Global Mobility Pros Need to Foster Growth, Skill Diversity, Work-Life Balance to Reduce Job Hopping Among Gen Z Workers

The trend of Gen Z workers frequently changing jobs has taken center stage. According to PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey for 2023, an astonishing 35 percent of Gen Z workers have plans to switch jobs within the next year. Another report from ResumeLab indicates that 83 percent of them are job hoppers.

This seismic shift in workforce dynamics presents unique challenges for companies and global mobility managers striving to retain young talent. It means they need to adapt to the evolving landscape. After all, frequent job changes should not automatically be seen as a sign of instability or a lack of commitment in what may possibly be the layoff era.

Instead, they may reflect Gen Z’s pursuit of growth opportunities, diverse skill acquisition, and a better work-life balance.

But why do many of them hop from one job to another? 

The search for meaningful work: Many Gen Z workers prioritize finding meaningful work that aligns with their personal values and positively impacts society. If their current roles do not meet these criteria, they are more likely to explore new opportunities.

Career advancement opportunities: Gen Z is ambitious and seeks career growth and advancement opportunities. They are motivated to continuously develop their professional lives. If they feel stagnant in their current positions, they are inclined to seek new opportunities.

Financial incentives: In a competitive job market, changing jobs often comes with the potential for a significant increase in salary, bonuses, or other financial benefits. Gen Z, being tech-savvy and informed, is aware of these prospects. Moreover, the rise of the gig economy and freelance work offers lucrative pay and project selection, further driving job transitions.

Desire for flexible working conditions: Gen Z workers value flexibility and a healthy work-life balance. Traditional 9-to-5 jobs may not align with their preferences as much as flexible or remote work options. They appreciate companies that offer options such as remote work, flexible hours, and wellness benefits.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: The pandemic has left a profound impact on the job market, leading some Gen Z workers to change jobs due to layoffs or business closures. Others have reevaluated their career priorities, contributing to an increase in job hopping behavior.

Job hopping’s impact on businesses and mobility

Frequent job changes among Gen Z employees have various implications for businesses. On one hand, they can lead to higher employee turnover rates, which can be costly. Increased recruitment costs, productivity loss, disruptions in team dynamics, and negative effects on company culture are some of the consequences. 

Expenses related to hiring, training new employees, and productivity losses can significantly impact a company’s financial health.

Relocation costs can be particularly burdensome for businesses. When hiring employees from out of town, companies may cover their relocation expenses. However, if these employees decide to leave shortly after relocating, the company’s investment is essentially wasted. 

To address this, companies may consider implementing repayment agreements outlining the amount to be repaid if employees leave within a specified period after relocation.

Incentives and benefits for Gen Z retention

To retain Gen Z talent, companies should consider offering incentives and benefits that make staying more attractive:

Flexible work arrangements: Gen Z values flexibility. Offering remote work options, flexible schedules, or a combination of both can significantly improve job satisfaction and retention rates among Gen Z employees.

Healthcare packages: Comprehensive healthcare coverage is essential for Gen Z workers, and it can be a deciding factor in job retention.

Career development opportunities: Gen Z employees are eager to advance in their careers. Companies can retain them by investing in career development programs, including training, mentorship, and advancement opportunities.

Competitive salary packages: While not the sole factor, competitive salaries still matter to Gen Z. Offering attractive compensation packages can help retain talent.

Positive work environment: Creating a positive workplace culture with strong team dynamics is crucial for retaining Gen Z employees. A supportive and inclusive atmosphere contributes to job satisfaction.

Repayment agreements: Implementing agreements specifying repayment terms for relocation costs can protect the company’s interests in case of early job departures.

Tips for global mobility professionals

During interviews, it’s important to address potential concerns related to job hopping in a candidate’s resume:

Be direct but tactful: Frame questions about job changes in a non-judgmental manner. For example, you can ask, “I noticed you’ve held several positions over the past few years. Could you share more about your reasons for changing jobs?”

Ask about their reasons: Encourage candidates to explain their reasons for frequent job changes. Valid reasons may include relocation, pursuit of better opportunities, or layoffs due to economic conditions.

Future commitment: Inquire about a candidate’s commitment to the role you’re offering. For instance, you can ask, “If we offer you this position, do you see yourself committing to it for a significant period? Why?”

Lessons learned: Ask candidates what they learned from each job experience, focusing on the skills or insights gained despite short tenures. For example, you could ask, “What key skills or experiences did you gain from these roles that you believe will benefit you in this position?”

The goal is not to make candidates uncomfortable but to gain insights into their career decisions and assess their potential commitment to your company.