Is job hopping just for millennials?

Gone are the days when job seekers find an employer and stick with them for decades, for the average employment tenure has dramatically declined as employees become adept at frequently switching jobs.

But is it true that this trend is exclusive to millennials?

Are millennials prime candidates for temporary staffing?Could millennials be prime candidates for temporary employment?

Normal careers today

In 1980, 51 per cent of workers stayed in roles for more than ten years, according to Fast Company, and in 2005, this was down to 31 per cent. In fact, the median job tenure in the US now is only 4.4 years. This is even shorter in Australia, with McCrindle research stating that the average job placement lasts only three years and four months.

The average tenure for under 25 year olds hasn't changed in four decades.

McCrindle also suggests that the job hopping phenomena is nothing new – especially for younger generations. Their investigation showed that the average tenure for under 25 year olds hasn't changed in four decades, staying steady at 20 months.

Their research did reveal, however, that job tenures are reducing more for older generations. In line with US statistics, McCrindle found that in 1975 the average tenure for workers aged over 45 was around ten years. Nowadays, it is down to six years and eight months, with the research concluding that trends facilitating shorter job placements are likely to continue.

The millennial myth

Career expectations from younger generations are changing as millennials demand greater transparency and flexibility from employees, as well as variety within a career. But the notion that only young professionals are hyperactive job hoppers is simply not true, explained Emily He, CMO of talent management solution at US HR firm Saba, to Business News Daily.

"For millennials, it is more a matter of career exploration than climbing the traditional ladder," she said.

"Your 20s are used as the time where you actually figure out what you want to do, so the constant job hopping to explore multiple industries is expected."

Job hoppers acquire a broader set of transferable skills and knowledge.

The advantages of hiring a job hopper

By switching roles, careers and even industries regularly, job hoppers acquire a broader set of transferable skills and knowledge. They also obtain an array of professional connections and networks and gain more exposure to different types of business – all of which can bring in new frames of thinking to your company.

However, some employers are put off by a colourful resume comprising of brief and varied stints.

While you may be apprehensive about hiring a new employee who has jumped ship every couple of years, this mindset fits perfectly for temporary employment, making millennials prime candidates for short-term contracts or assignments.