As a recruiter, you may have met and interviewed many “job hoppers” that is, people who switch jobs frequently. The term “job hopping” has always had a negative connotation in the minds of the recruiters. The fact remains that that few people want to recruit an individual who has a history of frequent job switches.
Thankfully, the above scenario is changing for the better. According to a survey by CareerBuilder, “55 percent recruiters have actually hired a job hopper and 32 percent of all surveyed employers (and 42 percent in IT) have come to expect workers to switch jobs.” The reason for this change in perception can be attributed to the emergence of Millennials in the workplace. In this candidate driven job market where Millennials decide whether they want to go for a particular interview in an organization anyone would be tempted to jump between roles. Recruiters have observed a tendency amongst Millennials to change their jobs multiple times before staying in an organization for the long term.
If more and more organizations are accepting the trend of hiring job hoppers you should too. However, you should be cautious and understand clearly the reasons why the candidates have switched jobs. Just like with everything else, not all job hoppers are great for hiring.
In this blog we discuss a few good reasons why hiring job hoppers can be a great hiring decision.
1. Star performers in the reckoning
The fact that star performers are more prone to move frequently than average performers cannot be denied. This goes to show that they have an exclusive talent at their disposal. It is not their fault if they are go-getters and are seeking for better opportunities. Job hoppers change their jobs either as a need for enhancing their career or affiliating with a prestigious organization. Both these things are positive for a recruiter. For example; if a baseball star moves quickly between two leagues you will see them as an emerging star. They might have the most desirable characteristics which makes them highly valuable for organizations to hire them.
2. Price tag for competitor knowledge
When you hire a job hopper, you get the requisite knowledge, benchmark information, contact numbers, experience and best practices of a number of competitive firms where they have worked earlier. If the job hopper is from the same industry, chances are you get a detailed industry knowledge that can be an asset for your organization. In case the job hopper is from a different industry you get broader array of experience and best practices that can be adopted in your industry.
3. Highly adaptable in building work relationships
In the CareerBuilder survey referenced above, 51% employers say that job-hoppers “can adapt quickly”. When you hire a job hopper having adequate work experience, their success can be attributed to their ability to develop work relationships swiftly by learning to adjust in different situations. Their versatility can be used as an added advantage while dealing with a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous situation in the workplace.
4. A talent house of success
It has been estimated that the majority of Millennials are expected to stay in a job for less than three years. This means that Millennials could have as many as 20 different jobs by the end of their career. In fact, according to a survey by CareerBuilder,”25 percent of workers under 35 have already had more than five jobs in their short career”.
The perception of loyalty is swiftly changing and Millennials may not be loyal no matter what you do. If you still believe that job hoppers should not be hired just because of the fact that you want loyal employees, then you might be in for a surprise as most of the employees are not loyal anymore.
5. Provide short term excellence rather than long term mediocrity
According to a White paper by SmartTalent, “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.“ By hiring a superstar who will leave in one and a half or two years you have a great chance to use their skills and learn new things from them.
It is a sad fact that superstars always move on. But, look at the positive aspect. You can take maximum benefits of their short-term stint which will make your hiring them worthwhile. Having an average employee for more than five years will not yield the same business results as a short term tenure of a superstar employee.
6. Minimal training costs involved
Recruiters always fret about the fact that hiring a job hopper will make them lose out on the training investment made on them. But, the fact is that job hoppers do not require much training. Since, they have already been into different jobs, most of them require minimal training with less or no supervision required. They do not require the same training investment and management time as most new hires.
They may be your cheapest acquires since they are there in the organization for a short stint meaning no retirement or educational benefits need to be given to them. On top of that, if they encounter any performance difficulties, most likely they will quit the job on their own because they are good at getting a new job.
7. Foresee the troubled future
There are certain job hoppers who leave the job when they see the organization sinking. Being loyal to an organization is good to an extent but, it is equally important to be smart and know when to leave an organization. This is one of the most desirable traits to recruit a job hopper.
8. One time only innovators for short-term employment tenure
Certain job hoppers can provide their valuable inputs by providing multiple innovative ideas. But, that is a very rare breed to capture. Most often, job hoppers are one time innovators who provide breakthrough ideas at a time and then their work is finished. They may leave the job once their urge for innovation has been satisfied. But, there is no need to complain about it. Rather, you should consider yourself lucky as most of the time, job hoppers are a one trick pony that would be rather expensive to keep for a long term duration. They will have nothing much to contribute once they have quenched their thirst of providing innovative ideas.
In the end, it has got to be said that hiring job hoppers can be a great hiring decision. The fact that they are looking to grow in their career and looking to contribute their innovative ideas, even if they are for short-term benefits can go a long way to make them one of the most valuable employees in an organization, albeit for a short stint!