Millennial Job Hoppers Are Costing You Money

I’ve heard the whole bit about Millennial career shifts. While my parents’ generation loyally clocked in decade after decade with one steady employer, my fellow Gen Y-ers and I grew up anticipating a diverse career with many different employers.

But it still caught me off guard the other day when my coworker shared what I’ll call his Two Year Theory. “You do your two years at a job, you learn as much as you can, you make connections, and then you move on,” he said. “And I mean two years tops.” As it turns out, this coworker isn’t alone in his thinking. In fact, moving quickly from one job to another is so common among Millennials these days that it has earned a name of its own: job hopping.

Generational Tenure Shifts

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2012 Employee Tenure Summary shows that the median number of years that workers have been with their current employer is 4.6, but that number fluctuates significantly depending on the employee’s age. For example, the average tenure for employees age 65 and over is 10.3 years, versus just 2.3 years for employees ages 20 to 34.

The Cost of Job Hoppers

According to a study released this month by Millennial Branding and, 30% of companies lost 15% or more of their Millennial employees in the past year. Unfortunately, that turnover isn’t cheap; 87% of companies said it cost $15,000 to $25,000 to replace a departed Millennial employee.

Why Millennials Quit

The same study found that most Millennials resign because they didn’t feel like that role was “a good¬†culture fit.” Another 30% said they left because their career goals weren’t in line with the employer, and the remaining 30% said they left because of a better offer at another company.

Employers Are Hopeful

With such high turnover rates, there seems to be a disconnect between what Millennials want and what companies are providing. But employers aren’t necessarily discouraged; 80% are confident that they can increase their Millennial retention rate in the near future.

Have you encountered any Millennial job hoppers at your organization? What are you and your colleagues doing to boost retention rates for this generation of employees?

Image used under Creative Commons from Hamad AL-Mohannna