In 2015, the Wall Street Journal revealed that the median job tenure for employees aged 20 to 24 was shorter than 16 months – thanks to the millennial workforce. For those aged 25 to 34, it was three years. Sure enough this trend is no secret – more and more people are looking to switch jobs, change gears and experience something new. The Millennial workforce, especially, built up a reputation as notorious job-hoppers and the media have honed in on them. But it’s one thing to observe this trend from the outside – and it’s a whole another thing when you actively work with these dissatisfied, ambitious, career-driven job-hopping individuals.
Jason, our founder, reveals what he found out about these job hoppers by actively working with them to explore and find new career opportunities for them through Kandidate.
What’s the Average Duration of Stay in Company & What’s the Extent of Job Hopping That You See?
This varies depending on seniority. The general trend seems to be that junior candidates (1-2 years of experience) move around more, while senior candidates (5+ years experience) are more stable. Not surprisingly, mid level candidates (3-4 years) are somewhere in between.
Given the fast moving nature of the tech industry in general, it’s seen as acceptable for candidates to stay at companies for no longer than 2 years at a time – job-hopping does not automatically present itself as a negative quality in a candidate.
What do You Think are the Most Common Reasons for Which People Say They Job Hop?
i) A desire to make an impact/ not wanting to be pigeon-holed
It may sound cliche, but from our engagement with 3500+ candidates we empirically know this is the main reason people move. Phrases dis-engaged candidates have used to describe the reasons they left their previous company include feeling “disposable”, “unneeded”, “under-utilised”. Speaking in direct terms – millennial workers don’t want to feel they are wasting their skills talent and education, oftentimes regardless of monetary gain.
They may also feel that their current company doesn’t offer them the opportunity to grow, to move to a role where they will be better utilised. At larger tech firms, people can also be pigeon-holed into a particular function, which they feel they can’t get out of; this is especially the case of junior – mid level professionals. For example, a junior-mid sales person from a large tech firm might only be in charge of selling one particular ad product to SMBs, at a particular stage of the sales process. However, in a smaller startup, they may be able to take charge of the entire sales process, with increased freedom and responsibility.
ii) Compensation/ monetary reasons
This is definitely not the most common reason, especially among millennial workforce. There’s also a theory that beyond a certain amount, the motivation garnered from money plateaus. But nonetheless, it is still a reason for some.
Contrary to popular belief, large brand-name tech firms don’t always offer the highest pay. Firms like Google are able to get away with paying less due to the CV value of their brands’ status, especially for more junior candidates. As a result, some candidates – specifically the more money-motivated sales candidates – do leave after 1-2 years in each company. They tend to join post-Series A startups, which outpay Google while offering the bonus of competitive equity/ options scheme.
iii) The product
The millennial workforce wants to spend their time working for a brand or product they believe in; be that because of the business model, market opportunity or ethic/ moral concerns. They want to be part of something that will change or reshape an industry, and, to an indirect extent, the world, in a better way.
A third of candidates who reject offers for introduction to startups on our platform do so for this simple reason – they don’t believe in the product. Here’s an anecdotal example: a few weeks back we had two very similar roles on our platform; one was with a newly launch logistics startup (hot space, exciting product), while the other was a online gambling startup – more established). Even though the gaming startup offered compensation that was 25% better than the logistics role, the interest level from candidates for the logistics opportunity outstripped the gambling role by three times. This is also reflected by our data, showing workers willing to take pay cut in return for options/shares.
What are Some Common Patterns You See Among Job Hoppers?
The first is this: junior candidates at large tech firms make their first hop quicker than their counterparts in other industries. This is due to some candidates starting at larger tech firms with the intention to leave after 1 year, once they’ve acquired that name on their CV, and core skills a larger organisation’s graduate program might be able to offer. However it’s also due to an earlier point I made – candidates feel pigeonholed, stuck, and believe they can make more of an impact in a smaller environment.
Some other interesting observations:
We see a general trend of the millennial workforce working in earlier stage firms (typically with a headcount of under 10) wanting to move to later stage/ more established startups. This could partly be due to a desire to gain a variety of startup experience, or to pick up a different type of skill – remember, what you learn from a startup going from zero to one is very different to what can be learnt from a startup that is backed by £100mn and scaling globally. A similar yet backwards trend is reflected in the case of mid level candidates working in later stage firms, wanting to move to earlier stage startup. This is probably because they’re at a stage of their life where they have enough money, don’t yet have a family, and enough existing experience to get a job quite easily – therefore they are willing to take the risk of joining an earlier stage firm.
What are Realistic Salary Expectations?
Well, that depends on their level of experience and industry sector. For example, over the 3500+ candidates in our poll, non-tech candidates in the business and product sectors expect an average of £39 000.00 pa for entry level positions. You’ll find this followed by £50 000.00 pa for mid-weight positions, and £62 000.00 pa for senior positions – though keep in mind, the high-range the data will be slightly due to VP positions and the like.
As we noted previously, the motivation for accepting certain jobs really does lend itself to many possibilities – including the opportunity to offer value in the form of equity/options/responsibility or even holiday time. However if you’re currently interviewing for a new startup position, we’d suggest these tips for smoothly navigating the salary negotiations.
Today, we are facing a changing workplace – one in which employees are more passionate, more driven, and more career-focused than ever before. The millennial workforce wants to look forward to their jobs when they get up in the morning. They want to contribute, make a difference, continue developing, and be compensated for the valuable team member that they are. The media may lament that more and more people are continuously changing their jobs, but at the end it is undeniable that these job-hoppers are invaluable assets to their organisations.
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Find out more on www.kandidate.com