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Why Companies Are Having Gen Y Retention Problems

Gen Y is typically identified as being a fickle and wavering group of individuals. Here today, gone tomorrow. On to the next job. Attributed to becoming bored, seeking enjoyment or following the road, Millennials are known for moving on. In fact, many of our studies show that millennials leave their corporations at the two year mark. In comparison, Gen X stays about five years and Baby Boomers stay about seven years at a company before leaving.

What is the cause of all of this? What are some of the reasons that Gen Y has seemingly lost their loyalty to long-term job commitment? Through experience and observation, these seem to suggest some causes:

  • An unstable economy has caused Gen Y to devalue the tenure of a position. Even if you stayed with the same company for 30 years, what’s the payoff for remaining when benefits, pensions and investments are not guaranteed?
  • The company gets what it gives. As companies become less loyal to their employees, employees become less loyal to the companies. Gen Y especially sees disloyalty as a major red flag and a cue to exit.
  • Millennials crave exploring the next opportunity to discover, create and expand. Sometimes called dreamers; this generation has an entrepreneurial nature that searches for freedom, limitlessness and fulfillment.
  • Suppressive, rigid, traditional corporate cultures don’t match the mindset of this generation. Gen Y workers are less tolerant of work environments that don’t reflect personal values, opinions and/or feelings toward change.
  • Much of this generation is still in search of the purpose of life. Either because they don’t know what they want to do when they grow up or they aren’t sure how to get there. Sometimes they’re just passing through in search of where they fit.
  • Gen Y is an entitled group. This group was raised to expect, receive and question everything. This sense of privilege has caused some in this group to lack patience in developing professionally, an unconcern with paying their dues and a different perception of how “work” should work.

What’s your opinion? Have you seen this happening in your organization? In what ways does your company counteracts these reasons for Gen Y’s lack of loyalty?

- This post written by Carrie Bowe, an Intern at Millennial Branding

The Multi-Generational Job Search Study 2012

Millennial Branding and Beyond.com Release Study on the Multi-Generational Job Search

Boomers on social media, Gen X favor job security and Gen Y are optimists

Boston, MA and King of Prussia, PA  – September 24, 2012 – Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm and Beyond.com, The Career Network focused on helping people grow and succeed professionally, today announced the first comprehensive study on how different generations job search called “The Multi-Generational Job Search.” 5,268 job seekers were surveyed total, including 742 Gen Y (18-29 year olds), 1,676 Gen X (30-47) and 2,850 Baby Boomers (48-67).

The study highlights that all generations are spending almost all of their time job searching online instead of offline, spending between 5 and 20 hours per week searching and still favor job boards as their top resource. Gen Y is more optimistic about finding a job, values workplace flexibility and intends to go back to school instead of continuing their search over older generations. Gen X values job security and has suffered more stress and frustration due to unemployment relative to others. More Boomers use social networks in their job search over Gen X and Gen Y and they turn to LinkedIn first, while the other generations turn to Google/Google+.

Additional highlights from the report include:

1. Online job searches are conducted the most by Baby Boomers, followed by Gen X and Gen Y, and few are doing offline job searching. 96% of Baby Boomers are conducting a job search online (compared to 95% of Gen X and 92% of Gen Y) and only 4% are doing it offline. Only 5% of Gen X and 4% of Baby Boomers spend time job searching offline.

2. Between 5 and 20 hours per week is the average time spent by all generations on job searching. 60% of Gen Y, followed by 54% of Baby Boomers and 52% of Gen X spend between 5 and 20 hours per week searching for a job. 19% of Boomers spend an average of between 20 and 30 hours per week.

3. Job boards are the top resources for job seekers of all generations, and are most popular with boomers. 87% of Baby Boomers choose job boards as the resource they turn to first in a job search, followed by 82% of Gen X and 77% of Gen Y. The second most popular resource are company websites (about 57% for all generations) and the third most popular are classified ads (32% of Gen Y, 41% of Gen X and 43% of Boomers).Baby Boomers use social networks as part of their job search (29%) over Gen X (27%) and Gen Y (23%).

4. Google (and Google+) is the social network both Gen Y and Gen X turn to first for job searching, while LinkedIn is the top choice for Baby Boomers. 35% of Gen Y followed by 31% of Gen X and 31% of Boomers turn to Google (and Google+ first) when job searching. More Gen Y’s (21%) choose Facebook as their first choice when job searching than Gen X (15%) and Boomers (10%). LinkedIn is the top choice of Boomers (Boomers (29%) use social networking sites for their job search over Gen X (27%) and Gen Y (23%). Twitter is the least popular job search tool for all generations (8% of Gen Y, 6% of Gen X and 4% of Boomers).

5. Fewer than 15% of all generations have their own professional website but more than a third manage their online reputations.13% of Gen Y followed by 13% of Gen X and 14% of Boomers have their own professional website or an online portfolio. 47% of Gen Y, followed by 38.8% of Gen X and 35% of Boomers take the time to check their online reputation and clean it up if necessary.

6. Stress and frustration is the top affect of unemployment for all generations, especially Gen X. 72% of Gen X, followed by 69% of Baby Boomers and 61% of Gen Y have suffered in this way. After stress, unemployment has caused respondents to be depressed (44% of Gen X, 43% of Baby Boomers and 38% of Gen Y).

7. The length of a job search is greatest for Baby Boomers, followed by Gen X and then Gen Y. 25% of Boomers have a job search of over a year, followed by 17% of Gen X and 10% of Gen Y. 33% of Gen Y’s are able to find employment in less than one month, which faster than Gen X (29%) and Boomers (24%). Since Gen Y has the shortest job search, they are the most optimistic about finding work relative to other generations. 88% of Gen Y is optimistic about finding a job, followed by 81% of Gen X and 73% of Boomers.

8. Age discrimination is most common among Baby Boomers as opposed to other generations. 65% of Boomers feel like they suffer from age discrimination, followed by only 22% of Gen X and 21% of Gen Y.

9. The qualities that each generation value most in a potential employer is different. For Gen Y, 59% said location, while 57% said both meaningful work and job security. For Gen X, 65% said job security, while 62% said employee benefits like healthcare and 55% said location. For Boomers, 60% said meaningful work, while 57% said location and 55% said both employee benefits and job security. A higher salary is more valued by Gen Y (41%) than Gen X (37%) and Boomers (27%). Workplace flexibility is more valued by Gen Y (30%) than Gen X (25%) and Boomers (22%).

10. Job preparation between generations is different. The majority of Boomers prepare for interviews by reviewing the company’s website (85%), followed by Gen X (78%) and then Gen Y (71%). Boomers are also more inclined to search for news about or related to the company they are interviewing for (64%) over Gen X (58%) and Gen Y (53%). Gen Y spends time practicing interview questions before an interview (68%) over Gen X (60%) and Boomers (52%).  They are more likely to follow and interact with the company’s social media profiles (25%) over Gen X (19%) and Boomers (16%). They also are more inclined to customize their resume and cover letters as they apply for jobs (59%) over Boomers (57%) and Gen X (54%).

11. Alternatives to getting a job between generations is different. Almost half (48%) of Gen Y has considered going back to school instead of continuing their job search, while only 35% of Gen X and 23% of Boomers feel the same way. Out of those respondents, 37% of Gen Y intends to go back to school, while 24% of Gen X and 17% of Boomers feel the same way. Almost one third of all respondents has considered starting their own business instead of continuing their job search (36% of Gen X, 35% of Boomers and 31% of Gen Y).

Quotes:

“This study confirms that Gen Y is optimistic about the future and are is willing to do whatever it takes to build a career, including going back to school, starting a business or moving back in with their parents. They are the savviest generation when it comes to manage their career online and are champions of work-life balance.”

- Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, Gen Y expert and bestselling author of Me 2.0

There are significant trends that can be seen from generation to generation. Gen Y is unique in their approach to career management and searching for a new job.  As the premier Career Network, we are able to analyze these user trends to better understand each individual and how they are thinking about their career and their future.  As a result, we can deliver the right information to the right person at the right time while helping employers streamline their hiring efforts.”

- Rich Milgram, Founder and CEO of Beyond.com—The Career Network

Contacts:

Millennial Branding (Spokesperson): Dan Schawbel dan@millennialbranding.com
Beyond.com (Media Contact): Kona Luseni at Makovsky + Company kluseni@makovsky.com Beyond.com (Survey Data): Julie Shenkman media@beyond.com

About Millennial Branding

Millennial Branding is a Gen Y research and management consulting firm based in Boston, Mass. Millennial Branding helps companies understand the emerging Gen Y employee by providing research, training, and advisory services. As representatives of Gen Y and advisers to management, our goal is to provide research and insights that will make you more profitable, grow your market share, help you understand your Gen Y employees, and turn you into an industry leader. As ambassadors to Gen Y, we want to give our generation a voice, support their careers, and connect them with brands that understand their needs.

About Beyond.com

Beyond.com is The Career Network focused on helping people grow and succeed professionally. By connecting job seekers and employers through 70 unique career channels and 3,000 industry and regional communities, we are changing the way job searching is done and helping people build relationships around the world. Through powerful communication tools and a personalized online Career Portfolio, members have a 24/7 online presence and access to job search functions, networking features, statistics and social and industry research. Beyond.com was named to Inc. Magazine’s prestigious ‘Inc. 500’ list and is a Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) portfolio company. www.Beyond.com.

State of the Gen Y Worker Study

PayScale and Millennial Branding Release Study on the State of the Gen Y Worker

Report examines the Gen Y worker across cities, companies, careers, college degrees, compensation and job skills 

Seattle and Boston– August 21, 2012 – PayScale, Inc., the world’s leading provider of on-demand compensation data and software, and Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and management consulting company, today announced a comprehensive study on the state of the Gen Y worker (ages 18 to 29).

The study highlights that Gen Y workers — by and large — are not employed in large numbers inside America’s biggest companies.  Their preference is for smaller firms that allow for more flexibility, an opportunity to embrace their entrepreneurial ambitions, and the opportunity to use social networks at work without strict corporate guidelines.  The report findings indicate, though, that big technology companies where innovation is prized, salaries are higher and workplace programs and culture are more flexible are environments where Gen Y workers find significant satisfaction as well.“This report confirms that Gen Y is an entrepreneurial group, highly versed in social media, and prefers freedom and flexibility over big corporate policies,” said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, Gen Y expert and bestselling author of Me 2.0. “While they are the future corporate leaders and change-makers, they are suffering in this economy by having to work in retail jobs over professional ones. A bachelor’s degree can no longer be traded in for a job.”

Additional highlights from the report include:

1. Over 63% of Gen Y workers have a Bachelor’s Degree, but the most commonly reported jobs for Gen Y don’t necessarily require a college degree. Gen Y workers are more likely to hold the following positions than other U.S. workers: Merchandise Displayer (5.36x more likely); Clothing Sales Representative (4.63x more likely); Cell Phone Sales Representative (4.03x more likely). This is a strong indicator of the underemployment issue in the U.S. today.

2. The best companies for Gen Y are all technology companies. The top five – ranked on Gen Y pay, percentage of Gen Y employees, Gen Y job satisfaction, Gen Y job stress, meaningfulness of job for Gen Y workers, Gen Y schedule flexibility and green score – are (1) Qualcomm, (2) Google, (3) Medtronic, (4) Intel, and (5) Microsoft.

3. Most of Gen Y isn’t working for large companies. The highest concentration of Gen Y workers are at small companies with less than 100 employees (47%), followed by medium companies that have between 100 and no more than 1,500 employees (30%), and the fewest work in large companies with more than 1,500 employees (23%).

4. The most common Gen Y job skills center around online marketing and social media. The five most commonly reported job skills for Gen Y workers, relative to all U.S. workers, in order, are (1) Tableau Software, (2) Blogging, (3) Social Media Optimization, (4) Press Releases, and (5) Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Analysis.

5. Gen Y is embracing science and entrepreneurism. Gen Y is more likely to choose the following college majors, relative to all U.S. workers: (1) Neuroscience (1.95x more likely); (2) Bioengineering (1.86x more likely); (3) Entrepreneurial Studies (1.82x more likely).

6. Seattle is the best large metro area for Gen Y workers. Of the 20 largest metro areas in the U.S., Seattle comes out on top for Gen Y, due to strong wage growth (4.4% increase between Q2 2009 and Q2 2012), high median pay for Gen Y ($44,000) and a strong presence of tech firms, which are top employers for Gen Y.

“Millenials are arming themselves with skills and educational training focused in technology and social media, two areas with great growth potential,” said Katie Bardaro, lead economist for PayScale. “However, the shaky economy has forced many of them into a world of underemployment nonetheless.”

About PayScale

Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world, PayScale, Inc. provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software. PayScale’s products are powered by innovative search and query algorithms that dynamically acquire, analyze and aggregate compensation information for millions of individuals in real time. Publisher of the quarterly PayScale Index TM, PayScale’s subscription software products for employers include PayScale MarketRate TM  and PayScale Insight TM. Among PayScale’s 2,200 corporate customers are organizations small and large across industries including Zappos, Volunteers of America and Manpower.

About Millennial Branding

Millennial Branding is a Gen Y research and management consulting firm based in Boston, Mass. Millennial Branding helps companies understand the emerging Gen Y employee by providing research, training, and advisory services. As representatives of Gen Y and advisers to management, our goal is to provide research and insights that will make you more profitable, grow your market share, help you understand your Gen Y employees, and turn you into an industry leader. As ambassadors to Gen Y, we want to give our generation a voice, support their careers, and connect them with brands that understand their needs.

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