Job Hoppers – Red Flag or Potential Boon? – The Hire

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Job Hoppers – Red Flag or Potential Boon?

Imagine that you are in the midst of sorting through resumés for a position you’re working diligently to fill and you come across a resumé that is decidedly that of a “job hopper”.  As you review it, you can’t help but notice a series of multiple consecutive employers, each with a 1-3 year range of employment.

What is your initial reaction?  Do you immediately become hesitant and envision a spattering of red flags decorating the professional document before you?  Are you tempted to immediately dismiss the candidate based on long-held beliefs that job hoppers are disloyal or unreliable?

If so, take a moment to reconsider.

The traditional incentives for staying with one employer for the long haul are becoming obsolete.  For example, conventional pension plans are all but vanishing and more common plans such as 401(k)s are easily transferred from one employer to another.  Additionally, with the digital age has come an exponential increase in the sheer number and types of professions available.  With these changing incentives and corporate landscape has come new opportunities.  And more and more workers are taking advantage of these opportunities.

Skilled professionals job hop for a variety of reasons, most of which are tied to increased opportunities for professional growth.  And, as it happens, this can be advantageous to you as a hiring manager.

Here are a few great reasons to give that job hopper’s resumé as second look:

  • Increased level of skills – Job hoppers tend to gain new skills at a higher rate than others. They are likely to highly value continuous learning, training and development.  With a heightened recognition of the importance of keeping their skills up-to-date and fresh, you can expect someone who is current and competitive in their industry.
  • Diverse background and experiences – Job hoppers benefit from exposure to a variety of methodologies and resources. They are in a position to amass an extensive knowledge base and garner a repository of best practices.  They are very likely to bring new ideas and a fresh perspective. And they are likely to have broader access to resources – both human and informational resources – than can be gained through a single employer.
  • Increased enthusiasm and productivity – Changing jobs tends to energize people. Job hoppers are likely to feel passionate and excited about their new role.  You can expect them hit the ground running.  And since they also tend to have a greater arsenal of skills, you can also expect an adaptable employee with a shorter learning curve and accelerated growth and productivity.

The Takeaway

A skilled and successful job hopper is likely to be a flexible and resourceful candidate and a dynamic and ever-evolving employee.  They are likely to be top performers who bring with them a wealth of accumulated knowledge, resources and best practices.

The next time you find yourself reviewing the resumé of one, take a moment to consider what value they may be poised to bring to your team, even if only for a few years.  Rather than focusing solely on the quantity of employers and lack of tenure, look for indications of success as a whole.  Does their resumé demonstrate a history of measurable accomplishments, significant contributions, and positive business results?  If so, it may be well worth your while to reach out for an initial interview to learn more.

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