Is less better or is more merrier? Seems many employers are choosing the former when it comes to the amount of time off they offer to new hires.
According to AHI's 2007 Survey Of Traditional Time Off And PTO Program Practices, over the last three years, employers have become less generous with the amount of time off they're granting employees, especially new hires. Doesn't matter whether employers use a paid time off (PTO) program, which tracks sick, personal, and vacation leave collectively and deducts time from one combined time-off bank, or a Traditional program, which tracks sick, personal, and vacation leave independently and deducts time from distinct banks.
In 2005 and 2006, most PTO responders tagged 11-15 days as the number of days granted to new employees (i.e., those without a full year of service completed). The top response dropped to five or fewer days in 2007.
Employers using a Traditional program started to grow less generous back in 2006, when the top amount of vacation days offered to new hires dropped to five or fewer days from 6-10 days in 2005; five or fewer days remained the top response in 2007.
So why the change of time-off heart? One possible reason employers might decide to reduce the amount of PTO or vacation time for new hires is the nomadic job-searching nature of younger employees. According to a survey by the Segmentation Company, a division of the marketing consultant Yankelovich, 65% of 24- to 35-year-olds prefer to "look for a job in the place that I would like to live," rather than "look for the best job I can find, the place where I live is secondary." The survey postulates that living in the city of their dreams increases the likelihood of younger workers job-hopping to get there.
While there is nothing you can do about the attractiveness of the city in which your organization is located, you can try to hang on to new hires by ensuring that your organization is competitive in the number of days off given to employees.
For example, AHI's survey found that after completing five years of service, the top PTO day range was 16-20 days, while the top vacation day range was 11-15 days. Gain a retention edge by either exceeding those day ranges or making sure your organization is on the high-end of those ranges.