The days of employees staying in a job for life seem to be well and truly over. A recent Monster survey shows that the average employee turnover rate is 15% per year. That means employers with 100 employees will have to fill 15 new vacancies every year just to keep their staffing at an even keel.
Worse still, this number increases dramatically in certain occupations, such as retail, catering, call centres, construction and media.
So what’s driving this change? Well, age seems to be a factor. The US Bureau of Labour statistics shows that although the average employee stays at a company for 4.2 years. The figures rise to 10.1 years in employees aged 55 – 64 but drops dramatically to 2.8 years in employees aged 25 – 34. What’s causing younger workers to chop and change more than older workers?
Firstly, changes in the economy have affected the way in which younger workers manage their careers. With mass redundancies becoming more common-place, especially since the 2008 recession, many employees have been forced to change jobs more frequently than they would like.
Wage stagnation has also played a part. Figures from Legal Technology Solutions show that job-hopping on average nets an employee an 8% to 10% pay rise. With the average yearly pay rise stuck at around 3%, employees looking or needing to increase their earnings have started to look at other opportunities as a way to increase their salaries.
Also, then end of certain benefits, such as final salary pensions, which have generally been a big incentive to older generations to stay with one employer, are much rarer than they used to be, meaning fewer employees have this incentive to stay put.
Technology has undoubtedly played a part as well. Job sites and aggregators such as Indeed and Reed, social media channels like LinkedIn and mobile apps have made it much easier for people to network and apply for jobs than 10 or 20 years ago.
With job seeking and networking being a less labour intensive task, why wouldn’t an employee see if the grass is really greener on the other side when all it takes is some scrolling on their phone during a lunch break?
Different methods of progression
The reasons for job-hopping have changed as well. Whilst the previously mentioned economic factors and increases in technology mean there isn’t the same stigma attached to role swapping as before, research shows that 57% of employees between the age of 18 and 34 saw job-hopping every few years as beneficial to their careers, compared to 22% of those aged 55 or older. Job-hopping is now widely seen as a way to further your career.
And of course, there are the age-old reasons for job-hopping that still exist; bad management, lack of progression and feeling unhappy with the working culture all score highly on LinkedIn’s recent survey and still seem to be as large a motivating factor as ever.
What can be done?
Unfortunately, it seems that despite the best efforts of employers, there is no grand solution to solving the issue of employee retention. Unless the global economy change, technology suddenly regresses by twenty years and all managers become amazingly competent and empathetic, the phenomenon of job hopping is here to stay.
What employers and recruiters can do to mitigate these effects, however, is twofold. Firstly, ensure that you offering your employees benefits that encourage them to stay around. In order to find out what would work best, engaging in some candidate and employee research would help identify what would work best.
Secondly, you can mitigate the damage done by losing employees by creating a solid candidate attraction strategy. By cultivating a talent pool, working on digital recruitment attraction strategies and getting some positive employer branding you can ensure that you won’t have a shortage of highly skilled and enthusiastic applicants when you do have a vacancy that you need to fill.
If you are looking at ways to improve your talent attraction strategies, why not contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help solve your recruitment problems.