When a Millennial Quits After 2 Years, Did You Drive Her Out?

by Evil HR Lady on October 24, 2017

How long do you expect that new grad to stick around? 18 months? Two years? What about the employee who is on her third job since graduating from college in 2012. She’s definitely a short timer, right?

Jack Jampel, HR expert and a form

er co-worker and de facto boss of mine (I never reported directly to Jack, but he was definitely a leadership influence in my career), is a bit frustrated with the idea that we can’t count on employees to stay around any more. He wrote on LinkedIn

“PLANNING FOR SHORTER EMPLOYEE TENURES IS THE NEW NORMAL”. Over the past several weeks I have now heard this referenced three times as a potential upcoming new “business strategy” and it is quite concerning. Millennials have a reputation for moving from job to job, being constantly on the lookout for the next best thing. I bet if you survey Baby Boomers, many have moved from job to job just as frequently as Millennials in their first five years. One of the most critical factors impacting the frequency of job movement is where one is in their life (i.e. married or single, children, home ownership, etc.) and not simply because you were born during the “Millennial” generation. Lets hope we don’t see Talent Management modules popping up on “How to Manage and Get the Most out of Short Term Employees”. These will be the companies who are not investing enough time and money in developing the right strategy and implementing the right technology to ensure your employee satisfaction and engagement is both up-to-date and impactful. Oh, and by the way…. I also love working from home and I’m no Millenial 🙂

I love the idea of a Talent Management module called “How to Manage and Get the Most out of Short Term Employees” because it lays it straight out. What can you get out of these people without putting anything in?

To keep reading, click here: When a Millennial Quits, Did You Drive Her Out?

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

LCW October 24, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Why would you treat someone from the millennial generation any different than you do employees from other generations. It’s not just millennials who move around. We hired someone who stayed 7 days and they are not a millennial. I love working from home as well and I’m a millennial grandparent. 🙂

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the gold digger October 26, 2017 at 7:18 pm

No kidding. Why would anyone stay at just one company anymore? No pensions, no increase in vacation with longevity, minimal raises – you might as well jump for money any chance you can.

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Commentariat November 4, 2017 at 1:10 am

This. I’m a Gen-Xr and watched my parents get screwed over by their employers despite hard work and found myself in the same cycle.

Corporations will let workers go without compunction for the sake of quarterly profits or whims of management. If I’m a highly skilled, highly productive worker, why would I tolerate being treated badly or being paid poorly?

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

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Dorothy October 24, 2017 at 7:00 pm

I spent 33 years with the same Fortune 20 company. Even within the company there were standards about how long you had to stay in an assignment before you could transfer within the company.

But here’s the thing: When I joined the company in 1979 our “arrangement” was that I could stay with the company as lfor big as I wanted to stay with the company. Those days are long past. Through a series of mergers and technology changes, my company laid off many workers, and, full disclosure, I closed a couple offices and “downsized” numerous people myself.

So I find your friend’s implication that employees should be loyal to their employer disingenuous. Companies will ax employees at the drop of a hat. Why should the employee not take up a better opportunity at the drop of a hat?

A young friend works for a family-run company running their e-commerce operation. He’s increased their e-commerce revenue by about 300% in the two years since he’s been there. But it’s clear that, should a son or a niece want a job, my friend will be sitting in the middle of Madison Avenue at, yes, the drop of a hat. My advice to him has been, Press for as much money as he reasonably can, since money is ALL he’ll ever get from these jokers, keep his resume updated, and keep his eye open for his next opportunity.

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Goober October 24, 2017 at 8:26 pm

I’m reminded of the old saw “People don’t quite bad jobs, they quite bad managers.”

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Kathy October 24, 2017 at 8:49 pm

My thoughts as well. As a boomer I once counted on long term employment and was a loyal employee of one company for decades. But then times changed, layoffs became common, and suddenly half my coworkers were contractors because they could be canned on a moment’s notice. Companies can’t expect loyalty if they won’t extend loyalty. The day of long tenures is over.

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Elizabeth West October 24, 2017 at 11:00 pm

You beat me to it. Where I live, people grow up here and stay for most of their lives. But most of the jobs are entry level and I keep seeing the same ones posted over and over again. Why? Well, they don’t pay very much, for one thing. Some offer room to move up, but the departments and the slots within them are limited. There are a couple of companies where people stay for years and years–like my most recent employer, a technology company. The other is healthcare. But the rest don’t offer much. So I guess the folks who’ve grown past the junior jobs are leaving.

That’s what I’m trying to do. Ironically, however, I can’t find a job that pays enough for me to save up to do it. As Admiral Ackbar said in Return of the Jedi, it’s a trap! 😛

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Goober October 25, 2017 at 1:28 am

I’ve been on the same job for 25 years, and do not expect to retire from anywhere else. There’s never such a thing as a universal truth when it comes to employment.

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Parker Davis October 24, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Do you actually read your stuff before your push the send button? Are you clients the same way? You quote a guy who states that baby boomers are changing jobs frequently too, that everyone is. And then, then, you state we have to worry about millennials leaving jobs and what to do about it.
Maybe take a few minutes to re-read your stuff before you post it?

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Goober October 24, 2017 at 8:25 pm

Somebody needs a hug.

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Maria Rose October 25, 2017 at 12:02 am

It is not a millennial thing about job switching anymore especially when businesses continue to view labor costs as the primary method to make profit.
Perhaps small businesses with a low staff number may offer a more personal interaction that may effect longer retention but the idea of having the same job for your work life is no longer a valid viewpoint unless there’s opportunity to grow skills and position.

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Chris Hogg October 25, 2017 at 1:28 am

A book that addresses this issue, that is helpful in framing the discussion and goes well beyond one’s generation, is Down and Out in the New Economy: How People Find (or Don’t Find) Work Today (2017) by Ilana Gershon.

While it is arguable whether or not the premise of the book applies to all of the US economy and job market, it certainly seems to apply to a large portion.

And the premise? Workers used to offer their talents much as a landowner, renting out those talents on a monthly, yearly, and decades-long basis to employers, who rented those talents on a long-term basis; but now, workers are marketing themselves as, and are seen as, independent businesses who provide specific solutions to specific problems – when the problem is solved, there is no longer a need for the employee-as-a-business, and the employee either leaves or is let go.

Perhaps it’s like buying food. One can continue to visit the farm to obtain all manner of food products (the “old” method) or one can visit the grocery store to buy a pound of hamburger (the “new” method).

I would strongly urge anyone, employer or employee, who cares about this topic and who is concerned with the apparent seismic shifts occurring in the labor market to read Down and Out.

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Tim C. October 25, 2017 at 3:56 pm

Employer loyalty is seldom rewarded anymore. I was once working for a company that changed its benefits structure such that the next advancement was 11 years from hire. The increase was not worth sticking around so many employees left. I am not sure if Suzanne’s message here is “Hey employers, don’t treat employees like this and maybe they will stay.” or if it’s “Shame on you shallow and fickle employees for bailing on the next best thing to come along. You need to improve your loyalties.” I am leaning towards the first assumption. Commenters are right to be jaded as we have seen far too often where an employer will put someone out with no notice just to improve the bottom line.

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Arrow October 25, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Companies who focus on hiring only new grads have departments full of new grads. Without long term employees as leaders and anchors, there is only basic learning going on. These are jobs that grads take to get some work experience and springboard into their long term jobs. In my area, I can name 5 of these companies- they want cheap employees and won’t invest in training or development.

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Beth October 27, 2017 at 3:59 pm

I agree with both points – that millennials aren’t the only generation to job-hop and that we still need to adjust our recruitment to target this. There are always going to be generational differences. It’s more about how you handle them and where your target candidates lie. For instance, sourcing the new global generation that uses tech to work remotely is going to need a different strategy than hiring in-office workers (source: http://recruit.ee/bl-sourcing-candidates-eb-bh). Generational differences are inevitable and vary. However, they also change for generations that grow up! Age differences, gender differences, all of these things need to be accounted for and controlled for, but that’s a whole ‘nother story, haha. Thanks for sharing!

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