Skip to content
Hays - Recruiting experts worldwide
  1. I am
    I am

Construction could lose generation of managers as over half of millenials expect to quit by 2017

7 July 2016

  • 46% of Millennials in construction expect to leave their jobs within the next 12 months and a third expect to leave within six months 
  • A ‘broad brush’ approach to Millennials risks businesses losing a generation of managers as construction industry skills crisis grows 


According to the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2016, an annual survey of over 20,000 employers and employees in the UK, almost half (46%) of Millennials working in construction anticipate leaving their jobs within the next 12 months and just under a third (32%) expect to leave within six months. 

While the sector struggles with the challenge of how to attract junior Millennials to the profession, Hays’ report suggests they should also 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. 

With many construction employers already struggling with severe skill shortages in mid-level roles, and too few graduates choosing the profession, 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 construction gave for why they expected to leave. A quarter (25%) 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 over a quarter (27%) of Millennials working in construction believing there is no scope for progression within their current organisation and a third (35%) feeling uncertain or negative about their career prospects, businesses who cannot retain this group may face even more challenging competition for skills and for their future leaders.

Flexible working is also a priority for this age group, and is rated by 62% of Millennials as the most important benefit when looking for a new role, followed by a generous above 25 days holiday allowance. As employers are losing their workforce to sabbaticals to extend their holidays and improve their work life-balance, offering these benefits may be another way to retain this part of the workforce.  

Andrew Bredin, Managing Director of Hays Construction, said:

“It is 30 years since the term ‘Millennial’ was first coined and businesses can no longer treat all 21 to 33 years olds with the same broad brush. The industry faces well-documented difficulties in attracting younger Millennials into the profession, and is quite rightly looking for new ways to make careers in construction appealing for this group. But employers should not overlook those Millennials at later stages of their career taking on management responsibility. Employers must put equal focus on this group or they risk losing a generation of managers. 

“Career progression is highly important for this group, so businesses should focus on taking a more considered and nuanced approach to incentivising and retaining their newest management generation.  while also encouraging junior employees into the profession. With growing concerns around skill shortages in middle management roles in construction, there is certainly no time to lose.”


For further press information please contact: 

Kathryn Iacono


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. 

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 30 June 2015 the Group employed 9,023 staff operating from 240 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