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Businesses risk losing a generation of finance leaders as over half of millennials expect to quit by 2017

20 June 2016 

  • 51% of Millennials working in finance expect to leave their jobs within the next 12 months and a third (30%) expect to leave within six months 
  • With many Millennials currently transitioning into more senior jobs, CFOs risk losing their future leaders because over a third see no opportunity for career progression in their current organisations
  • As a growing middle management skills crisis looms, businesses must act now 

According to the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2016, an annual survey of over 20,000 employers and employees in the UK, over half (51%) of Millennials working in finance anticipate leaving their jobs within the next 12 months and a third (30%) expect to leave within six months. 

While many businesses remain focused on how to attract junior Millennials, Hays’ report suggests they should instead examine how to retain those already within their organisation. With many Millennials - employees born between 1983 and 1995, defined as Generation Y in this report – now transitioning from junior positions into more senior jobs, businesses risk losing the ‘older’ Millennials in their early thirties who are moving into key management positions. 

With many areas of finance including qualified accountancy, treasury, tax and audit already suffering from severe skill shortages in mid-level roles, the prospect of a mass exodus at this level is even more worrying.  

Almost a third (30%) of Millennials state that they wanted to leave their current role due to a perceived lack of future opportunities and more than a third (35%) of this age group working in finance believe there is no scope for progression within their current organisation with 38% feeling uncertain or negative about their career prospects. Businesses must provide more investment in training and clearer communication around progression, since those who cannot retain this group may see their newest generation of managers permanently exit the workplace to strike out on their own. 

With the number of newly-launched British start-ups growing year-on-year, many could even choose to become their own boss instead. 608,110 start-ups were created in 2015[1] and for an age group who strongly value flexible working and clear career progression the entrepreneurial path could prove extremely tempting. 

Karen Young, Director at Hays Senior Finance, said: “Businesses and finance functions can’t treat all 21 to 33 years olds in the same way. New entrants to the finance profession or new graduates are at a very different stage in their career than those in their early thirties, with a number of years of experience and professional qualifications under their belts and businesses must put equal focus on them or they risk losing a generation of managers. 

“Businesses should focus on taking a more considered approach to incentivising and retaining their newest management generation while also appealing to junior employees. With acute skill shortages in early and middle management roles, there is certainly no time for businesses to lose.” 


[1] - Start-Up Britain 2016

For further press information please contact:

Eleanor Pead


T: 0203 0400 282 


About Hays UK Salary and Recruiting Trends 2016 

Report compiled using data gathered during 2015 from Hays offices across the UK, based on job listings, job offers and candidate registrations. Survey responses from 20,000 employers and employees from organisations of all sizes throughout the UK and of 995 finance professionals within the Generation Y age bracket. 

Millennials – referred to as Generation Y within the report - are defined as those employees born between 1983 and 1995. 

To access the report visit: 

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2015 the Group employed 9,420 staff operating from 248 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2015:

– the Group reported net fees of £764.2 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £164.1 million;

– the Group placed around 63,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 200,000 people into temporary assignments;

– 23% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 41% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 36% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;

– the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;

– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA