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Businesses risk losing a generation of marketing managers as over half of Millennials expect to quit by 2017

19 May 2016

  • 60% of Millennials in marketing expect to leave their jobs within the next 12 months and a third (34%) expect to leave within six months 
  • With many Millennials currently transitioning into senior roles, CMOs risk losing their future leaders because over a third see no opportunity for career progression 
  • A one size fits all approach to Millennials risks businesses losing a generation of managers 


British businesses are in danger of losing their newest generation of managers and potential future marketing leaders, according to the latest research from recruiting experts Hays. 

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

According to the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2016, an annual survey of over 20,000 employers and employees in the UK, over half (60%) of Millennials in marketing anticipate leaving their jobs within the next 12 months and a third (34%) expect to leave within six months.  
Many marketing functions are already suffering from severe skill shortages in mid-level roles. Almost three quarters of marketing employers (71%) said they expect to encounter a shortage of suitable applicants this year, so the prospect of a mass exodus at this level is even more worrying.   

Aside from salary, career development is one of the main reasons Millennials in marketing gave for why they expected to leave. Over a quarter (26%) of this age group state that they wanted to leave their current role due to a lack of future opportunities, suggesting that businesses may need to provide more investment in training and clearer communication around progression. 

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

With more than a third (40%) of Millennials in marketing believing there is no scope for progression within their current organisation and over half (51%) feeling uncertain or negative about their career prospects, businesses who cannot retain this group may see their newest generation of managers permanently exit the workplace to strike out on their own.  

Clare Kemsley, Managing Director at Hays Marketing, said: “Organisations should be more discerning in their approach to retaining and developing the millennial population within their marketing teams. While the new wave of younger Millennials about to graduate from university will require training and support to transition into the commercial, fast paced marketing world of today those Millennial Marketers with several years expertise will be actively considering their future and looking to take the next step, aspiring to leadership roles. 

“Organisations should focus on taking a more considered approach to incentivising and retaining this potential generation of leaders while also appealing to junior employees. Support, guidance and investment in their development must be high on the agenda. With growing concerns around skill shortages, employers should act now and listen to their new leaders in order to retain their skills for the future.”


[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 over 280 marketing employees.

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