Most millennials eyeing new job at another employer in coming years

27 September 2018 4 min. read

Millennials are not the most loyal employees: almost a half say that they plan to change jobs within two years, while only 28% want to stay with the same employer for more than five years. On the other hand, employers typically offer ‘flexible employment contracts’ – i.e. unstable, uncertain, and limited terms of employment – to most entry-level hires and new professionals. According to Punit Renjen – global CEO of Deloitte – companies need to do more to regain the trust of millennials. 

Job hopping seems to be a typical habit of millennials, according to the results of a study by Deloitte on the millennial labour market. Approximately 10,000 people born between January 1983 and December 1994 were surveyed from 36 countries for the study. These respondents are each in possession of a higher education diploma, have full-time jobs, and work mainly for large, private organisations. 

The report titled '2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey' – shows that millennials, when they are allowed to choose, are not particularly loyal to their employer. Slightly less than half of the respondents (43%) said they wanted to work for another organisation within two years, while only 28% indicated that they wanted to stay with the same employer for more than five years. In comparison with figures from previous surveys by the Big Four accounting and consulting firm, this situation has not changed significantly. 

In an uncertain environment, turnover will likely remain high

Mutual loyalty

The results seem to suggest that millennials are not very loyal to their employer. However, one should remember that the permanent employment contract has become the exception rather than the rule for more and more people in recent years. This development particularly affects starting professionals, who across the board face more uncertainty in their employment. 

Permanent contracts, however, can mean uncertainty and financial risks for employers, and if they aren’t pressured by unions, government regulation, or the costs of high turnover rates, then short-term contracts make sense from their perspective. As a result, professionals with a more limited track record – like millennials – usually have to work with flexible employment contracts, as they have little leverage in terms of work experience and seniority. In this respect, job hopping is the millennial response to the employer's flexible terms of employment. After all, if an employer thinks in particular of his own interests, why not employees as well?

What also plays a role is the vision of life that many millennials hold. For example, young employees attach great value to social impact and, moreover, they expect that attitude from their employers. They are also more inclined than older generations to opt for ‘freedom’ where possible. In line with this, they have – according to various other studies – a somewhat less intense work ethic than previous generations. Issues such as a balanced work-life, an inspiring professional environment, and authenticity of purpose are more important job factors for many millennials than purely financial motives. 

Employers are “out of step” with millennials’ priorities

The researchers at Deloitte say that this interaction between employers and millennials has also emerged in earlier studies conducted by the consulting firm: “The degree to which employers’ values align with the priorities of millennial workers is expressed in the consequent loyalty of millennials to their employers. Companies that are very reliant on profitability generally do not generate loyalty among millennials.” 

Punit Renjen, global CEO of Deloitte, emphasises that companies should do their best to win the confidence of millennials: “Many young employees feel that the company is focusing too much on its own agenda, without making a contribution to society. Organisations must therefore consider how they can have a positive influence on society. If they can win the trust and loyalty of millennials, this group is often more willing to make concessions.”