Should you hire a job hopper?

“Job hopper” is a term normally used to describe a professional who changes their job frequently, normally every 1 – 2 years. More recently millennials have been labelled as wandering job hoppers but this isn’t always the case, with the current market being so candidate driven anyone can be tempted to jump between roles, and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon, in fact many professionals could change their jobs multiple times before staying somewhere long term.

Historically, employers and recruitment consultancies have avoided job hoppers on the basis that past performance may repeat itself, but this attitude is changing. It’s understandable that a hiring manager may fear a job hopper because it’s their job to make good choices and retain valuable employees. However, in today’s aggressive market, if you immediately reject one you could be missing out on some incredible talent.

Retaining talent is already really tough and every employer wants to avoid the risk and cost of a bad hire, however there are some advantages:

  • They are adaptable and flexible.
  • They have diverse experiences and skills.
  • They are not complacent.
  • They are ambitious.
  • They will bring new ideas.

Of course, it is a risk hiring a job hopper, companies employ and train their staff in the hope they stay there long term and a high staff turnover can become very expensive! However, they do have qualities more stationary candidates may not. Interviewing someone you can ask all the necessary questions and get a feel for why they have left previous roles, maybe if a hiring manager knows this they can avoid making the same mistakes.

There are many reasons why someone may leave a job; a big one is after a few years, learning within a role may start to slow down and many people start to feel complacent. Unless the company can continue to promote them into new challenging positions they may have to consider a different employer in order to get what they want.

In summary, I think a job hopper will have many diverse qualities, they can be a risk, but they are focused on their own career development and when they find a company who can offer them the challenges they have been looking for, they will be extremely valuable employees.

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