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Will the millennials with a good work ethic please raise their hands?
Take a look around. There are plenty of us.
Millennials get so much hate these days, especially on LinkedIn.
Trending articles with sometimes seemingly contradictory headlines that provoke feelings ranging from envy to frustration, and general dislike interrupt our news feeds:
First of all, I’d like to apologize on behalf of all millennials that don’t want to be weighed down by too much debt or work for companies that don’t care about us. It sounds a bit crazy, doesn’t it; not wanting to spend much of our lives wages on interest while slaving away for a company that doesn’t recognize our efforts? How dare we.
These are signs of the times. The American dream is changing. In ways, we’re becoming more practical. In ways, we’re becoming lazier (in that case we should take responsibility). The problem employers have with attracting and keeping the interest of milleninals is a combined result of these things, and others.
We want our freedom (sometimes we’re even willing to make compromises for it, e.g. we’ll often work more hours if we can work remotely), but if you ask a millennial they’ll rarely tell you that freedom means being able to job hop whenever and making flaky, irreverent decisions while disregarding all but our own whims.
I’ll admit, as a recruiter it can be frustrating to pore through mid-career level profiles for an hour and not be able to find any one that stays with each employer for more than 1.5 years at a time.
When asked about their work histories, some inexperienced job seekers are too blunt and not altogether honest about what drove them away. (I’ve had people tell me they “just needed a break” or “to see what else was out there” having left jobs without finding a new one first. The truth is they often don’t want to disclose that their last manager was the boss from Hades and they couldn’t take it one more day).
People with more experience, often 30-something and above, are at times able to relay information about their job changes a bit more eloquently. And the job-changing trend in employees seems to touch all generations.
I see two major factors that affect career stability, and should make employers–
1) Be more flexible about tenure in previous roles when scouting out new talent and
2) Ask themselves the question Why don’t people stick around longer?
Industries or sectors that seem to suffer the worse turnover are:
Positions where turnover is typically a huge problem are:
-Sales and Agency Account Managers
-Service and Non-Skilled Labor
-Entry Level Administrative
In some cases, industries themselves are simply tough and it’s difficult for companies and employees to do anything about the highs and lows except for react. In other cases, the positions where turnover is too high should be relatively straightforward but factors like poor management (micromanaging and lack of ability to inspire or motivate) and bad company culture make its people quitting an inevitable threat.
Companies think that their employees should just be happy to have a job, but they need to realize that without offering their employees a combined sense of purpose AND providing a level of compensation, making employees feel like they’ll somehow be able to get ahead, they’ll be plagued by constant employee turnover.
Companies may also think that everyone is expendable and whoever doesn’t want the job can just be replaced.
This is also wrong.
Unemployment is at an all-time low and the good people are already taken.
Good people are also picky about where they’ll work.
It takes about a year for people to get up to speed when then joining a new company. Therefore, continuous turnover wastes a ton in training resources. The more tenured, experienced people can’t efficiently get their work done because they’re either constantly having to teach the new people or fill in the gaps.
As a result, organizations become reduced to babysitting firms and the things that need to get done for growth are not possible. The company will find everything declining – it’s staff, it’s revenue, and it’s reputation.
If you don’t believe what I’m saying, have a look around LinkedIn. Or talk to people you know. How many people do you know in their 40s or 50s that have to change jobs every few years because they’re promised things during interviews only to realize later that the job promised is something totally different- oftentimes just a dead end?
On the other hand, how many people do you know that are 30 that have only worked for 1 or 2 companies because they’ve loved their jobs?
More often than not, job-hopping is a result of companies being unreliable, not the employees.
To improve our workforce, we’re better served by looking at ways to change cultures and happiness levels within companies. It would do a lot more than rambling on with generalizations about everything that’s wrong with an entire generation.