The Cost of Millennial Retention Study

Millennial Branding and Survey Reveals the Rising Cost of Hiring Workers from the Millennial Generation

HR Professionals disclose the amount of money spent on training and replacing millennial employees; Numbers expected to dramatically increase in coming years

Boston, MA and King of Prussia, PA  – August 6, 2013 – Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, and, The Career Network focused on helping people grow and succeed professionally, today announced results from a comprehensive national survey entitled, “The Cost of Millennial Retention.” The survey, which included responses from hundreds of HR professionals in various industries, found that 87% of companies reported it costs between $15,000 and $25,000 to replace each millennial employee they lose. Considering that approximately 40% of companies currently employ 50 or more millennial workers, these costs are expected to rise dramatically over the years to come. With current data showing more than 60% of millennials leaving their company in less than three years, employers are facing a very expensive revolving door.

Projections show that by 2014 millennials will account for 36% of the American workforce. In 2025, that number balloons to 75% of the global workplace. Recent Millennial Branding reports show that 45% of companies experience high turnover with those employees identified as “millennials” – by a 2:1 margin versus older generations. Of those HR professionals surveyed by Millennial Branding and, the majority (79%) felt optimistic that they’ll be able to increase their millennial employee retention rate, with many citing they can’t afford not to.

Specific highlights from the report include:

1. Companies are losing their millennial talent. Of those surveyed, 30% of companies have lost 15% or more of their millennial employees in the past year. Where did they go? Most felt that at least 10% of the lost millennial employees went directly to their competitors.

2. How much it costs to retain millennial employees. According to respondents, 51% of companies report that the cost of training and development is the highest when hiring millennials. After that, “interviewing,” “job posting/advertising” and “on-boarding” were cited as being the next highest costs (in that order). In addition, 71% of companies reported that losing millennial employees increases the workload and stress of current employees. 56% of employers revealed that it takes between 3 and 7 weeks to hire a fully productive millennial in a new role.

3. Some companies already have retention programs in place. While the issue of employee retention is not widespread, some companies have programs in place to stop the migration from this generation. Those programs address such things as: “workplace flexibility” (48% of companies reporting), “mentoring programs” (40%) and “internal hiring” (37%). Only 10% of companies cite using “intrapreneurship” and community service programs to engage millennials.

4. Why millennials stay and leave. What is the main indicator of whether millennial workers stay at a company? According to the survey, the majority responded that it is whether there is a “good cultural fit.” The top reasons why millennials leave their companies are because they received a better offer from another company (30%), their career goals aren’t aligned to their company (27%) and a lack of career opportunities (13%).

5. What millennials get paid. Half of the companies surveyed reported that the average salary for a millennial is between $30,000 and $50,000, while 15% of the companies revealed that the average salary for a millennial is $50,000 or greater.

6. How employers hire millennial workers. Of those HR Professionals surveyed, 62% use job boards and corporate websites to recruit millennials, with social networking sites trailing far behind. Only 9% of HR professionals reported using LinkedIn, 3% for Facebook and a mere 1% cited Twitter as a resource for recruiting purposes.

7. The healthcare debate has almost no impact on the hiring of millennials. While healthcare remains an issue closely tied to job creation and growth, surprisingly only 14% HR Professionals reported that millennials inquire about healthcare benefits during the interview process. How important is it to employers? 30% of those companies surveyed said that the current healthcare debate factors into their hiring decisions,  for employees of all ages.74% of companies responded that it did not matter if a millennial applicant is covered under their parents’ health insurance plan until the age of 26 (as is the current law), with only 9% citing that this would increase their employment chances.


“Companies continue to struggle to retain my generation and as a result, it costs them a lot of money and productivity that they could be saving if they created a stronger corporate culture to support them.”

– Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and author of “Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press)”

“The Millennial Generation has learned to be two things during the recession: resilient and nomadic. As the job market improves, the level of confidence will improve along with it and cause many in this age group to reevaluate their current situation, possibly seeing the value in seeking greener pastures.”
Rich Milgram, Founder and CEO of—The Career Network


Millennial Branding (Spokesperson): Dan Schawbel (Media Contact): Sean Carney at Brownstein Group (Survey Data): Julie Shenkman

About Millennial Branding

Millennial Branding is a Gen Y research and management consulting firm based in Boston, Mass. Millennial Branding helps companies understand the emerging Gen Y employee by providing research, training, and advisory services. As representatives of Gen Y and advisers to management, our goal is to provide research and insights that will make you more profitable, grow your market share, help you understand your Gen Y employees, and turn you into an industry leader. As ambassadors to Gen Y, we want to give our generation a voice, support their careers, and connect them with brands that understand their needs.

About, The Career Network, is focused on helping people grow and succeed professionally. By connecting job seekers and employers through 75 unique career channels and 2,500 industry and regional communities, we are changing the way job searching is done and helping people build relationships around the world. Members have access to powerful communication tools, including the all-new Career Portfolio, a compelling, engaging and visually-informative snapshot of a person’s career that can supplement a traditional resume. In addition to a 24/7 online presence, the community benefits from job search functions, statistical data, industry research and networking features that provide an extensive hub for managing a professional’s entire career. was named to Inc. Magazine’s prestigious ‘Inc. 500’ list and is a Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) portfolio company. For more information, please visit

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