Should Job Hopping Be a Red Flag When Recruiting?

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Job hopping has traditionally been considered a negative by hiring managers. Many believe that candidates who move quickly between positions are quick to become dissatisfied in their roles or are simply moving around any time they find a suitable opportunity to do so. In either case, hiring managers often worry about hiring these job seekers, assuming they won’t stick around long enough to make investing in them worthwhile.

While job hopping can certainly be done for the wrong reasons, automatically consider it a red flag isn’t always wise. If you want to know why, here are a few points worth considering.

The Norm is Changing in Employment

After the economic crash in 2008, the job market changed dramatically. Professionals aren’t as inclined to spend their entire careers with one employer as they think they won’t be rewarded for their loyalty.

Instead, professionals developed a new approach to their careers. They are more open to making a change and will do so if they believe it will help them move forward. This mentality is supported thanks to the increasingly tight labor market, leaving more opportunities available and not enough candidates to fill them.

However, it is important to note that many professionals do stay with their employer for a significant period of time. The average is approximately 4.2 years, which isn’t necessarily a short stint. Even if a candidate is only averaging around two years at each job, it isn’t wise to discount them automatically, especially with competition for top talent being so fierce. If the candidate provided value for their previous employers, they may be worth keeping in contention.

Longevity Isn’t Always a Good Thing

When a professional spends a decade in one role, hiring managers may view that as a good sign. However, if there is a lack of forward progression, it could also signal the person has stalled, not acquiring the skills or experience necessary to advance.

In contrast, if a candidate has changed jobs every few years and has continuously moved up the ladder with each transition, it shows they are improving with time. New skills have been acquired, and their experience level kept providing more value, allowing them to keep progressing by being open to a change.

Those in the second category may not have been fully dissatisfied with their past employers either. Instead, there may have been limited access to opportunities, giving them little choice but to look elsewhere if they wanted to take the next step forward. Often, if an employer provides professional development and advancement opportunities, they will be open to staying long term; that just hasn’t been an available option thus far.

Job Hopping Leads to Skill Development

In some cases, job hopping causes a candidate to develop skills a more stable employee might not have to master. Being introduced to new environments means they have to learn to adapt. Plus, they often become fast learners in order to keep up with the changes.

Job hoppers can have strong interpersonal skills. They have worked with a wider range of people during their journey, discovering new perspectives and integrating with multiple teams. Plus, they have larger professional networks which can benefit the company as well as the individual.

Consult With Our Recruitment Team

Ultimately, always considering job hopping a red flag when recruiting isn’t a good idea. There can be valid reasons for changing employers regularly, and they may have more to offer than you initially realize. If you’d like to learn more, the skilled team of professionals at VB can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our experienced staff today and see how our recruitment expertise can benefit you.

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