How to Keep Job-Hopping New Grads on Board
On May 12, comedian Will Ferrell delivered the commencement speech for graduates and their families at the University of Southern California. In spite of the honorary doctorate degree the university awarded him at the ceremony, Ferrell’s speech was sprinkled with self-deprecating humor, wherein he compared himself to the humanitarians, the spinal surgeons, and the AIDS researchers with whom he shared the stage to receive honors that day.
“… And then there’s me,” joked Ferrell, “whose achievements include running naked through the city of Montrose in ‘Old School,’ … running around in elf tights eating gum off the ground, and playing cowbell.”
Not his first time on the graduate stage, Ferrell graduated from USC in 1990 with a Bachelor’s in Sports Information — a major that was discontinued eight years later. Not really knowing what to do with his post-grad life, he decided to pursue a career in comedy. Yet he credits his comedic beginnings to his friends and the faculty at USC who encouraged his over-the-top antics.
Ferrell admitted in his USC address that he was never confident on stage when he first started doing comedy and that it usually felt like he was simply throwing as many darts at a dartboard as he could, in hopes that something would work out. But his fear of failure didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream, and he’d go on to work on “Saturday Night Live” and become one of the most well-known comedians in film.
Throwing Darts at a Dream
We can expect to hear more of this hopeful variety of commencement rhetoric in the weeks to come, as big names like Maz Jobrani, Hillary Clinton, and the Dalai Lama address graduates at colleges across the country.
The classes of 2017 will enter the workforce armed with technology and worldly knowledge that Ferrell — now Ferrell, Hon. DAH — and his generation was only beginning to understand at the time of their commencement. They may have it a little better than Ferrell’s generation, and certainly better than the students who graduated in the years following the Great Recession, but this group is still expected to do a little “dart-throwing” of their own once they begin looking for work.
Job Hopping: Good for Grads, Bad for Business?
Whether “job-hopping” is unique to younger generations is still up for debate, but a new study by Pew Research shows that Generation X practiced job-hopping just as much as millennials. Nevertheless, today’s young workforce is arguably becoming more loyal to their employers (which could have to do with the fact that many are getting older and settling down). But there are many people still taking advantage of “job-hopping” — the practice of moving from one job to the next over a short period of time — particularly after college.
It’s hard to say whether or job-hopping is good for a young person’s career or if it’s detrimental, but it seems as though throwing handfuls of figurative darts in the direction of a dream could only mean more opportunities — especially in lieu of climbing the corporate ladder. Recent grads are finding that moving from company to company has more benefits in terms of keeping their skills fresh and their resumés robust. So today’s hiring companies need to find ways to help graduates thrive in one place as opposed to many.
Attracting Talent … and Keeping It
There’s a lot that goes into building a business where employees genuinely want to stay long-term. It takes time and often requires making the same mistake twice to find that groove wherein your team feels loyal to the cause. If you’re looking to hire employees who have graduated in the last five years, there are a few things you start thinking about now to keep these valued employees on board and reduce turnover. Most importantly, taking action early will help employers feel confident hiring those bright-eyed new grads without fear of losing them to the allure of the job-hop.
Quality of Life
Of course, one of the biggest attractors for any new hire is going to be quality of life, but new graduates are particularly keen on finding jobs that provide a work-life balance. According to a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey, 57 percent of younger employees want a work-life balance and well-being (defined as having a purpose, social and financial management, community, and physical health), but that only about 5 percent of them are thriving in of these areas.
To know where your business stand, create a quality-of-life checklist and ask yourself:
- Do I offer flexible work schedules?
- Do my employees have the option to work remotely?
- Is my work environment relaxed enough, so my employees feel at home?
- Do I encourage healthy lifestyles and social opportunities?
These cultural shifts could mean the difference between keeping new grads and losing them to a competitor or another industry altogether.
Benefits That Stick: 1 in 3 US Workers Want More PTO
Beyond a competitive salary, employees want to know they have benefits that provide security and support well-being and balance. TSheets recently conducted a study about paid time off and how much employees value time away from work. Respondents placed a high value on paid time off and would like to have even more, and millennials are especially interested in maternity leave.
Consider the benefits you offer and your team’s demographic. If your benefits package is attractive to the fresh workforce, they’ll be more inclined to stick around.
Above all else, the new workforce is looking for experiences that will help bulk up the ol’ resumé, and they’ll welcome bigger and better opportunities with open arms. But that doesn’t mean your business has to become a stepping stone for their career. By providing exposure to new ideas, excellent in-house training, and opportunities for advancement and promotion, companies can help keep their employees around longer.
Examine your current systems and discover how you can help young employees feel they can grow within those systems. If there’s no space for them to grow, make the necessary adjustments.
Will Ferrell ended his speech by reminding students to choose a path and keep working toward their goals.
“You’ll never be alone on whatever path you choose,” said Ferrell, before closing his speech with a very beautiful rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
See the whole performance:
Like Ferrell did, young employees might also be throwing darts at the dream board just to see where they land, but by making your company a bigger, better target, they’ll be far less likely to hop when another opportunity presents itself.