Category Archives: Employee Value Proposition

Gen Y’s Self-fulfilling Prophecy

data point tuesday_500

Accenture recently published its 2013 College Graduate Employment Survey Findings. Lots of great data. Especially if you plan to hire recent college grads. In fact, some of the data are surprising.

One of the important takeaways is that employers have unrealistic expectations for the skills of the hires they make out of college. They think these young people should be able to hit the ground running and are surprised and disappointed when they don’t. And to compound the problem, these employers are not investing in training initiatives to get the newly hired up to speed in the short term or effective in the long term. This is all pretty logical. It’s good data and if you plan on hiring entry level employees from the ranks of the newly graduated, you should read this.

But here’s what caught my attention. It’s about the willingness to commit. And it isn’t the first time I’ve seen data like these.

Young people, entering the economy for the first time, want to commit to their employers. It’s not what we expect, I know. We expect these youngsters to be gone in the career equivalent of sixty seconds. And sometimes they are. But it’s important to know that that isn’t what they want! This isn’t what they expect!

From Accenture:  The class of 2013 is expecting more career longevity from their first jobs:  68% of pending 2013 college grads expect to be at their first job more than 3 years compared to 49% of 2011/2012 college grads.

Accenture career longevity in first jobs 2013

And from the Achievers Class of 2012 white paper:

Achievers Class of 2012 White Paper

In this survey, more than 70% of 2012 college graduates expected to be with their first/next employer 3 years or longer — and 48% expected to be with their first/next employer 5 years or more. Surprising, right? Not what we expect, right? Not what we “know” about Gen Y, right?

But the BLS shows us what happens once they join our organizations:

BLS years of tenure by age

So, young people entering the economy for the first time with a newly minted degree are filled with optimism and have every intention of committing to their first employer for 5 years or more. Is it naivte or is it a real desire to commit, belong and make a difference?

And what happens once they start that first job that impels them out the door in 18 months or less?  Are employers so inept at selection that they really can’t hire employees that will persist? Are young people so naïve that they don’t really know what they’re signing up for and leave when reality doesn’t match expectations? Or, as the Accenture survey suggests, are young people disappointed when expected training and development doesn’t materialize and they leave in search of greater learning opportunities?

Clearly this is a complex issue with lots of dynamics, as the Accenture survey results show. However, if we started with the belief and understanding that young people really do want to engage and commit to their employer, would we be more likely to invest in developing their skills?

If we started with the belief and understanding that young people really do want to engage and commit to their employer, would we create onboarding processes that ensure expectations – on both sides – are being understood and met?

If we started with the belief and understanding that young people really do want to engage and commit to their employer, how would we approach them differently?

I suspect that most employers believe that there’s no return in investing in a talent pool that will be gone in 60 seconds.

I further suspect that the EVP that is sold in the recruiting process doesn’t exactly come to life once the recruit joins the organization.

But I suspect that the real issue is that Gen X and Baby Boomer managers, supervisors and recruiters believe all the negative stereotypes about Gen Y and their lack of commitment to any agendas other than their own — despite multiple data sources that show just the opposite. And we’ve ended up in this tough reality that has become a full-fledged self-fulfilling prophecy.

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Filed under Accenture, Achievers, Baby Boomers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Value Proposition, Gen Y, GenX, HR Data, Turnover, U.S. Department of Labor

Your EVP May Not Be Enough

According to some new data from the folks at Kelly OCG, employees all over the world are planning their work lives in dramatically new ways.  In their white paper, The Autonomous and Empowered Workforce, data from the Kelly Global Workforce Index™ is presented using compelling visuals.

The graphic below is pretty interesting and sums up much of the data in the white paper.  The highlights are:

  • Less than a third of employees believe their career will benefit from remaining with their current employer
  • More than half favor a constant state of employment motion when considering career growth and skills development

The fine points of what today’s employees think about the future of their careers according to KellyOCG include:

  • 49% are always on the lookout for new opportunities
  • 70% think multiple employers are an asset
  • 53% favor changing employers to advance their career
  • 54% feel they are in a position of high demand
  • 69% think they’ll secure a similar or better position

From an employee engagement and retention perspective, it is interesting that employees in the Americas seem to be trailing behind employees in EMEA and APAC as it relates to the relevance of a career-for-life, with 49% of employees in the Americas agreeing that a career-for-life with one employer is relevant.  Only 29% of APAC and 21% of EMEA employees see that relevance. So hanging on to employees in APAC and EMEA is already harder than hanging on to employees in the Americas.

But for how long?

Compare that to the finding that 65% of employees in the Americas consider work experience with multiple employers to be an asset and we can imagine that the career-for-life relevance may be exiting stage left before the end of the second act.

Certainly as you read the Kelly Global Workforce Index™ you’ll find lots of interesting dots to connect that may impact the work you do in 2013 to strengthen your EVP (Employee Value Proposition).  But this data are clear that there is a shift coming more rapidly than many may think.  A shift to job changing as a proactive career management strategy as opposed to job changing as a reactive crisis coping response.

If true, this is big.  And impacts everything from talent acquisition strategies, to onboarding processes, to rewards/recognition programs, to learning and development offerings, to performance management systems and more.

If true, this is big. Really big.

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Filed under Career Management, China Gorman, Connecting Dots, Employee Value Proposition, EVP, HR Data, Kelly Global workforce Index, Kelly OCG, Talent Management