After only six months, your newest hire has already left the company for their next job, and this isn’t the first person to go. Employees who practice job hopping are becoming a concern for companies who worry about high turnover. As of July 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 3.5% unemployment rate, and this gives job seekers more career options. This also means many employees won’t hesitate to leave, as proven by The Great Resignation of 2021.
The reality is the best talent might not wait a year, or even a month, if another company has a better offer. Becoming an employer of choice requires implementing various strategies to avoid job hopping and ensure retention.
Historically, it wasn’t unusual for employees to work for one company during their entire career and retire with a pension. Loyalty and tenure were seen as good traits for finding reliable and dedicated workers. Those who did job hopping – working for several companies in a short time frame – were either seen as uncommitted or unemployable.
Millennials, the generation with the largest number of workers, reached approximately 35% of the labor force in 2016, according to Pew Research. The influence of this generation has changed the stigma of job hopping and it’s no longer considered one-size-fits-all. Now, if workers stay in the same job for decades, they might be seen as lacking ambition. Or if they job hop in an industry such as high tech, that could be considered normal if they have sought after skills. However, according to Monster, staying in a job for at least two years is considered the ideal minimum. Often, less than a year can be a red flag for employers because hiring and training is expensive. This is especially true if the applicant has several jobs in a row that are all under one year.
Employees are also insisting on shared loyalty and expect employers to be equally committed to their success. No longer is a one-sided allegiance seen as the typical way of doing business, compared to previous generations who generally embraced a top-down corporate structure.
With the effects of the pandemic, overall higher costs, and an active job market, many applicants see this as the right time to make a career move. Since skilled labor is in high demand, it’s easier to find the best opportunities. Specifically, workers are often seeking:
Instead of only finding out why someone is leaving with a standard exit interview, now companies are conducting stay interviews. This is when the employer has ongoing discussions with their employees to gauge how they’re feeling about their job, and what improvements can be made. According to Indeed the three questions a stay interview should include are:
The purpose of a stay interview is to establish an open conversation of how the employee feels about their job and any improvements they would like to see made. Stay interviews are best when held in a neutral location and aren’t part of a regular performance review. Also, a follow-up email sent to the employee is recommended to show that their concerns are taken seriously.
Besides stay interviews, encouraging recognition is another way to keep your employees engaged with both the team and the company. In fact, according to a daVinci survey, almost 80% of millennials said they would feel more loyalty to their company if they were eligible for recognition awards. Additionally, in the same survey, 60% of the respondents said they would prefer a $750 monetary reward versus an all-inclusive vacation in recognition of their work.
Regardless of the reason an employee is considering leaving, it doesn’t mean they’ll always leave permanently. According to Linkedin, 4.5% of workers who are considered boomerang employees, came back to their previous employer. High-performing employees who returned usually had the best onboarding experience, making the transition easier for everyone.