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Generational Hiring > Talent Acquisition

Why Are 60% of Millennials Leaving Their Dream Jobs?

Sixty percent. That’s the average percentage of Millennials who are cutting ties with what they thought were their dream jobs. In fact, many are checking out in three years or less. Whether this is due to loss of interest or unhappiness in their jobs, turnover not only costs you more money –  between $15,000 and $25,000 to replace each lost Millennial employee — it also doesn’t look good on the part of your organization.

So, what’s the deal? Why are more than half of Millennials saying sayonara to their jobs? It could be one of the following reasons:

1) You don’t keep your promises.

Maybe you posted a poor job description. Perhaps you led the candidate on in the interview. Maybe the employee was paired with a team they couldn’t collaborate with. Perhaps you promised more flex time or the chance to attend big industry conferences — and didn’t deliver. The fact is, you may not have kept all your promises when hiring your Millennial employee. When this happens, they’re obviously going to find an organization that will treat them right from the get-go instead of waiting around for those promises to be met.

Tip: Be completely honest with millennial candidates about your company culture. Craft job descriptions that are transparent, streamline the onboarding process and provide mentors to new hires. Doing so will ensure you’re doing all you can to fulfill the promises you initially presented.

2) They’re finding flexible options elsewhere. 

Did you know 45 percent of Millennial employees would chose workplace flexibility over pay? Even if you’re throwing money at your workers, many would much rather have a work-life balance than be slaving away at the office until all hours of the night. If your organization doesn’t have telecommuting or remote working options, Millennials may find these flexible options elsewhere.

Tip: Try to implement a few flexible alternatives into your organizational practices, such as a once-a-week work from home policy or flex time. This allows your workers to have a life outside of work without compromising their careers.

3) You don’t give them room to grow.

If you were in a job for three years doing the same tasks over and over, you’d call it quits, right? Opportunity for advancement and room for growth is how some Millennials find their motivation. If you aren’t giving them these chances by varying their workloads or giving them new projects, you may be shooting yourself in the foot.

Tip: Show that you care! Have regular meetings with your employees to find out how they’re doing, what they would like to be doing, and how you can work together to expand their knowledge base and professional development.

4) They’re not ready to commit.

In the end, an employee may just not be that into you. Maybe they’re not ready to commit to their first full-time job. Although you may see this as an attack on your organization, remember that not every employee finds gold on their first try. On the contrary, many will be job hopping or floating through different options for a few years until they find that perfect fit.

Tip: If a worker isn’t happy in your organization, find out why. This can be done through an anonymous survey, one-on-one meeting, or even an exit interview. Though they may already be checked out, their feedback could help you to retain other Millennials in the future.

Although more than half of Millennials are leaving their dream jobs, understand that your organization may be playing a huge role in their exit. Be sure to check for red flags, keep constant communication, and amp up engagement levels to retain great Millennial workers for the long run.

What do you think? What are some other reasons Millennials are leaving their dream jobs?

[author image="" ]Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for university career centers and HR professionals that gives job seekers complete control over their search. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn LinkedIn.[/author]

Image courtesy of Brian J. Matis; Flickr

Debbie Ruston
Debbie Ruston

Companies need to recognize Millennials are more tech savvy than any other generation and understand work can be done remotely.  They are not willing to settle as previous generations have done, choosing between home and work.  With all the technology options available today, they are able to keep that balance, working from home and very often can actually get more done, without the office interruptions.  

This is not just important to millennials....if work can be done outside the office space just as effectively, or in many cases, more effectively, it is a positive boost to company culture and employee happiness.


This isn't just for Millennials. No one likes it when an employer overpromises and underdelivers, yet acts like you should still give the job your all. It's especially disheartening that after building a strong work history, you're stuck commuting an hour each way and only getting two weeks of combined PTO (sick days and vacation) and required to work on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, without the possibility of taking unpaid time off or working from home. 


Career sage Dick Bolles gives his reason why so many people leave seemingly good jobs, toward the end of this clip at They did not speak directly with the workers (not the hiring managers) who do their dream job before they decided to pursue it. Doing a series of informational interviews will reveal what only insiders know - the good, the bad and the daily grind - leading to realistic career decisions.  Courage and assertiveness may be required to ask a stranger for 20 minutes of their time but it's well worth it and the person asked will probably be flattered and agreeable to the request. How many employers encourage or even permit their workers to be interviewed in that way?

cbforemployers moderator

@lilredwriter You're right, these employer suggestions are not just to retain millennials. But, we are seeing that this group is quicker to jump ship if a role does not meet their expectations.


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