Generation X looking to change jobs, says Hays research

Some 79% of employers expect business to increase in 2017 and 84% plan to recruit

Members of Generation X, known for their pursuit of a “job for life”, are now just as likely to consider career change as millennials, according to new research on the Irish jobs market.

With some degree of economic recovery and a substantial appetite by companies to hire in the next year, it appears as if dire recessionary times have helped reshape traditional attitudes toward employment.

According to the 2017 Hays Salary Survey, published on Wednesday, 49 per cent of both Generation X (those born in the 1960s and mid-1970s) and millennials are likely to consider a career change within the next year. Baby Boomers – born in the aftermath of the second World War – were at 63 per cent.

The convergence reflects those more and less inclined to risk and appears to illustrate how a marked shift in work patterns has the capacity to alter potential behaviour.

"Our findings indicate that generations tempered by recession and economic insecurity may be less likely to make risky career moves and instead value long-term career development and job stability," said Hays Ireland managing director Richard Eardley. "This particularly goes against the prevailing narrative portraying millennials as less 'loyal' and prone to frequent career changes."

Excluding salaries, candidates and employers agree career development is the most important aspect of a job. That was the case for 33 per cent of millennials, compared to 16 per cent of Generation X-ers and 6 per cent of Baby Boomers.

Whatever the path ultimately chosen, prospects for Irish professionals are looking up in the 12 months ahead. The vast majority of companies are going to be hiring staff although the majority don’t expect it will be easy to find them.

Suitable employees

Competition for suitable employees is intensifying in the Irish jobs market and “exacerbating an already-stretched” supply, according to the survey.

It found 79 per cent of employers expect business activity to increase over the next year, and 84 per cent plan on recruiting.

However, 76 per cent anticipate a shortage of suitable candidates and a ramping up of competition to secure them.

One area which they might look to is pay and conditions. Almost half (47 per cent) of employees are unhappy with their salaries despite the increases given to 65 per cent in the last 12 months.

More than half (54 per cent) expect to give salary increases in the next year, although 44 per cent say unrealistic financial expectations are a major issue when hiring.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times