7 months ago
February 21, 2017

The Employee Retention Fact That Will Keep You up at Night…

Millennials make up the largest segment of the workforce, and their behaviours might shock you. Make sure you prioritize employee retention.

Rhys Metler

A disturbing new fact of life in employee retention has some sales managers tossing and turning at night.

This year, the fifth annual Deloitte Millennial Survey found that two out of three Millennials “expressed a desire” to leave their current company by 2020 at the latest. Another 44% said they want to leave within two years.

The report concluded, “Millennials, in general, express little loyalty to their current employers and many are planning near-term exits…This remarkable absence of allegiance represents a serious challenge to any business employing a large number of Millennials,” who already make up the largest segment of the workforce here in Canada and in the United States.

If you’re looking for comfort in the face of the cold hard facts, take solace in the knowledge that not all sales staffing agencies agree with this bleak assessment. Lindsey Pollak, who brands herself as a ‘Millennial Workplace Expert,’ is just one vocal critic of this belief.

Employee Retention: Millennials Edition

In May 2013, SalesForce Search Founder Matthew Cook released a four-point strategy for retaining your best sales people. Of course, much can change in three years, and the one-foot-out-the-door attitude of many Millennials really does have some executive sales recruitment experts shaking in their boots. While you might think a sales staffing agency could take advantage of this trend, only mediocre sales headhunters think like that.

In the long run, a sales staffing agency earns their reputation not just for the workers they place, but for placing workers that benefit a company in the long run. So while sales recruitment firms can help connect employers with the best young sales people for hire, long-term success depends on recruiting sales people that bring a return on investment.

Three years ago our sales staffing agency’s founder presented four strategies for retaining employees, and they remain just as true in 2016. He wrote:

  • Retain Sales People by Building the Team
  • Retain Sales People with Clear Leadership
  • Retain Sales People by Providing Career Development
  • Retain Sales People by Hiring for the Long Term

Adjust Expectations and Plan Accordingly

While the Deloitte Millennial survey’s findings have some sales managers panicking, that doesn’t justify throwing all of your employee retention policies out the window. Instead, it requires us to adjust our expectations and plan accordingly. Ultimately, the idea of a company man or woman who sticks with the same firm for 40 years may not be realistic, but by pursuing the proven employee retention strategies above, you can help ensure your best people stick around as long as possible.

The latter two points have also taken on new significance. Many young people think that if they stay at a single company too long that their resume will display a lack of ambition. That means offering genuine career development and internal promotion opportunities is more important than ever. 

Likewise, it’s not enough to hire for the long term, but to plan for the long term as well. You might not be able to keep young sales people on your team until they retire, but you can keep them from fleeing to the competition once they’re trained.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.