HR Trend of the Week: Job Hopping Employees

In any other era, when a recruiter would look at a resume
and see that the candidate has had multiple short-stint jobs, it would raise a
major red flag. For many years it was unacceptable to consider a candidate who
spent less than three years at multiple jobs because they were viewed as an
unstable job hopper. However, in recent years, potential hires that have made
frequent career moves are being received more favorably amid pressure for rapid

Photo: CNN Money

The old stigma that recruiters should only focus on
candidates that have documented longevity with previous organizations is quickly
fading. Decreased workplace loyalty among millennials, the most recent
generation to be immersed in the workforce, is a contributing factor to the proliferation
of job hopping. Economic instability has erased,
especially for younger workers, the poor reputation leaving a job early has. Strategic
hopping been all but necessary for as long as they can remember. 

According to a study by
Career Builder, more than half (55 percent) of employers surveyed said they
have hired a job-hopper and nearly one-third (32 percent) of all employers said
they have come to expect workers to job-hop. The U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reports that workers aged 25 to 34 years old in 2014 had worked a
median of three years for their current employer.

The diminishing stigma additionally suggests that companies
increasingly believe high-level hires with multiple recent employers bring
fresh insights and a mix of experience. Top
executive coaches caution that it has become risky for managers to stick with
the same employer for longer than a decade out of concern that they will fail
to develop a wide breadth of skills. Knowledge about a range of best practices
helps employees adapt to change and build resilient organizations.

Although there are many
positive aspects of job hopping, talent acquisition managers are still
proceeding with caution. Heads of Human Resources make a valid case for their
wariness of resumes filled with 1-2-year stints. They question an applicant’s
motivation, skill level, engagement on the job and ability to get along with
other colleagues. For companies, losing an employee after a year means wasting
precious time and resources on training and development without seeing it truly
pay off.

For Human Resources managers,
having policies in place that are attractive to employees is a primary way to
keep them around for longer than a couple of years. Offering workplace flexibility,
often more important than salary for younger employees, can have positive
effects on retention. According to Future Workplace, employees that can
contribute creatively and share ideas with their superiors encourages personal
development, which will entice them to stick around longer. Additionally, make sure
that you are communicating the company’s mission and values, as employees are
increasingly wanting to work at a company whose values match their own.

Overall, keeping an open mind
about job hoppers may open your organization up to talent you may not have had
the opportunity to engage with before. Before disregarding a resume peppered
with different jobs, consider the context; it may demonstrate ambition and the
desire to learn new skills more than it shows a lack of commitment. More
employers are realizing that this is the new normal, and are beginning to appreciating
its advantages.

Key Takeaways:

1. Job
hoppers are becoming much more accepted in the workforce and can bring a mix of
new experiences and skills.

2. There
are steps Human Resources can take in order to retain employees and prevent
them from leaving after a short period of time.

3. Keep
an open mind about candidates with frequent career moves.


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