Experts’ Say: Millennials, the Job-hopping Generation?



An insight from the survey is the relatively higher percentage of junior level job openings available across all target markets.

“This can generally be attributed to retention strategies across all industries for millennials – a challenging area for many employers as our industry partners tell us. Not engaging millennial workers is a big risk for companies as this employee group is an increasingly important consumer of the workplace given that they are more willing ready (compared to their older counterparts) to pursue positions with other companies. So, it is highly possible that many millennials do not actually wish to switch jobs, but their employers simply are not giving them compelling reasons to stay,” pointed out Mr Sébastien Deschamps, CEO and Founder of

On the benefits of millennials and why retention is important, Ms Alena Salakhova, Regional Director, Hudson Singapore commented,

“Having worked in Moscow, San Francisco and Singapore, I would definitely say that this perceived job-hopping trend by millennials is observed around the globe, from the West to the East. It is apparent that this generation born between 1980 and 1996 can easily move from one company to another regardless of location, industry and career opportunities on offer. The challenge for any employer is little to no return on investment with hires if they quit in the first 6-12 months. The employer needs to start over with sourcing, hiring and training.

Millennials typically bring fresh insight and opinion while challenging the working environment, which is critical for every industry to grow. There are a lot of job options as they are in high demand from organisations. Therefore, it remains important for employers to keep considering these major opportunities in the new year: how to attract, and more importantly, how to retain millennials employees.”

Offering a glimpse into their minds, Jon Omaha, Senior Manager, Hays Hong Kong explained,

“Millennials are confident and optimistic. They are technologically savvy and were raised with fast-paced multimedia. As a result, they are accustomed to fast-paced results and would not consider spending years developing their career. While Generation X are content to work their way up the corporate ladder as long as they continue to learn and expand their skills, millennials seem to need to be continually challenged and recognised. Indeed, in the early phases of one’s career, a variety of job stints can provide exposure to different experiences, and possibly quicker promotions and salary hikes.”

To millennials job-seekers, Mr Ankit Agarwala, Director, Michael Page India has this advice,

“Keeping an eye out in the market to have an understanding of the opportunities available, knowing how other industry players are operating, and knowing your market worth is not necessarily a bad thing. However, this needs to be balanced with the understanding that frequent changes do not allow a person to do justice to any role. Frequent job changes also usually mean that the person has not invested long enough to tackle challenges and build up skill-sets, this can eventually hurt their careers in the long run.”

Mr Johnston from Robert Half Japan cautioned millennials not to overdo job-hops:

“Breadth of experience is often sought after, but a lack of career stability can leave hiring managers wondering how long it will be before they are once again facing the disruption and costs associated with staff turnover. Employers want someone who can help the company reach its goals, and too many voluntary changes can raise a red flag. Jobseekers should pursue a new opportunity only if it addresses underlying issues, for example, are you looking for more responsibility, higher salary, work life balance or something else?”

Hiring managers, on the other hand, should play their part as highlighted by Ryan Carroll, Country Director, Randstad Malaysia:

“It is crucial to remember that millennials have been exposed to choices far broader than those generations before. When combined with the influences of technology and social media the average millennial has been brought up in a world of transparency, comparisons and perpetual change. If millennials are a key target for talent, and it likely is, employers and organisations need to ensure that their employee value proposition (EVP) caters for this. Understanding what motivates and inspires any employee is the key to maintaining their engagement and organisations which have an EVP catering to this will have a better chance at retaining their talent. Whether it is wise or not is probably not the question; the question is whether or not your organisation caters to the needs first and then the wants of your employees.”