Hiring

Should You Avoid or Embrace the Job Hopper?

Should You Avoid or Embrace the Job Hopper?
Image credit: Filip Go? | Flickr

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Job hoppers are becoming more readily accepted in today’s workforce. A CareerBuilder survey of 2,138 hiring managers and HR professionals, conducted last year, found that 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.

Related: The 7 Deadly Sins of Hiring

The stigma associated with not staying in one position, or at one company for very long, is fading. So should employers embrace or continue to avoid job-hopping candidates? Here are three reasons to reconsider hiring the candidate with perhaps a little too much experience (and which candidates to avoid):

1. They’re quick to adapt.

While working at multiple companies in a short period of time may seem like a red flag, it can also work to an employer’s advantage. A previously nomadic lifestyle can give candidates a wide range of experience, in diverse work environments.

This makes it easier for new hires to adapt to their new work environment and better assimilate. A candidate who has little to no experience elsewhere will, most likely, take a bit longer to adjust. More roles, environments and sectors means more experience.

What to avoid: Rather than avoiding job hoppers altogether, steer clear from career hoppers. Career hoppers, unlike job hoppers, may still be unsure of what they want to do. A candidate’s resume should ideally be chock full of relevant experience that has helped them grow within their respective industry -- not just list unrelated jobs ranging from chef to ad sales rep.

Related: Are Candidates Who Job Hopped Worth Your Time?

2. They have a large network of contacts.

It’s reasonable to believe that job hoppers will have more business contacts than someone who has been with the same company for an extended period of time. Working for multiple companies can help employees build an impressive network of contacts within their industry. This can be advantageous to employers, as it offers them a whole new network of work-related resources.

What to avoid: When evaluating job hoppers, take their references (or lack thereof) into consideration. A candidate who has held several different positions should have a decent amount of professional references to vouch for them. A job hopper with a shortage of good references is also unlikely to bring with them a large network of valuable contacts.

3. They have a range of skills.

Job hoppers are given the opportunity to continually hone their skills. With each new position comes new challenges, professional development opportunities and increased skill sets. Not to mention, working at multiple companies means working with a number of professionals, each with their own skills and abilities to learn from. Job hoppers can often make well-rounded employees.

What to avoid: Job hopping can sometimes be a sign of ambition, or it can be a sign of a disatissfied or lazy employee. To avoid hiring the latter, look past the date ranges and focus on the successes in those roles.  

When it comes time to hire, don’t be too quick to judge a candidate based on the number of jobs they’ve had or the length of time they’ve stayed with a company. Instead, aim to find out the reason behind the job hopping and what the candidate has taken from it.

Do you avoid or embrace the job hopper? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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