Leapers or Keepers?

The popular perception of the modern workforce is that it is transient in nature and lacking in loyalty towards employers. It is common for people to change jobs every couple of years. Millennials are perceived as more mobile in the job market than previous generations, with more information and opportunities readily available to them. Indeed, around 60% of millennials are currently open to a new job opportunity and are by far the most likely generation to switch jobs, according to data from Gallup.

Whilst retaining talent may be getting tougher, results from our recent survey ‘Are you switching on or switching off your applicants?’ suggest that top of applicants’ priorities during the application stage is that it leads to a job with long-term prospects. 91% of applicants surveyed want the online screening process to ‘result in a job they want to stay in’.

We surveyed 1,029 individual job applicants, as well as 200 recruiters, about their experiences of the online screening process. Interestingly, recruiters rated the option regarding retention lower than most other factors. However, despite this, it was still seen as important by 87% of our sample. This may well reflect the cost and time involved in the recruitment process around replacing departing employees.


If the role fits…

The second most important factor for applicants surveyed was that the process “ensures I will be selected for a role to which I am well suited” with 90% suggesting that applicants are still very much looking for a job that is a positive destination in which they will want to stay for a long time.

A process that “Is fair to all candidates” was highly -rated importance factors for both applicants and recruiters, though applicants did rate this a little higher overall.

The most important factor to recruiters was having an online process which motivates candidates to want to work for the organization. However, applicants rated this as fourth most important overall.

Applicants also felt it significant that a screening process provides a positive impression of the organization’s brand, with 86% rating this as important.

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The gig economy - necessity not desire

There has been a lot of talk recently about the ‘gig economy’ and how the shorter stay in jobs could be partly attributed to this alternative approach to employment – i.e. the greater flexibility offered by roles such as contractors and freelancers.

In 2017, roughly 10% of workers in America were employed in some form of ‘alternative work arrangements* ‘. However, far from being a boom in ‘gig work’ this is a slight decline from 2005 when about 11% fell into this category.

So, although this perceived reshaping of work is topical, most people are still in full-time employment and this is reflected by the desire of applicants to find a role with long-term prospects. This suggests that an element of this slight shift towards the gig economy is due to necessity by those looking for employment, not desire.

Should I stay, or should I go?

While job-hopping does still happen, it is usually a result of talent interventions further down the process, i.e. lack of development or opportunity for progression, rather than millennials going into the application process with a short-term mind set.

At the application stage, candidates want to be assessed for a role that they are suited for and likely to stay in. For this reason, identifying and hiring talented people who will perform and progress within an organization should still be at the forefront of the online application process.

At Saville Assessment our personality questionnaires are the only such tool to identify alignment between motives and talents in a single questionnaire, allowing you to accurately predict an applicant’s workplace performance and long-term potential.

For a full copy of our ‘Are you switching on or switching off your applicants?’ survey report and to discuss how we can help align your screening process to what applicants really want, contact us at [email protected].

*New York Times, June 2018