Hiring Job Hoppers: 10 Reasons Why They Are So Very Valuable

First of two parts

Hiring managers and recruiters have a long history of rejecting “job jumpers.” And even today, 43 percent of employers won’t consider job jumpers, according to CareerBuilder.

If you are not familiar with the term, a “job jumper” or “job hopper” is a recruiting prospect who has had short tenures with several employers.

Unfortunately, it’s an antiquated concept that might have been valid long ago, but in today’s volatile talent marketplace, automatically rejecting frequent job changers may cause you to miss out on many exceptional hires.

Rather than the often-mistaken assumption that job hoppers are disloyal, selfish, impatient, and expensive, they may actually be superstars who merely change jobs frequently because they are so good, and they are continually offered many new and higher-level opportunities (that their current firm simply can’t or won’t match).

There is no available public data that demonstrates that hiring job jumpers has a low ROI, and in fact, the opposite may be true.

Top 10 reasons job jumpers can be very valuable

Changing jobs frequently has become the norm rather than the exception. For example, workers in the U.S. have an average job tenure of only 4.6 years (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and 45 percent of employers now expect new college grads to stay less than two years (according to CareerBuilder).

Other research found that “high achievers” (i.e. 30 years old on average with great school and work credentials) leave after an average of 28 months and “95 percent of elite young managers actively researched other employment opportunities, and they tended to follow through on that instinct in short order,” according to the Harvard Business Review.

Refusing to consider job jumpers is fast becoming an outdated practice. In fact, 55 percent have actually hired a job hopper and 32 percent of all surveyed employers (and 42 percent in IT) have come to expect workers to job hop, according to CareerBuilder.

If more than half the firms have found a way to hire job hoppers, you should too. In fact in this changing talent marketplace, there are numerous reasons why you should actually target them. Some of those powerful reasons are listed here: 

At least scan the many reasons why you should reconsider hiring job jumpers.

1. Job jumpers are likely to be top performers

Top performers move up frequently and average performers do not. The mere fact that a job jumper can move frequently between jobs probably means that they are exceptional performers. And their only real “fault” may be that they are ambitious and they have the initiative to seek out better opportunities (two traits that most managers would normally want in an employee).

Before making an automatically negative judgement, check the track record of an individual job jumper to see if it reveals that they have moved,

  1. Because of a significant promotional opportunity; or,
  2. That they “moved up” to a more prestigious firm.

Both are positive indications of talent, and like a baseball star who moves quickly through the different development leagues and then “up to the majors,” you should view them as an emerging star.

Rather than being the least desirable, they may be the most desirable targets because several other firms have seen enough value in them to hire them. Job jumpers are also most likely to be in the early to mid stages in their career, which statistically makes it unlikely that their productivity is beginning to level off or that it is declining.

2. They bring knowledge of your competitors

More than half (53 percent) of employers say that job-hoppers “have a wide range of expertise,” according to CareerBuilder. In fact, when you hire a job jumper, you get the accumulated knowledge, best practices, benchmark information, their many contacts, and their experience from a number of firms.

If their job jumping was within the same industry, you get a breath of industry knowledge that is hard even for your current employees to match. And if the job jumping was between different industries, you may get an even broader array of experience and best practices that can be adapted to your industry.

3. They’re adaptable; they learn and build contacts quickly

Half (51 percent) of employers say that job-hoppers “can adapt quickly,” according to CareerBuilder.

When you hire a job jumper who has succeeded in each of their successive jobs, very likely their success came from their ability to build relationships fast, to learn rapidly, and because they are versatile and adapt quickly. All of these traits are critical in a volatile VUCA world.

4. Think of  them as going through development rotations

You need to consider job jumping as a form of highly diversified employee development, just like job rotations are within the organization.

Because each time they were a new hire, “jumpers” were forced to rapidly learn new information, new skills, and best practices. In fact they may be much more developed than most current employees at your firm who have “settled down” in their job and that have not been challenged to dramatically learn in years.

5. Job hoppers may be easier to recruit

Many shortsighted managers and recruiters automatically reject job jumpers. So, if you don’t care about their job jumping, the reduced competition may mean that they are much easier to recruit and their salary expectations will be lower than most top performers.

If you don’t harp on their job jumping throughout the hiring process, they will likely be presently surprised and then be more likely to say yes. Always remember that one the firm’s trash is another’s treasure.

6. They are the next generation of talent

A whopping 91 percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years, according to FutureWorkplace.com, which could mean that Millennials could have as many as 20 jobs in their career.

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In fact, 25 percent of workers under 35 have already had more than five jobs in their short career, according to CareerBuilder.

Most employees’ view of loyalty is rapidly changing, and many members of new generations may not be loyal no matter what you do. So if you’re avoiding job jumpers because you want loyal employees, you may be disappointed to learn that our society simply “doesn’t create many loyal workers anymore.”

7. Do you want LeBron for a year, or Homer Simpson for 4.6?

Nearly 50 percent of former job jumpers stay at their next firm more than two years, and the average hire stays only 4.6 years. And most that “run the numbers” have found that short-term excellence is significantly better than long-term mediocrity!

When you hire a superstar who may well leave within 18-24 months, you still have a great opportunity to use their skills and learn from them. Superstars frequently move on, but the tremendous short-term gain and “push forward” that they provide makes hiring them worthwhile.

Having an average employee for as little as two more years simply won’t likely produce the same business results.

8. The sunk training costs of a job hopper may be a myth

Many managers mistakenly assume that you will lose your training investment if a newly hired job jumper “quits early.” But the job jumpers may not need much investment.

The fact is that, since job jumpers have obviously had multiple jobs, most are not rookies who need lots of training. Having had multiple jobs may have also made them into individuals who don’t require a lot of management attention and they may by now even become leaders. And with their extensive experience in many different jobs and companies, most job jumpers can get up to speed more rapidly.

Taken together, most jumpers simply don’t require the same investment, management time, and training as most new hires. They may also be cheaper employees because during their short tenure, they won’t likely use retirement or educational benefits.

And if they do encounter performance difficulties, because they knew how to get a new job, they will likely quit on their own without any need for performance management on your part.

9. You want employees who can see a troubled future

Some job jumpers leave as their firm is sinking. If you worked at RadioShack, for example, and you left because you successfully forecasted the impending downfall of your company, you would actually be more desirable as a candidate.

Smart people are loyal to a point, but if the “job jumper” left a struggling or failing firm before it crashed, you should give them credit, not blame.

Being loyal and staying on the Titanic until the very end is a trait you might not want in an employee.

10. You may not want to keep every innovator 

You hire innovators based on the premise that you want to capture their innovative ideas. But unfortunately, there are few “serial innovators” in the world that produce multiple innovations.

So if you hire a job jumper who is likely to be a “one-time-only innovator,” the fact that they may leave after providing that one innovation is not a major problem. In some cases, they are “a one-trick pony” and they would be expensive to keep because they may do little more than rest on their laurels.

Tomorrow: How to Keep Job Jumpers From Jumping Again jobhopper2

Dr. John Sullivan, professor, author, corporate speaker, and advisor, is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high-business-impact talent management solutions.

He’s a prolific author with over 900 articles and 10 books covering all areas of talent management. He has written over a dozen white papers, conducted over 50 webinars, dozens of workshops, and he has been featured in over 35 videos. He is an engaging corporate speaker who has excited audiences at over 300 corporations/ organizations in 30 countries on all six continents. His ideas have appeared in every major business source including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, CFO, Inc., NY Times, SmartMoney, USA Today, HBR, and the Financial Times. In addition, he writes for the WSJ Experts column. He has been interviewed on CNN and the CBS and ABC nightly news, NPR, as well many local TV and radio outlets. Fast Company called him the "Michael Jordan of Hiring," Staffing.org called him “the father of HR metrics,” and SHRM called him “One of the industry's most respected strategists." He was selected among HR’s “Top 10 Leading Thinkers” and he was ranked No. 8 among the top 25 online influencers in talent management. He served as the Chief Talent Officer of Agilent Technologies, the HP spinoff with 43,000 employees, and he was the CEO of the Business Development Center, a minority business consulting firm in Bakersfield, California. He is currently a Professor of Management at San Francisco State (1982 – present). His articles can be found all over the Internet and on his popular website www.drjohnsullivan.com and on staging.ere.net. He lives in Pacifica, California.

 

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51 Comments on “Hiring Job Hoppers: 10 Reasons Why They Are So Very Valuable

  1. Some people appear to job hoppers because they are in a field that has a lot of temporary/seasonal jobs and it takes a long time to get into a permanent position.

  2. If no one hires job hoppers, then how are they able to jump jobs so often? Think about it. Duh!

  3. I ONLY hire job hoppers. It’s a huge red flag if someone has been at the same job over 5 years and suddenly wants to leave. If they have been at a job for 10 years, the resume automatically goes in the trash. It also tells me that person does not understand how or is uncomfortable learning new skills and that they do not understand how the modern economy works- job hopping is the way one moves up.

    1. Sorry, but you’re a moron. Whoever hired you is an even bigger moron. No wonder people can’t get jobs and be stable because of idiots like you.

      1. Considering the complete lack of substance in your “critique,” I will take that as a compliment.

        But like it or not, my attitude is common. You can bang your head against the wall or adapt to that reality. Best of luck!

        1. So let me get this right…you think it’s a red flag because somebody has been working at a particular company for a number of years?? That makes no sense whatsoever. First of all, you assume that a person can’t gather new skills while in the same position. Secondly, you remind me of a colleague who asked me why I didn’t want to hire a particular person. “But why??? He has ten years of experience” he droned. My response, “No he doesn’t. He has one year of experience ten times over. Just because a job hopper goes from one position to the next and moves from one company to the other doesn’t mean his skills are improving. Like I said, you hire people for the wrong reasons which makes you a poor manager. I wish I was your boss so I could cancel your ass like a stamp. But you’re right, your attitude is commons which is why corporate America is so f’d up. A big red flag because a guy or gal doesn’t change jobs. Geez…Give me a break!

          1. Hahahaha, El Grande, you are so far off its laughable. First off, if you actually read the article, you would see that they are referring to hoppers that have a median stay of 18-24 months, not “5 different places in two to three years” as you stated.18 to 24 months is certainly a solid amount of time for any strong candidate to contribute, learn, and re-launch themselves. It is completely dependent on the person, the role, the situation, as well as a myriad of other factors. The fact is that upward mobility is extremely difficult, even for the exceptional, as generally, the company you work for must have someone leave a positition for it to be available in the first place, or you are lucky enough to work at a company that is expanding rapidly. One of these things is worth sticking around for, the other isnt, guess which is which.

            “Go ahead, call me archaic but the rules of economics and self interest will always prevail.” Now, I must thank you for your lesson in economics as I, wrongly, thought that moving from job to job, learning new skills, and growing were in my best “self-interest” and that these moves brought a plethoria of skills and knowledge to an organization that sees the potential to capitalize, thus grow economically (in a later post we can discuss philisophical and existential growth of companies) through said candidate.

            Now, based on your posts, I am assuming that you are in the tail end of your career, but feel the pressure of the young ‘whipper snappers” looking to take over your position, but hey, you worked here for 20 years, the position belongs to you, and regardless of ineffective you have become, or how much your salary has bloated, or how irrelevant the textbooks you used 30 years ago are, you deserve to drag the company down because ‘they owe it to you’.

            Also, thank you for making it clear that the “No he doesn’t. He has one year of experience ten times over” phenomenon of losing the skills of a past job when you start a new one occurance. I agree, this candidate with 10 1-year experiences is actually quite the same as someone with just 1-year experience. Makes perfect sense when I think about it economically and with self-interest”

            Well news flash, companies dont owe you sh^t except for salary, and any employee owes nothing more then work that commensorates their salary. Its quite simple, if you arent getting paid what you deserve and/or if your skills outway your pay, find a place that places the appropriate value on them. And any good highering manager can immediately see the difference between resumes that are like this “6- months sandwich maker at Burger King, 12-months fry cook at Mcdonalds, 14-months cashier at subway” and like this “8-months Associate, 16- months executive, 12-months project manager, 24- months Sales manager…” But I guess you dont really have exposure to this at your work with Radioshack.

          2. RMB you have given El Bandito the best advice ever- read the article properly

          3. Hey brainiac, I’ve been at my company for fifteen years and I have no intentions of leaving. I have risen to the rank of top management and I’ve been given annual raises and bonuses based on my performance. I’m earning almost double the salary of which I was making when I started in said bonuses and I have earned three weeks of paid vacation not to mention accrued personal days off. Not to mention accrued sick time. I have a very nice medical and health insurance plan for myself and my family. I have accrued 401k. I’m very thankful that the company I’m working for has been good to me. I must say I feel very fortunate because there are plenty of companies out there that as you say “don’t give a sh^t.” That’s the problem with corporate America. There are always going to be near sighted employees like you wasting money over hand and foot. I’ve been very happy in my work and in return have been rewarded. But noooo, Mr. Shanghai thinks that I need to job hop to further myself. Mr. Shanghai thinks that I need to go to another company in order to go back to ground zero, reinvent myself at said company and only get one week of vacation. But go ahead, you go and hire that job hopper who has no interest in vesting in the company because guys like you don’t vest in his employees.

            Now you were saying?….

          4. Thank you so much for helping me make my point!

            You see, it took you 15 YEARS to double your original salary in bonuses and get 3 weeks vacation! Thats a problem! This is why people job hop, excluding the mediocre. After my most recent hop 3 months ago, they have given me 30 days paid vacation a year (+1 per year), unlimited documented sick time, 1 extra vacation day per 15 hours overtime worked, full medical coverage, the standard 401k/pension (nothing too special considering this is required by law). Oh, did I mention they doubled my salary (not including bonuses)?

            If I had been working at a place for 15 years and there wasnt already an offer for partner or I wasnt already senior management (CEO, CFO, COO, Manageing Director ect…) Id be shaking my head in disappointment in all the time ive wasted with this company

            (I will be generous an give the assumption that you are good at what you do despite your lack of understanding of basic economic principles, sociatal norms, social ettiquite, and corporate practices)

            You see, your company has placated you into thinking they have done a favor for you in maintaining your employement with their “generous” vacation and renumeration package. Which is actually not too generous at all. In fact, if you do the math, your double of salary over 15 years probably barely compensates for inflation. Meanwhile, the good work youve been doing for your company is converted into equity and capital for you company. Ask yourself this, has your salary grown at a similar pace as the revenue of the company? If the company made 20% profit last year, why did you only get a 5% raise! And, most importantly, have you even visited sites like glassdoor.com to compare what you are making to the same position in other companies?

            The point of this article, if you have had a chance to actually read since my first post, is that in this world today, people are actually starting to understand what they are worth, and are sick of companies pretended it isnt true. And if a company really values its employees, like you assume yours does, it will lay out a very clear career path for you, the day the deviate from that path is the day i start to look for a new job. Considering all I have achieved in my strategic positioning over my last 3 companies, its hard to argue the disadvantages.

            Did I mention im only 31 years old?

          5. Uhhh no. Ive got work to do…unlike some folks. But if you feel the need to “one up” me go right ahead.

          6. The “one upping” was meant to show you that the days of working at one place for 15 years is over/coming to an end- and was probably not in your best interest anyways, if you are in fact a reasonably competent worker.

            My last employer, who was wonderful, didn’t realistically expect anyone to stay more than 5. But since most people who leave maintain good relationships, there’s always the possibility of “hopping” back in a different role after working other places AND gaining new experience.

          7. Glassdoor is a great resource and I encourage people to post job salary info/reviews/etc… there.

          8. Maybe try working somewhere that the company a) constantly lies to you b) over works you, doesn’t not take care of you in any way. You speak of these bonuses and raises and vacation and such. Those are fairy tales to me. Any vacation I’ve tried to take was a working vacation due to people who wouldn’t leave me alone when I was off work. I nearly died in the hospital – but no days off. I’m valuable, you know. Better sign in remote or else. I have job hopped because I eventually burn out and grow resentful of repeated unkept promises, salary reductions as my roles and responsibilities expand – because I am very good at what I do in IT and I am considered an efficiency expert. When I was younger I hung around, trusting these people and waiting for it to work out like this story you tell. But after a while you just get burned out and try someone else, hoping they will be happy with someone who reduces turnover across multiple departments with system and process improvements at every stop, flips hundreds of thousands in lost data to half a million in profits, whose management might say “that guys good – we should take care of him” instead of “eh he’s a cog, churn and burn him.” I can tell you I’m in touch with ex coworkers who say the whole thing fell apart when I left and they had to hire three, sometimes four people to do what I did by myself. Good companies like yours are rare. Every one I’ve been at, save one I had to leave because I needed to be closer to my parents, treats employees like crap and shows no loyalty or support. How do you get two new roles in addition to the five you already had covering for layoffs and get offered a paycut? Promoted to manager and asked to help in new infrastructue and app design, but btw, we are cutting your pay.

            Seriously, would you actually stick around if you were treated like this? Glad you have a nice company but for most of us, (I’m a Millenial) we get treated like dirt and the great stories of our parents at work are just that – stories. I wouldn’t want to work for someone as narrow minded as you, but if I did, you would look like a champ because I’m a proven superstar. It’s never been my managers, but the company structure above them, that’s been the problem. They all happily vouch for me and help me get new jobs because they’re offended by how I’m treated in respects to my massive individual contributions that continually are trivialized and not rewarded because senior management believes nonsense like “no one person can be that good” even with the evidence sitting right in front of them. Not to mention I was a good manager. When I left, so did my people. They didn’t trust the other folks they were assigned to after that.

          9. Ill take your lack of response as a signal that you realize how wrong you are. Which is great! now you are ready for a hop!

          10. You sir are very old fashioned, I agree with you on a few points. But what type of Planet are you living on? The only good reason to hire people that have held the same job or very few jobs for years and years is too have complacent, non-thinking robot sheep that are ignorant enough to stay at the same shitty job wasting their lives away. They aren’t living their lives, any idiot with a centimeter of brain tissue can show up on time everyday at work, go through the motions and repeat the process until they stagnate into the grave.

          11. You have hit the nail on the head: The only good reason to hire people that have held the same job or very few jobs for years and years is too have complacent, non-thinking robot sheep that are ignorant enough to stay at the same shitty job wasting
            their lives away.

            That’s what most employers want. It saves on re-hiring costs. They rarely have to give them raises.

        2. So I stayed at a job for 7 years because the pay/benefits/PTO/etc. was good until I got laid off. You seriously wouldn’t hire me? I learned new things every single day I was at this job. You seriously wouldn’t hire me? Wow. No offense, really, but – WOW.

    2. Thank goodness people like you are in hiring positions to balance out the ‘el grande’ effect

    3. Congrats! You have missed out on some great employees, like myself — who stayed with a company for 13 years and continuously updated his skills. But, you wouldn’t know that because you didn’t get that far on my resume. Just an FYI… don’t make assumptions about people. But, maybe you’re OK with that because most employers make false assumptions, rather than ask questions. Which begs the question: Why would someone want to work for someone like you?

  4. Some of us job hoppers were just trying to keep a resume active while looking for something permanent after the recession. I did temporary work to make my unemployment go farther and because of that I was considered a “job hopper”. Recruiters wouldn’t give me the time of day. Glad to see this is changing.

    1. this still happens now. temp agencies send you out for x amount of time then when it is over you don’t another assignment. on to the next temp agency.

  5. Unfortunately, articles as this are, for the most part, NOT read by HR and hiring managers. The employment picture would be so much better if they’d just open their eyes to reason.

    The article makes some very good points. Too bad most people in power will never read them.

    Another reason for job hopping is the lack of loyalty by the employer, who routinely has lay-offs at the slightest hint of a downturn or a cancelled contract. They think nothing of their involvement in the short term employment environment. Or, they fire employees for the dumbest reason, destroying a career. The employee is left with no other option than to accept short term contracting positions.

    As a job hopper, I’d gladly stay with a company for a very long time, if the company would only let me.

    1. Absolutely! The social contract between employer and employee is gone and never to return. Unfortunately, the lay offs of the late seventies and early eighties was the proverbial nail in the coffin in killing off this contract. There’s no loyalty anymore. I truly believe that employees want to make a difference and bring added value to themselves and the company but I can understand why nobody wants to really commit themselves for the long haul.

    2. I was a job hopper but not by choice in the 80’s which I then turned into a positive asset by being available as a short term staff member, this meant that employers could call and if I was available I could do the short stint with them, this varied from a few days to a couple of months.

      Unfortunately on the flip side I couldn’t seem to land a permanent job as I was a Job Hopper. Go Figure!

      Generally though, I seemed to be in employment for at least 45 weeks a year so it was only when we relocated to a different area that a permanent position was achieved.

  6. I call BS. Going from job to job every few months shows a great deal of instability and I would NEVER hire someone who moves constantly. I don’t believe for a minute they are “top achievers”. More like whack jobs who can’t get along with any body, can’t follow directives, and have to change jobs constantly, ’cause they are 1 step ahead of being fired.

    1. I’ll help you call BS even further. “cause they are 1 step ahead of being fired” – no, they are one step ahead of a mass layoff or a company about to file bankruptcy. When you see for example accountants or financial analysts or middle managers moving from a company, you better keep your head up and watch what is going on.

  7. Typical dumb-downed article of a dumb-downed society. No wonder our economy isn’t improving with a 1% GDP growth. Recruiters and hiring managers that hire job hoppers do not see the big picture. Yeah, sure, in the short run they can sit back and say “we’re gettting our money’s worth because we just brought someone aboard with the latest ‘skill sets’ for the job and won’t have to train.” In the long run, job hoppers cost more to a company than any of this “temporary value.” No, I will never accept job hopping as a phenomenon that will bring added value to a company. Go ahead, call me archaic but the rules of economics and self interest will always prevail. When I was in a hiring position of workers underneath me, I never gave job hoppers a second look. I would always hire someone who is stable enough and smart enough where I can train them and not have to worry about them jumping ship. The ones that were stable always made up for the lack of experience. Now I understand there are extenuating circumstances and that recent job change can be unavoidable. I can usually see in this in the resume. But there is an obvious problem when someone has worked at five different places in the past two or three years. If you can’t find a place to be relatively happy during that time then that says a lot about your work ethic and I don’t need you. I wish corporate America could go back during an age where things made sense and hiring managers recruited educated and bright folks and train them for a future with the company then to succumb to this fly by night way of doing business.

    1. I think you should read the article again as the author backs up his ideas with evidence and some very sound logic. The world is changing and
      the way we view people who move for a better opportunity needs to be
      considered.
      Note that the author does not say hire every job hopper only the
      star performers.

      Judging only by a resume can also not provide an accurate enough picture of the reasons why the person may have jumped. I once
      interviewed someone who had 4 jobs in 4 years and every move was due to
      circumstances beyond their control, such as one company relocating, 2 closed and one had a no talking policy – no I am serious – no talking in the office –never explained to her before she joined. She did her best but one year was more than enough.

    2. I’m a consultant so by nature my work is transitory. Even if I’m working at a large firm like a Deloitte or Accenture. I take the opposite view. When I come into a big company, I often see these people who have been at the same jobs for 5, 10, 20 years or more. They are often very good at doing exactly what they are told, but they can’t adapt to new processes or new business situations. And in cases where they get laid off, they often have a lot of trouble finding new work as they don’t have any real skills besides “creating that report for Bob for the last decade”.
      I mean really. What do you do that someone can’t learn their job and within a month be as effective as someone whose been doing it for ten years?

    3. You sir, are part of the reason people job hop. Just as you mentioned – you ARE stuck in archaic way of thinking. I find it amusing and extremely short sighted that you refuse to even consider there could be value in someone that job hops.

      There are job hoppers that are “never happy” and are a “total problem”, and there are job hoppers that are “superstars” (as well as many other categories in between). It appears to me that you are either too lazy or don’t have the mental capacity to discern the difference between them – so you lump them all into one category as a “problem”. You essentially profile everyone that appears to “job hop” into a negative category, as do many other “old school” managers in leadership positions. I also find it somewhat amusing, but more so “ignorant” that you associate “poor work ethic” with job hoppers. It’s not to say there isn’t a correlation in certain industries between the two, but it is not definitely absolute, and can in fact mean the total opposite in some professional areas. The real reason we might have a 1% GDP problem is that people like yourself settle for hiring individuals that have lesser qualifications – just so you can count on them being there no matter how poorly you manage or treat them.

      I’ll take a crew of qualified job hoppers any day over your team of uninspired individuals who only know 2-3-skills because that’s all they’ve done for the last 10-20 years. Quite frankly – as a leader – it keeps me on my toes to keep them challenged and rewarded so they don’t job hop on me. The more I push and reward them – the better they do, and the more goals we achieve.

      1. If a particular job/company offered advancement and skill building possibilities in addition to appropriate merit increases, why would it be necessary for employees to leave?

  8. I live in Ohio and for the past 5 years I’ve I had to job hop several times because I am getting more money and better health ins. Since health care is a top priority now, being blue collar with skills does give you an advantage, and if you are being treated like crap at your present job find another one. The biggest problem I see is lead persons and supervisors want mindless drones who don’t rock the boat. I am 51 yrs. old and bring quite a bit of knowledge and skill with me (also a veteran),. if you have a better way of doing something the get mad and feel that you are a threat to them. Also these are the same people who are always correct and never make a mistake.

  9. First, the namecalling I’ve seen here is unbecoming of (presumably seasoned) professionals and disappointing. But setting that aside…

    The reality is that the business of work is changing–and changing quickly. As the Boomer generation exits the workplace and the Generation X, Y and Zers take positions of more prominence, things will change.

    One of my responsibilities has been recruiting STEM students. They are being told in college that they should plan on changing employers every 2 years or so in order to advance their careers, so that is the expectation and plan with which they are entering the workforce.

    My grandfather only worked for one company his entire life–he started at age 14 and retired there. Those days are over in the modern economy, particularly when, as the article indicates, the first place employers go to improve the bottom line is to cut payroll costs and thus employees.

    I have a very strong Boomer work ethic, but by father’s advice (he was a professional engineer) was not to devote my life or loyalty to any employer, since they are not going to think twice about whether I have a mortgage, or kids to feed, or whatever–they are running a business and their bottom line is, well, their bottom line. (That also happens to be their legal obligation if they are a for-profit business.) There are exceptions, of course, but they are the exception.

    It’s unfair for either an employer or an employee to expect loyalty from the other. The world changes. Business changes. Our culture and its priorities change. We’re moving into an era where the employment relationship is more of a business arrangement for a defined period of time, and then one or the other party moves on.

    This is what the world of business has wrought upon itself, and the sooner business leaders get their heads out of the sand to the new reality that they have themselves created and start planning for the consequences, the better prepared they can be to adapt and be successful.

    1. You brought up all excellent points. I’ve been laid off five times in seven years. Three of my former employers/companies on my resume are defunct. But if an HR person doesn’t give me the chance to explain, it looks like I’m a job hopper!

  10. I’m a contractor and it’s my job to job hop! i love it, and i recently stayed at a contract for 7 months and needed a change. So got another offer, the boss let me leave at the end of the week and am hopping again to help out another organisation. Had I stayed in my past permanent position, I’d never be able to properly save money. Now i get more money, more freedom, and I learn new skills in every contract. in my old job i would have never been promoted! Being a contractor or freelancer is the best thing that has happened to me. It suits me to a T!? Couldn’t be happier.

  11. There is a distinct difference between a few bumps in the road and a pattern of job hoping. People are patterns and job hoppers do continue to hop. Although we’re not talking 100% correlation here, it’s very high. If you are someone who fits this pattern it’s high time to figure out why it keeps happening to you and fix it. By definition, until you can prove that you can stick with an opportunity, you’re a job hopper.

    1. Why it keeps happening? Moving from the stability of unionized public sector to the volatility of the on your own private sector.

  12. To all of you who are arguing in the comments section: How ’bout this novel idea when hiring… Don’t be lazy. Stop making assumptions. Read the entire resume. Do a telephone interview. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. When the prospect answers a question and it makes you wonder “what did he/she mean by that?”, then clarify it by being direct with the prospect. Then, invite them to an in-person interview, if you feel they may be qualified. Then, in the in-person interview, do the same thing. You may want to practice this in front of the mirror or with a friend. It may just get you the employee you want.

  13. “Society doesn’t create many loyal workers anymore”.

    “Loyalty” is a two way street. Employers can’t expect loyalty when they slash retirement benefits, fire experienced employees to save on costs, and keep wages stagnate. If the company is only going to be looking out for the company then the employee will only be looking out for the employee.

  14. As a technical (tech support) contractor hired through a staffing agency to the best of my knowledge short term jobs have never had a negative impact. However gaps in employment of 1 year or more can raise questions. So many places now hire a few extra ppl due to “its the busy season”, or they are upgrading their computer networks and phone systems and need extra help for 3 months to balance things out.

  15. With all these assumptions about job hoppers, there’s little recognition for the negative reasons a person might stay in a job long term: a) has a serious medical condition and doesn’t want to change insurance plan, b) is not very resourceful, and doesn’t know how to get a new job, c) is a fearful type of person, d) stays in the job only because of an affair with a coworker, e) has serious financial troubles and is afraid to rock the boat in any way, f) has few marketable skills and knows it, so lays low in the old job. Why the assumption that “loyalty” or “stability” drives the long-timer?

  16. I’m a job hopper and not for the reasons stated above. I’m slow, I don’t learn quickly and I find it hard to develop relationships with fellow employees. It generally takes most employers about one to two years to figure out that I’m not really the “star” employee that they were hoping for. I don’t enjoy being like this, I don’t choose to be slow or a slow learner, it’s just the way I am. The friction it causes me, my family and my employer is not good but somehow I have to get through life and raise my daughter as best I can. I believe I’m fairly intelligent, I have mastered some great IT skills like setting up office networks and building virtual servers etc… but doing a roll-out of new kit for 250 employees quickly is not my thing. If your an employer and are reading this and some day you bump into me, please give me some credit, some boost to my already damaged confidence, some sort of sign that you are willing to be a leader and I will have your back in any battle! Xerox was the best company I ever worked for, they knew how to develop an employee. It was unfortunate that I had to leave due to family circumstances.

  17. I would be labeled a “job hopper” as Ive had 6 jobs in 4 years as a CDL driver. I am constantly told lies in the interviews that they run legal, do proper maintenance and dont jerk you around. Doesnt take long, about 4-6months, for me to get comfortable there and know what they are really about.

    In these 4 years I have doubled my salary and have been learning what I liked and dislike and on my next job search I have a better idea of what to look for. Also being a CDL driver is in demand, they cant find people with the experience or willingness to deal with crappy schedules that the truck world revolves on.

    My experience is the 40% of employers who dont like job hoppers are the ones you dont want to work for anyways. Usually they dont like job hoppers because they are crappy company and there are serious problems with them that have caused them to have a high turnover rate in the past and they are trying to find those employees that will stick with crap no matter what like a little dog slave.

    Ive only had two companies question my work history, but again after researching them I decided it was a good thing I didnt work for them. If a company treats me right, doesnt lie to me, pays me what Im worth for the work and responsibility, then Ill have no problem sticking around.

    Im sooo candid in my interviews now, I interview a company nowadays instead of them interviewing me. Ive literally got up in the middle of an interview and declined to go further cause I could smell BS or something else was just not right for me. So, Im not a job hopper, but a seeker for a talented and honest company, not a bottom feeder who doesnt want to hire job hoppers cause they’ve scared off so many people in the past cause they suck…

  18. I am in the process of hiring. Most of the applicants have less than two years at any job and there isn’t a demonstrable elevation in their subsequent positions. I want an employee who is stable, in whom I can feel confident investing the time and resources. I don’t buy the “job hoppers are the new normal” line. I need more convincing.

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