How Recruiters Can Deal with Job Hopping Millennials

It appears that Millennials are starting to earn their reputation as job hoppers. According to the recent Human Resource Executive Online article "A Mass Exodus of Millennials?" individuals in that generation are leaving jobs more often and in greater numbers than their older counterparts.

Citing a survey by Millennial Branding and Beyond.com, the article states that 45% of companies are reporting higher turnover of workers ages 18 to 30.  In fact, 30% of the respondents stated that their organizations have lost more than 15% of their younger workforce.

So what's behind this "Mass Exodus?" While there are multiple reasons and theories, it appears the main reason is flexibility.  While all generations desire more flexible work hours and locations, the article states that "Millennials think that they need to have it."

This may make recruiters gun-shy to place Millennials. After all, your reputation could be on the line if you place candidates who don't stick around.  The article states that 87% of respondents to the survey said that losing and replacing a Millennial cost them between $15,000 and $25,000. The last thing a recruiter wants to do is place someone that results in a waste of money for their clients.

But there is a way to cater to Millennials' need for variety and flexibility AND keep your clients happy.  You can offer Millennials as contract candidates to help clients with specific limited-time projects or temporary surges in business.  This meets the candidates' needs for meaningful, flexible work while helping clients get help quickly with no permanent overhead or replacement costs.

A lot has been written about the drawbacks of having Millennials in the workplace. But by finding opportunities that work with their unique strengths and motivations, you may find these younger workers could end up being some of your best contract candidates.

Debbie Fledderjohann is the President of Top Echelon Contracting, Inc.

Views: 196

Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on August 21, 2013 at 10:26am

Doesn't a lot of this come down to having learned the virtue of patience.  This is a dark commentary on a generation of folks who've been treated "special" by grouping them and (gasp!) labeling them as a group.  Hence, the word "millennials".  (Which, I would argue, they despise.)

Let's observe some of the things they've been surrounded with...

1.  Retaining the status of "kid" by mom and dad keeping them on their health plan.

2.  The Kardashian's.  An arguably shallow and average looking clan our society somehow elevated to importance and relevance.  (Don't get me wrong...I'd love to launch a cologne called "STEVE!" and make thousands.)

3.  Obsessive handcuffing to devices for answers.  (Let me go a little risque here and comment that churches and religions are losing ranks in this demographic as well.  This is very sad.  Our own country founding was rooted in religions (many, many by the way) and some alternative thinking.  The key word in that sentence is "thinking".)

4.  Redefined responsibilities at home.  I'm (being a Gen X representative) only a generation away from people who kept their house together in their early teens.  Even because of my own circumstance, I was ironing and starching clothes at the age of 13.  Food and snacks had to be prepared and cooked.  God forbid you cave in for that frozen "Hungry Man" growing frost fuzz in the depths of the freezer.

5.  Single parent households and dual income families.  My 80-something mother-in-law still resides in a two-bedroom house that most Millennials would confuse as a shoebox.  The standards of prior generations were completely redefined by the Boomers who created the Millennials.  Instead of a chicken in every pot, they came up with three cars and an RV in every driveway and houses designed with attics larger than the actual living space.  This, I contend, was to create a false "kingdom" and now the Boomer generation is near-broke because of it.

6.  Cynicism.  How does elevate the standards of 1-5?  This I leave unanswered on purpose.  That way, I underscore the cynicism.  Not even the best Galaxy can answer that.

Our office approached all candidates with caution.  Our first question to every candidate addresses their motivation for looking for a new job.  I don't have stats to support this, but often our first question dealing with the candidate's self identified motivation results in Sesame Street maturity in the millennial's answer.

Comment by Debbie Fledderjohann on August 26, 2013 at 10:34am

Thanks for commenting!  Your office's approach is probably the best - approach ALL candidates with caution, regardless of their generation.  While the situations above may not apply to all Millennial candidates, it is likely that this group is influenced by those factors, and they are helpful to keep in mind when interacting with them.

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