'New Collar Workers' Content to Stay Hourly

July 24, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - For many workers in the 18 to 29-year-old age group, being in an hourly job is just fine.

An SHRM Online news report said that was a key finding of a survey by SnagAJob.com in May and June 2008, covering 1,755 young Americans. According to SHRM, the survey found that 48% who do not have a college degree expect to be hourly workers for their career, while 30% expect to be salaried employees. One-quarter of those with college degrees are career hourly workers or intend to pursue a career as an hourly employee; 62% expect to be salaried, the poll found.

While 25% are frustrated in their hourly jobs, more than one-third (37%) are happy in their jobs, and another 16% find their nonsalaried careers fulfilling. The best thing about their jobs – their co-workers. Pay, benefits and interacting with customers followed in a nearly three-way tie for the second best thing about their jobs, the news report said.

Cathy McCarthy, senior vice president of marketing for SnagAJob.com, told SHRM that the survey results show a new value system and employers may want to consider this when recruiting talent for such positions. The challenge for employers is in “creating cohorts out of co-workers,” and McCarthy suggested strategies such as rewarding workers for referring job candidates and making social interaction part of the interview process.

The survey identified the top five industries for what SnagAJob labels “new collar workers”:

  • Retail, 18%.
  • Service/customer service, 16%.
  • Health care, 16%.
  • Office/business, 10%.
  • Restaurant/food service, 8%.