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Study Shows Millennials Prone to Job-Hopping

Employers should note, 40 percent of the youngest generation expects a promotion every one to two years, and a third admit they’re targeting raises and promotions this year.

Addison Group, a leading provider of professional staffing services, released today the results of a survey that examines why people from different generations are leaving their employers and the preferences they have for rewards, like raises and bonuses. The survey was conducted by Kelton, a leading global insights firm.

With fewer Baby Boomers retiring after years of economic uncertainty and more Millennials beginning their careers, today’s workforce is divided almost evenly between Millennials, Generation X, and Boomers. The diverse makeup of employees creates a challenge for employers in establishing a workplace that appeals to cross-generational talent. As a provider of staffing services, Addison Group is familiar with today’s diverse workforce and the challenges employers face. The survey was commissioned to gain better insight into why employees leave their current jobs, and what employers can do to better retain talent across generations.

Why Employees Leave

Many workers, especially Millennials, are often angling for their next raise, and almost half (49%) don’t mind job hopping to boost their salaries. While only 16 percent of all workers are actively looking for new jobs, 42 percent are keeping their resumes up to date. Interestingly, almost a third of all workers (32%) aren’t actively looking for another position, yet they often browse for other opportunities and would be willing to apply to and interview for a different role.

One reason behind this constant, ambient job-searching state of the workforce is the gap in today’s market between what employees want in an ideal job and their satisfaction in their current position. In fact, less than one in four workers (24%) actually claim their present role is their ideal job. While 44 percent of workers agree their ideal company would make them feel like they have control over their own growth or career progression, only 19 percent are satisfied with their path for growth or advancement at work.

Bonuses: A Right or a Reward?

The Millennial generation is widely viewed as having a “sense of entitlement,” a brand they collectively can’t shake. Employers should note, 40 percent of the youngest generation expects a promotion every one to two years, and a third admit they’re targeting raises and promotions this year. This upwardly-mobile generation also views having their own office as a right, rather than a reward, more so than older generations with Millennials at 38 percent, compared to 29 percent of Boomers and Gen Xers.

While it’s true that Millennials are the age group most likely to believe that, more than once a year, they should earn bonuses (31% vs. 25% of Gen Xers and Boomers) and raises (24% vs. 15% of Gen Xers and Boomers), nearly half of Gen Xers and Millennials (47%) believe that a raise is a right.

Encouraging Millennials to Stick Around

So what should employers do to retain the Millennial generation? Cater to their needs while bridging the gap between their often high expectations and the reality of what is expected of them. For example, 43 percent of Millennials describes their ideal company as one that provides internal training opportunities. Yet, less than a third of Millennials (32%) note they’re most satisfied with training and learning opportunities available at work. Here, employers can step in to ensure workplace opportunities match employee desires.

In addition to creating learning opportunities for Millennials, keep in mind this generation is advancement-driven – two in five Millennials (41%) believe people should have five or more different jobs throughout their careers. Millennials want to move up, or out, of a company. By providing progression opportunities for this generation, employers can better retain top Millennial talent within an organization.

“Today’s employment market is geared toward the candidate,” said Addison Group CEO Thomas Moran. “As the economy continues to improve, attracting and retaining talent has been increasingly challenging for employers across all industries – highly specialized and heavily regulated industries like IT, financial services and healthcare face even more complex hiring challenges. As a result, it’s important that employers understand what employees prioritize when considering employment options, and what can be done to retain top talent.”

The study, commissioned by Addison Group and executed by leading global insights firm Kelton, surveyed 1,006 working Americans born between 1946 and 1995. For more information, visit