70% of Graduates Leave Their First Job Within Two Years

Last Updated Sep 5, 2008 1:13 PM EDT

  • Job BoardThe Find: A new study offers empirical support for the notion that Gen Y are a bunch of job hoppers: 70 percent of recent graduates failed to finish two years in their first job and 60 percent of young employees are currently looking for a new job.
  • The Source: The "2008 Life After College Survey" from Experience, Inc.
The Takeaway: When Team Taskmaster blogger CC Holland posed the question "Would You Hire a Job Hopper?" earlier this year, "all hell broke lose." The post racked up more than 100 comments, some passionately defending those suffering from career ADD and others denouncing with equal passion the flighty Gen Y workers most often accused of the crime. Obviously, feelings on the issue run high and a new survey of more than 300 Gen Y workers might help explain why. Some of the results:
  • 70% of recent graduates reported they left their first job within two years
  • 60% are currently looking for another job or career, despite the fact that 57% indicated that they are also happy at their current job
With that last statistic, one can understand employers' frustration. Gen Y is happy but still job hunting? How can a company hope to retain workers if even those that are pleased with their jobs perpetually have their noses stuck in the classified ads? Experience, a firm that provides career services for recent grads, has some suggestions for HR departments desperate to hang on their recently trained Gen Y workers:
  1. Manage expectations: be straight with Gen Y candidates and tell them what's it's really like to work at your company before they're hired.
  2. Direct communication: IM, text messaging and other interactive tools can help satisfy Gen Y workers who expect to be constantly plugged in.
  3. Lifestyle benefits: Wherever possible, allow Gen Y employees flexibility with physical attendance in the office and at meetings.
Sound advice, surely. But the question still remains...

The Question: Does the fact that 70 percent of Gen Y workers are job hunting, even though more than half claim to be happy at work, indicate something's amiss with the workplace expectations of younger employees?

(Image of Gen Y friendly job board by thomas pix, CC 2.0)

  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.