s just a few of the benefits. Forbes has noted other benefits such as Millennial candidates helping build a positive, interesting and engaging work environment, since that’s what they value. There are countless benefits to consider when you examine Millennial candidates with a history of changing jobs, so be sure to leverage your hiring process to know if you’re getting the benefits of hiring a Millennial, or investing in a candidate that will leave before they contribute to your company.
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Topics: Talent Selection Ideas