Job hopper. Who is he and why do recruiters hate him?

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For older generations, one job for life is the norm, for young people something unusual. Trends in the job market show that more and more candidates are so-called “jumpers.” What does that mean?

There is nothing negative about changing jobs. It is now a natural form of career development – we are looking for “our place”, the best conditions, fulfillment or a decent salary. When we do this very often, our resume grows significantly and we gain experience. However, from a potential employer’s perspective, we are job-hoppers, and this can mean a bad investment for them.

Why do we change jobs?

In 2019, AmRest conducted the “International Job Happiness Landscape 2019” survey on behalf of HRM Institute. It involved students, employees and professionals from 12 countries, including Poland, Germany, France, Spain, Russia and China. What did the results show?

Enjoyment at work is important. Respondents indicated what they consider to be the most important issues and conditions that a workplace should meet:

  • nice and friendly atmosphere – 92%,
  • superiors who appreciate employees – 88%,
  • stability of employment – 88%,
  • attractive salary – 85%,
  • sense of mission and meaning of work – 84%,
  • good management – 81%.

This means that we most often change jobs when we lack one or more of these factors. So if the superior sows fear in the team, our salary is low, and the work itself does not give us a sense of fulfillment and meaning, we will naturally eventually decide to look for a place offering better conditions.

It is no different with job hoppers. However, they change employers much more frequently, not working in one place for more than a few months.

Job hopper – who is he and what are his characteristics?

A job hopper is a person who “jumps” from one job to another with great frequency. The resume of such a candidate can be really long. Job hoppers are most often people born in the late 80’s or 90’s. Such people do not stay at one job for more than 3-6 months. They often change not only the company, but also the direction of work and industry.

The most common type of job hoppers are people who believe that their previous job did not offer sufficient opportunities for development either professionally or financially. In this situation, they look for them elsewhere. However, it is more difficult to satisfy them because they want more and better all the time. For this reason, they change employers more often.

Another type of “jumpers” are people who feel a constant need to change and experience new things. They quickly begin to feel fatigue with work they “don’t feel”. They also usually do not have clear plans for themselves and do not know what they want, so they look for their place on the job market, trying everything.

It is less common for someone to become a job hopper due to circumstances beyond their control: downsizing, company bankruptcy, project completion. In this case, this is not a person who wanted to change employers, but had to. Most likely, therefore, he or she is a “jumper” only in the CV, and in reality is willing to stay in one company for a longer period of time.

So the question arises: is a job hopper always a bad choice? Not necessarily.

Pros and cons of job hopping

The phenomenon of job hooping is becoming more and more common. It used to be perceived unequivocally as negative, but nowadays specialists consider it rather in terms of pros and cons.

From the point of view of the employer

Pros: A job hopper may have a wealth of experience, specialist and competitive knowledge, and an unconventional approach to tasks. In addition, he is used to learning new things, so he settles into new responsibilities faster. His adaptation is also easier.

Against: “Jumpers” are accused of lack of loyalty. Frequent changes in place of work mean that such employees do not get attached to the company and do not identify with its values and ideas. An additional disadvantage is the risk that the job hopper quickly leaves the team and has to be recruited again. This entails additional costs related to the recruitment process and training of the next new employee.

From the employee’s point of view

Pros: Diverse experience gained across all jobs can be a great asset if used and presented properly. “Job hopper” can boast not only a wide range of knowledge and skills, but also soft skills that can be highly desired by employers: creativity, ability to learn quickly, flexibility, communication skills. If job hopping does not result from a lack of determination or unreliability, but from a desire to seek new challenges and opportunities, you can defend it at the interview and turn it into your strength.

Against: According to statistics, more than 40% of employers will reject a job hopper when recruiting. And this is not surprising when you consider that hiring as well as deploying an employee are costly processes. As such, a job hopper can be seen as an investment that will not pay off. What’s more, an overly elaborate CV may raise concerns about a candidate’s competence and reliability, which in turn may result in a recruiter rejecting him without a second thought.

Nowadays, work is no longer the key objective of a person, but a means to achieve a life balance. Younger generations of employees are not interested in a long-term career in one company or field, but in passion, the ability to fulfill themselves and their dreams. That is why they look for jobs that are able to provide them with appropriate conditions and salaries. Perhaps not without a reason, specialists are increasingly saying that it is job hoppers who will shape trends in the labor market.

Main photo: Sigmund/

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