Entry Level Candidates Rarely Stay in their First Role….

Employers take note! A quick explanation as to why entry level candidates rarely stay in their first roles for 2 years anymore….

Young candidates (code for entry level or those who have very little office experience – or none at all) are simply NOT going to sit at your front desk for 2 years as your Receptionist, unpacking dishwashers, organising couriers and filing for months on end waiting for someone to notice them and promote them to their next job. Nor are they going to be in customer service roles with repetitive tasks, nor are they going to handle mundane or routine tasks over and over…and over for years on end.

This doesn’t mean that the days of ‘earning your stripes’ or ‘starting at the bottom’ are over. It’s simply to say that young candidates today CRAVE new tasks, new information and new experiences. They have access to so much more information than we ever did at school. They’re naturally tech savvy and are connected to the world in ways that we never were.

They’re prepared to do their time in the junior roles but they want recognition and attention – and they want it now!

Often clients say to me: “I need a Receptionist to sit on front desk for a minimum of 2 years before I can promote them”. Or, “I don’t want to have to keep re-recruiting that role.” And “Why don’t they stay long term anymore?”

Employers wonder why after 6/7 months she/he has left and found a job at the place down the road with their friend – with a salary increase and with a slightly pumped up job description.

In my opinion, and from my observations and experience, the days of finding a ‘stable’ job out of school or uni, staying in it for years and working your way up are over and gone. If Company A won’t coach/train/promote then guess what? They’ll just go to Company B to find it. Simple as that.

I hear employers crying out “Young people don’t stick at anything, they’re fickle, they’re just chasing the $$$”. And I am sorry, I sympathise, however I’m just here to state the facts from years and years of seeing this pattern (and it’s getting worse).

Now there is the flipside to this of course – Accept it – Don’t fight it – And come up with innovative ways to keep them engaged.

So… To The solution! What can you do?

• Knowing and understanding that they crave new tasks and new experiences, try to add in new tasks every few months (or even weeks if your new starter can handle it).
• Quite simply if they are unpacking dishwashers, running errands, filing and cleaning up the meeting rooms you can hardly expect a young, bright spark to want to do that for years on end. Even 6-12 months can feel like an eternity to a young person when they have a super sharp mind. Maybe that role is best suited to a traveler who can work a maximum of 6 months, maybe the job simply has a ‘lifespan’ of 6 months?
• If the tasks are simple and you’re consistently having turn over maybe you just need to accept that the job is boring and you won’t keep anyone there for longer than 6 months anyway.
• Discuss small salary increases on a quarterly basis, or even a small bonus. It doesn’t have to be massive. At that level every dollar is being watched so if it’s the extra that pays for their weekly travel pass or a few sandwiches in the city each week then trust me, they’ll be appreciative.
• Or consider shopping vouchers, $150-$250 Westfield vouchers can feel like gold to a young employee. They simply do not have access to surplus cash to spend on themselves when they are on minimum wages.

The short end of the story is that Sydney is a very expensive place to live. Travel is costly, food is expense, don’t even get me started on the cost of living out of home when they’re first setting up a flat.

If that young employee is truly a valued member of your team then start working ‘with them’ and not against them otherwise company B, C, D and E will happy snap them up then you’ll be back to square on training the next junior on how to book a courier……

Naomi Marshall – Director
P: (02) 9271 0011
M: 0422 139 910
E: naomi@sprintpeople.com.au