A survey of 5,000 working adults has revealed that over half of Gen-Z and Millennials are inclined to stay with their current employers for an extended period, despite being at the early stages of their careers.
According to the study, 35 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 expressed a willingness to remain with their current company long-term due to the availability of opportunities for skill development. Additionally, 34 percent believe they have a clear pathway for advancing into new roles within their organization.
Strong relationships in the workplace also contribute to the loyalty observed among younger workers, as 40 percent envision a future with their employer based on the friendships they have cultivated at work. Furthermore, one in three individuals (32 percent) are content with becoming “lifers” at their company, displaying a preference for long-term commitments and a desire to repay their employer with loyalty due to being treated well.
On the other hand, the research conducted by global recruitment experts Michael Page revealed that 23 percent of workers under the age of 34 are more likely to fall into the category of “hoppers.” These individuals frequently change companies every one to three years, with 29 percent valuing the experience gained from working in different organizations and 25 percent motivated by the belief that they can secure higher pay increases by switching employers.
While a significant proportion of younger workers identify as “lifers,” there remains a considerable number who follow the “hopper” career approach. In fact, individuals in the younger age group (35 percent) are significantly more likely to adopt the “hopper” mentality compared to their older counterparts (8 percent) aged between 45 and 64.
Doug Rode, Managing Director UK & Ireland at Michael Page, emphasized the need to challenge outdated perceptions surrounding job mobility. Rode stated, “Being a ‘lifer’ doesn’t mean staying in one role for an entire career and becoming outdated, just as being a ‘hopper’ doesn’t mean being flighty and unreliable. The modern workplace accommodates both mindsets, and harnessing the unique attributes of these two approaches will strengthen any team.”
The research delved deeper into the perceptions of these two career approaches. Respondents identified teamwork (50 percent) and problem-solving skills (33 percent) as the top strengths of individuals with a “lifer” mindset. Conversely, those falling into the “hopper” category were seen as bringing greater adaptability (37 percent) and fresh thinking (38 percent) to the workplace.
More than half of the respondents (57 percent) believed that employees who commit to a long career at one company acquire deeper industry knowledge. However, 44 percent expressed concerns about the potential for stagnation among such individuals. Respondents perceived “hoppers” as being less motivated (18 percent) compared to “lifers” (27 percent), but more adaptable (37 percent) and outgoing (38 percent).
Furthermore, two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents believed that loyalty to one company fosters greater job stability, and 42 percent believed that the “lifer” career approach offers more opportunities for industry awards and recognition. On the other hand, the opportunity to travel the world (34 percent) was cited as the top benefit of being a “hopper,” and 30 percent believed that this lifestyle offers faster upward mobility within organizations.
The research also involved insights from hiring professionals. Almost half (49 percent) of those responsible for making hiring decisions acknowledged the fresh perspectives that “hoppers” can bring to a business, while 35 percent stated that they would select a “hopper” to make a quick impact. However, hiring managers also valued “lifers” for their strong industry connections (40 percent), recognized them as industry experts (52 percent), and appreciated their ability to build rapport (32 percent).
Doug Rode concluded, “The crucial consideration is who is right for your business at the current time. Is it the ‘lifer’ with demonstrable loyalty and specialized experience, or is it a ‘hopper’ who brings fresh thinking and learnings from other areas? If a business can cultivate an environment where any type of worker can thrive, those ‘hoppers’ hired might just turn into ‘lifers’.”