One of the hardest challenges for HR professionals is talent retention. Unfortunately, Millennials deem job hopping as the new habit.
According to the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers, ninety-one percent of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) expect to stay in a job for less than three years. The finding means the current generation would have 15-20 jobs over the course of their working lives.
The Bright Side of Job Hopping
For newly minted college graduates, job-hopping can speed career advancement. According to a paper out of the St. Olaf’s Sociology Department entitled “Hiring, Promotion, and Progress: Millennials’ Expectations in the Workplace,” changing jobs and getting a promotion in the process allows Gen Y employees to avoid the “dues paying” that can trap workers in a painfully slow ascent up the corporate ladder.
Job hopping can also lead to greater job fulfillment, which is more important to Gen Y workers than it was to any previous generation. Job-hopping helps workers reach both of these goals, because it means trying out a variety of roles and workplaces while learning new skills along the way. Strategic hopping been all but necessary for as long as they can remember. Workers today know they could be laid off at any time – after all, they saw it happen to their parents – so they plan defensively and essentially consider themselves “free agents.
See: Should you hire that Job-Hopper?
What HR Could Do
What does a Chief Human Resource Officer do in the face of the perceived advantages of job-hopping amidst the potential cost to the organisation? Here are three tips:
- Offer Workplace Flexibility
According to research by Future Workplace, flexible hours and generous telework policies are even more important to younger workers than salary. To keep your employees around for more than a year, give them the chance to adjust their schedules when the situation calls for it.
Understand the future of work and the demands prospective employees place on employers today. In the Future Workplace study “Multiple Generations @ Work,” workplace flexibility trumped both compensation and career progression in importance. Yet managers interviewed did not rate this as one of the “perceived” top five levers of attractiveness. So ask yourself, do your managers understand the importance of workplace flexibility to engage new hires? Are your employees leaving for reasons other than job promotions?
- Listen To Your Employees
More than previous generations, Gen Y workers crave the chance to contribute creatively to the company and have their ideas heard, according to survey results from Future Workplace. This helps them grow professionally in each position, which will entice them to stick around longer, since personal development is a main reason workers job hop in the first place.
- Communicate The Company’s Mission & Values
Employees want to work at a company whose values match their own. The same Net Impact survey mentioned above found that 58 percent of respondents said they would take a 15% pay cut in order to work for an organisation “with values like my own.”
In order to maximise the number of your employees who achieve that goal, and therefore stick around for the long haul, make sure to communicate your company’s values during the recruiting process. If applicants know what they are signing up for when they pursue positions at your company, the ones who would leave due to value differences will weed themselves out.
A Marker of Ambition
But above all else, keep an open mind about job-hopping applicants. Many forward-looking hiring managers have done so, and have embraced a positive outlook on job-hopping. Before dismissing a scattershot resume, consider the context: it may demonstrate ambition, motivation and the desire to learn new skills more than it shows flakiness. More employers are realising that this is the new normal, and coming around to appreciating its advantages.
See also: 5 Tell-Tale Signs of a Great Employee Heading Out the Door
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