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Continuous candidates: six giveaway traits

A recent survey by ManpowerGroup Solutions has identified a disturbing lack of company loyalty among a large swathe of the respondents

The survey also identified six traits an employer might recognise that would suggest an employee may be a permanent job hunter or a so-called ‘continuous candidate’.

If your workforce comprises a significant number of millennials or Generation Y – people born from 1982 onwards – you could have a serious problem waiting to happen, with 37% of the 4,500 respondents saying they were always on the lookout for a new job opportunity.

There is a mindset among some employees of always looking for the next job opportunity. Millennials are particularly prone to this; therefore, the number one trait is “I am a millennial.” Although millennials cover the age range 18-34, around 70% of the continuous candidates fell into the 25-34 age bracket.

This leads to the second trait: “I am experienced”. Millennials with a significant amount of workplace experience have the confidence to look for new opportunities and a track record that makes them of interest to prospective employers.

The third trait to be aware of is low job satisfaction. Continuous candidates are twice as likely to be dissatisfied in their jobs than other employees and almost half (43%) believe that all jobs are temporary.

If your employee exhibits all three of the above traits, it will not come as a surprise if they also display trait number four: “I am active on job sites”. Continuous candidates are much more active on job sites or on social media platforms that are strongly job-related, such as LinkedIn.

In addition to being more active, millennials actually apply for jobs more often (trait number five). The survey found that 29% of continuous candidates had applied for three to nine jobs in the past six months, whilst more than one in 10 (12%) had applied for more than 15 jobs in the previous six months. This demonstrates a level of activity three times greater than that of a non-continuous candidate.

Finally, trait number six is the willingness to be interviewed using different media, such as Vine or Skype. This may be because millennials come across different formats more frequently due to their high level of job-hunting activity.

If you recognise the above traits in your teams or are worried about haemorrhaging staff, there are a few things you can do:

  • Be proactive in pointing out advancement opportunities.
  • Offer internal and external courses and be supportive of continuous professional development.
  • Introduce a mentor scheme to foster role models and strengthen loyalty.

Don’t get caught out – take good care of your most important asset.

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