Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the opportunities in the labour market for young employees with intermediate-level education by studying which young employees are most likely to be retained and under what conditions managers favour retention.
Design/methodology/approach: Retention decisions are examined by combining a vignette experiment and a survey study. Hypothetical profiles of 252 young employees were rated on their retention desirability by 21 managers, each working in a different organisation. Information on the managers’ characteristics and their organisations were collected in a survey.
Findings: Managers are generally not inclined to suggest retention. Their decisions are highly dependent on their own characteristics and organisational factors, even when young employees perform well and display desirable work-related behaviour.
Research limitations/implications: While the small scale and explorative nature of this study limit its generalisability, this paper highlights the importance of combining information on employees, the organisation and managers; when studying (early) careers and employment decisions.
Practical implications: This study suggests that job retention is only in part within an individual’s control, and the future efforts to combat youth unemployment need to account for organisational and managerial characteristics.
Originality/value: The focus on the employer’s perspective is new to research on early careers, making it a starting point for further lines of exploration. Further, this study provides a comprehensive insight into factors that influence managers’ retention decisions by combining three sets of factors in a single research design.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Human resource management, Retention decisions, Vignette, Vocational training, Youth unemployment
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJM-05-2016-0114, hdl.handle.net/1765/106089
Journal International Journal of Manpower
Citation
Buers, C. (Corine), Karpinska, K, & Schippers, J.J. (2017). Managers’ retention decisions regarding young intermediate-level educated employees. International Journal of Manpower, 39(2), 254–268. doi:10.1108/IJM-05-2016-0114