Job for life is officially over for young people and HR staff

The job for life is officially over, as more than a quarter of young workers (aged 16-34) – and a quarter of HR staff – say they want to change jobs between eight and twelve times during their working lives, according to recruiter Hyphen.

The poll of 1,000 employees shows by contrast, older age groups have more loyalty to their employers. A maximum of four jobs was ranked preferable by over a third of 45-54 year olds (39%) and the 55+ age group (34.4%).

HR, sales and marketing professionals will have the most diverse CVs when they retire, with approximately a quarter (25% and 24.4% respectively) looking to change jobs between eight and ten times.

Despite this, however, less than one in ten (8.6%) workers nationally expect to stay in one job for their whole careers.

Workers in the legal profession are the most settled, with over a fifth (20.8%) expecting to remain in one job throughout their working lives.

Zain Wadee, MD at Hyphen said: “Persistent economic volatility, combined with the end of final salary pensions, increased mobility of workforce and higher expectations of employers, means a new generation of footloose workers is entering the job market. Our research shows that it is time for employers to acknowledge the job for life is dead and turn their focus to engaging and retaining their employees.

“In particular, we would advise employers to think about the quality of management and the learning and development opportunities they offer. Whilst the workers we polled rated improved salary as the top reason to remain in a job, factors contributing to the working environment also ranked highly as reasons to stay, including strong line management, relationship with colleagues and opportunities for career development.

“Culture in particular was revealed as important to younger workers with over half of 16-24 year olds (54.3%) and 25-34 year olds (52.4%) claiming cultural fit to be very important in their decision to stay in a job. These are all elements of the working environment employers can actively work to improve.

“We would strongly recommend employers to do this as, if they do not, not only can high staff turnover be damaging to their reputation, it can also lead to a perpetual lengthy and expensive recruitment process.”

HR Magazine


About elaineonyc

HR generalist who is passionate about the benefits of good HR practice. Experienced in delivering strategic and operational HR initiatives to clients in both public and private sectors. Specialises in working with SMEs.
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