Millennials Don't Actually Want to Job Hop

May 22 2016

Over the past couple of years, I keep reading articles that claim millennials have low company loyalty and that job hopping is quite normal.

For instance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median employee tenure for workers aged 25-34 in 2014 was three years. Two years earlier, the median tenure was 3.2 years.

While I do agree, to some extent, that millennials today switch jobs at a faster rate than their predecessors, I disagree with the notion that they have low company loyalty or like switching jobs constantly. (I mean, who really wants to pack and deal with moving companies every year?)

In conversations with peers and through my own research, I believe that most millennials actually want job security and stability.

So, why do millennials tend to switch jobs at a faster rate?

Millennials want to work for a company where they truly ‘fit,’ and many millennials have trouble finding that perfect company until the third or fourth time and they don’t like to settle. By fit, I mean an employee’s values should match the values and the mission of the company they are working for.

Many millennials, for instance, deeply value learning and development from their employers and, at their first company, those millennials might not feel they are getting the types of developmental opportunities they need and seek a different opportunity.

Shouldn’t it be easy for millennials to find a company that matches their values?

There are a multitude of reasons why this occurs. Out of college, many millennials might not know exactly what type of company best suits their personality and it takes some time and professional experience to figure out. In addition, given the fluctuations of the economy sometimes you just have to take any job you can get.

How can employers find candidates that truly fit their values?

- Ask candidates where they see themselves in the future: Ask potential candidates where they see themselves in five or ten years. Based on the candidate’s response, assess if the company can help the candidate get to that place or not (Note: If the candidate gives a generic response, press for a more honest answer).

- Be honest about the company’s culture: During interviews, be honest about the company’s culture. Some companies have work-life balance, others don’t. Some companies are more collegiate, other’s aren’t. By communicating what the company is and is not, a candidate will have a better sense of the company and whether they will be a good fit or not.

- Be honest about the type of candidate you are trying to hire: During the interviews, communicate what type of candidate would be a great fit for the job at hand and the company. Furthermore, after you explain that to the candidate, ask them how they feel about that. By communicating the type of person you want to hire to the candidate, they (and you) will be able to assess whether or not the job would be a good fit for them.

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