Over half of young adults aged 18-34 are in it for the long haul with current employer | City & Business | Finance

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More than half of Gen-Z and Millennials are in it for the long-haul with their current employer – despite many just starting out in their careers. A survey of 5,000 working adults has revealed that 35 percent of those aged between 18 and 34 would be willing to stay with their current company long-term thanks to opportunities to develop new skills. 

And 34 percent believe they have a clear pathway to progress into new roles within their organisation.

Building relationships at work is also helping to create loyalty among younger workers – as 40 percent can see a future with their employer based on the friends they have made in the workplace.

In fact, one in three (32 percent) are content to become a “lifer” at their company –someone who prefers to stay long-term with one business – because they have been treated well, and want to repay their employer with loyalty.

On the other hand, 23 percent of workers under 34 are more likely to fall into the “hopper” category – a worker who regularly moves companies every one to three years – according to the research from global recruitment experts, Michael Page, part of FTSE 250 PageGroup.

Among these “hoppers”, 29 percent value the experience they gain from working at different companies.

But for a quarter their motive is financial – believing they’ll get the biggest pay increases from moving between organisations.

And while a significant number of younger workers identify as “lifers”, there are still plenty who are on the “hopper” route.

In fact, this younger age group are far more likely than their older generational counterparts to follow the “hopper” career approach – 35 percent, compared to just eight percent of those aged 45 to 64. 

Doug Rode, managing director for UK & Ireland at Michael Page said: “There are a lot of outdated perceptions around moving jobs frequently – and, indeed, staying in one place for too long.

“Being a “lifer” doesn’t necessarily mean staying in one role for your entire career and becoming outdated – just as being a “hopper” doesn’t necessarily mean being flighty and unreliable.

“It’s important to remember it’s not a one size fits all approach – individual personality traits and different life circumstances all play a role in why someone might identify as either a “hopper” or a “lifer”.

“The modern workplace has space for both. In fact, harnessing the unique attributes of these two mindsets will strengthen any team.

“What’s really interesting about these findings is that we’re able to bust the myth that younger workers wouldn’t consider a long-term future with a company in the early stages of their career.

“Yes, they are more likely to identify as “hoppers” than older workers, but it’s clear from the data that if they find the right employer, they could be willing to stay for a long time.”

The research went on to further canvas opinion regarding the two career approaches, with respondents believing that teamwork (50 percent) and problem-solving skills (33 percent) were among the top skills of those with the lifer mindset.

Meanwhile, those who fall into the “hopper” category are more likely to bring a greater sense of adaptability (37 percent) and fresh thinking (38 percent) to the workplace.

More than half (57 percent) believe those who carve out a long career at one company will have deeper industry knowledge – but 44 percent are concerned they also run the risk of becoming stagnant.

Interestingly, respondents feel that those who move around more could be less motivated (18 percent) than a “lifer” (27 percent) – but are much more likely to be adaptable (37 percent) and outgoing (38 percent).

Two-thirds of those polled said loyalty to one company will create more job stability, and 42 percent believe the “lifer” career approach presents more opportunities for industry awards and recognition.

On the other hand, the top benefit of being a “hopper” was identified as the opportunity to travel the world (34 percent) – while 30 percent believe this lifestyle offers potential to climb the corporate ladder more quickly.

And 46 percent noted employees will build up a more diverse background of experiences by moving around more – whereas just one in five (20 percent) believe these opportunities will be the same for someone who is already embedded in their company.

The research, which was conducted via OnePoll.com, went on to speak to those who have been involved with hiring in their workplace.

In good news for “hoppers”, almost half (49 percent) of those responsible for making hiring decisions recognise the fresh working styles this group can bring to a business.

And a third (35 percent) would choose a “hopper” to make an impact in a short space of time.

But they also look keenly on “lifers” for their strong industry connections (40 percent) – with more than half (52 percent) recognising these workers as industry experts, and a third (32 percent) noting their ability to build rapport.

Michael Page’s Doug Rode added: “It’s clear from the data that there are real advantages to hiring either a “lifer” or a ‘hopper”, with both demonstrating the attributes any business would associate with top talent.

“Hiring managers recognise the different skills each can bring to a team, and place “lifers” and “hoppers” almost neck and neck in terms of being motivated and high achieving (44 and 42 percent respectively).

“The crucial consideration is who is right for your business at the current time.

“Is it the “lifer” with demonstrable loyalty and depth of specialised experience, or is it a “hopper” who brings fresh thinking and learnings from other areas?

“And if a business can cultivate an environment where any type of worker can thrive, who knows, those “hoppers” you hired might just turn into a “lifer”.”

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