Oct 24, 2008

Gen Y playing 'Leap Frog'

“Job hopping is fashionable and it gives me independence” – the popular opinion? Well, maybe.
But what is it doing to the Corporate P&L? Speaking to one significant Top 100 graduate recruiter, of over 1,000 graduates a year, we found that the investment figures were substantial, and the drain is too! This particular business was spending roughly £200,000 per graduate, in a 2-year window, and once they had completed their initial training programme they were so well qualified that they could work anywhere. No need to stay and do the spreadsheets, or ‘start from the bottom, and work your way up’. 'I’ll just hop over to another company and employ that skill i've got'.
50% of this companies graduates leave after 2 years, causing a £100 million drain on their investment. Over the next 5 years they are likely to lose half a billion pounds worth of graduate investment spend!
Another US based firm told us that they are struggling to keep graduates beyond the initial training period. From our own research we know that they are actually being sabotaged by the Facebook network! Here's how: Graduate and Post-Graduate recruiters from a major international bank had looked up who was on Facebook and had listed their employer. From this data they set up a Facebook group and invited across the relatively new entrants in the target firm (who had been training that group) to a dinner in London, in order to 'court' them! They were valuable. The attracting company didn’t need to invest in core skills, only cultural adaptation. Needless to say the dinner will have cost significantly less than the training - even at the Ivy!
And what are the positives? First, the aforementioned UK recruiter with its half a billion drain? They don’t care. They said that the fact that the grads were being trained in their firm and then left meant that the brand was getting out there and would return business to them in the future. A ‘long term’ investment I’d say. And, in the second example? Use Facebook and Y Generation networks to bring in new talent! Generation Y is the most connected generation, and they like to work with their friends – it’s the ‘Experience’ they care about.


  1. A long term investment indeed! Still, they obviously have a reputation for quality grad development - now is the opportunity to turn that into a reputation for quality ongoing development at all levels.

    Isn't that a key criteria for Gen Y as well?

  2. Hi Jacob,

    You're absolutely right.

    Gen Y believe in continuous learning and if employers can tap into that, providing development throughout their career, they will get incredibly high achieving and loyal workers.