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For nearly a decade in the early part of my career I worked for a prominent executive recruiting/ consulting firm. During my first week on the job, I remember the Director explaining the firm’s clientele standards by saying, “if they’ve had more than three jobs in twenty years, just file their resume in the trash.” He was of the Baby Boomer generation so he viewed longevity as a badge of honor if not its own measure of career success.
Retention EvolutionFast forward a few decades - Forbes publishes an article in 2012 declaring that Job Hopping is the New Normal and the entire definition and expectations of employee retention has been upended. By a Millennial’s assessment, a resume with only three jobs in twenty years probably wouldn’t signify dedication, depth and perseverance but rather a deficit of skill, will or creativity.
In 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average job-stay had devolved to 4.4 years. Just two years later, current reports suggest that the tenure of the teens and young adults entering the workforce today will actually be about half that. That could amount to more than twenty employers in a single career! Organizations still trying to measure their workforce successes by Boomer retention standards will need to brace themselves for frequent frustration if not disappointment and defeat.