Up to a third of young people face living in private rented accommodation all their lives; we explore the likely impact this will have on the recruitment sector.

A new report by the Resolution Foundation found that up to a third of Millennials (those born between 1980 – 1995) will live in private rented accommodation their entire lives. This is in stark contrast to previous generations, where it was common for people in their early 20s to get onto the property ladder.

This change of property ownership is having a profound impact on the job sector. The financial commitment of buying a property meant that previous generations were locked into a long term financial agreement, and therefore needed job security and stability to make regular loan repayments. Today however, many Millennials don’t have the financial commitment of a mortgage, and due to house prices being so high and often deemed as “out of reach”, the prospect of buying a property is so unattainable, that saving for a deposit is often perceived as futile.

Not having the financial commitment of a mortgage has meant Millennials have more financial freedom and are able to follow a more vocational career path. Portfolio careers are now commonplace amongst the Millennial generation, with people having a more transient working pattern, rather than a rigid “career for life”.

Companies must now consider this change of career outlook and start to adapt recruitment practices and job structures to meet with this modern style of working. The rise of the gig-economy and temporary working has demonstrated the wide appeal of flexible working, which should be embraced by companies who want to appeal to the Millennial generation, or risk struggling to attract talent.

Offering flexible working hours, freelance positions, or job share opportunities can improve the attractiveness of roles. Rethinking team structures and working policies can have a positive impact on recruitment success.

With all this being said, the report from the Resolution Foundation today highlights a wider issue of housing affordability, and the ever-increasing divide between rich and poor. Although working patterns have changed with the Millennial generation, there is a sense that this change has been forced upon them, rather than it being a truly elective decision; but whatever the driver behind the change, it is essential to adapt recruitment processes or risk being left behind.


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