I read an interesting report earlier this year: that in 2020, the average lifespan of a Standard and Poor’s 500 Index company was only 21 years. 

In 1965, the average lifespan of a Standard and Poor’s 500 Index Company was 32 years.

There is a lot of analysis in these two short facts.

First, it means that over time, the most successful public companies in America, those listed in the S&P Index, have been surviving for a shorter and shorter amount of time. They disappear through bankruptcies, mergers, or acquisitions past the average; at least, many of them do.

So, if the most successful companies survive for just 21 years, imagine what happens to the companies that are just average or below average: they last much less.


What Does This Mean for the Average Employee?

This means that the average employee tends to change jobs more frequently than in the past. During the Boomer Generation, it was normal for employees to take one job and spend their entire career there until they retired.

Not so today.

Today, it is normal to see employees change roles every three to seven years. Recruiters and Hiring Managers alike still label employees who switch roles every six months to a year and a half as, “job hoppers”, but switching roles has become much more normal in today’s economy.

Candidates switch jobs for the same reasons companies in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index leave the index: bankruptcies of their employers, acquisitions of their employers, or mergers of their employer with another organization. Of course, there are other reasons too such as a higher paying role or a remote position, but the above reasons are the reasons employers let many employees go.

In Retrospect

To summarize, this finding from Statista.com shows a very important trend in our workforce: careers and jobs in general are not as long-term as in previous organizations.

What this means, in my opinion, is that current hiring managers and HR managers should be less harsh when judging job seekers.

Many are super productive and are great at what they do. They just got caught up in the ever changing job market.

So, my team and I at NewConfig urge all of our clients to examine candidates more closely and really find out why they left their previous employer: Was it their fault or just part of the changes in today’s labor market?

Of course, if you need help as a hiring manager finding the right candidate or deciphering the above with your current batch of candidates, please reach out to us.