Why Millenials Job Hop and How This Affects Your Screening Procedures

This recent headline from mashable.com that we spotted on Twitter caught our attention:

“Why millennials job hop: It’s the economy, stupid”

We clicked on it (and so can you by clicking on the headline) for a lot of reasons, some of which include:

One) We’re always curious about the current job market and what challenges employers and employees are facing.
Two) Heavy turnover affects a company’s bottom line and the amount of money they are spending on background screening.
Three) Millenials make up a huge portion of the workforce (one study reports that 75% of the American workforce will be Millenials workers and employers by 2025) and what affects them, in turn, will affect all of us.
Four) The mashable.com article was written by an actual millennial who has sufficient real-world experience breaking into the workforce to merit her thoughtful opinions and grounded research.

We could go on, but you get the idea. The gist of the article is that millennials do, indeed, job hop (especially in their careers) but they don’t do it because they are lazy or entitled (although those types of people can, and do, exist in any generation and millennials are no exception). Trading up gigs is actually paramount to their survival. They’re drowning in unprecedented student loan debt and higher living costs. And, because they came of age during a recession they were forced into taking numerous internships just to get a foot in the door without the promise of a full-time position at its closure, they became inherently skeptical about how the American workforce operates and its loyalty to its workers.

It’s a good read and we definitely think you should check it out. From our perspective though, all this job-hopping has some potentially major implications for the screening industry. Here’s a couple:

Millenials could be seen unfavorably for having switched jobs so much. This is a biggie because most employers, save for those in routinely high turnover industries like retail and restaurant, still favor a traditional, long-term employment run. Most companies prefer to keep a loyal workforce because it helps them keep costs low (for example, not as much time spent on training) and provides consistency and efficiency to operating systems or delivering products. The more a millenial job hops the less likely employers will view them as loyal and willing to work through adversity. And, if you’re not willing to work through adversity, why should an employer spend so much time, money and energy on-boarding you only to have you leave 2 years later?

All that turnover means employers may be forced to run more background checks. As more employers’ budgets are stretched because they need to screen more candidates per year, they’ll be looking for the cheapest options available. Fly-by-night operations who promise ‘instant results’ for chump change will get more business, but their less-than-accurate reporting histories may do some damage to the overall reputation of the screening industry.

Additionally, competition between reputable Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) like us who are nationally accredited, will have a twofold reach; Prices will have to go down to compete with the fly-by-night agencies, and screening agencies’ commitment to research and design will have to increase to develop easier, cheaper, and more practical solutions.

What challenges do you think the millenial job-hopping habit is bringing to employers? How will this affect the role of screening agencies? You’ve read our opinions, now we’d love to hear yours. Send us your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Applicant-Entry Solutions, Background Screening, General, Human Resources, Industry Solutions, News, References & Credentialing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia's clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter - give her a shout @pattycfreelance.
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