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Things To Consider When Identifying A Job Hopper


We’ve all received that candidate that we recruiters and hiring managers call a “Job Hopper” These are the individuals that get a bad rap and generally do not stay at their current position for longer than two or three years. More often than not, these resumes always get disregarded and are never considered for future positions.

Here are some scenarios that should be taken into consideration when identifying a job hopper:

Company Changes.  Workforce reductions, management changes, acquisition of another company, internal restructuring that would cause the position to be moved or eliminated, etc.

Economic woes. The recession of 2008 and 2009 caused the loss of 8.4 million jobs. In the years coming, which left millions of professional workers unemployed, forced workers to take job changes which often led to short term positions, and took positions at lower wages. 

Issues with cultural fit.  An Employee who is a good cultural fit works well in the existing workplace environment. Employees who fail to fit in with the environment, generally leave to find a company in which they make more of a connection with.


Pros of hiring a job hopper

They have a wide range of skills/Top performer. A majority of candidates are always seeking room for advancement. Which shouldn’t necessarily be a disadvantage when seeking qualified candidates. Would you rather have a candidate that is comfortable in their current position, or would you rather take on a candidate that is comfortable taking on new projects and learning new skills? These candidates are always top performers in their industry, or else they wouldn’t be getting multiple job offers.

Adaptability.  Job hoppers continue to adapt by facing the different strategies used by several different companies. Because of this they will be more likely to easily adapt to company changes, challenges and culture.

Large network of contacts. Job hoppers will have more contacts than someone who has been with a company for an extended period of time. This can have an advantage for the employer, as it can offer a diverse new network of resources.

They know what your competitors are doingMore often than not, if the candidate came from the same industry they will have worked for one of your competitors. This may give you some valuable knowledge in the future strategies of your company.


Cons of hiring a job hopper

High risk. Hiring always comes with a risk however with job hoppers this risk a bit more escalated. This is generally the case when the individual has not held a job longer than 3 years at any one given time.

Costs Involved. Is the time and investment you put into this employee going to have a negative effect on your company? You need to really dive deep when interviewing an identified job hopper. Thorough reference checks must be completed to make sure the reasons they left prior companies, line up with what has been said.  

Loyalty.  How long is this employee going to stick around for? You want to make sure the employee will stick with the company to see projects finished and not leave. You need to find out what the candidates motivations are for pursuing this new opportunity and what drives them to succeed.

In the end, you should always go with your gut feeling. Not all job hoppers have left prior employers for negative reasons. Don’t be too quick to judge a candidate based on the number of jobs they have had in the past.  If you really dig in and put all of the pieces of the puzzle together, you may be surprised with the end result. A job hopper could end up being the best employee you have ever had. 

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