There are few things that recruiters consider, or job seekers consider, a bigger black mark on your resume more than being a job hopper. It’s been ingrained to avoid those CVs with too many entries within a given period, even without possibly considering any further explanation or review. Some of the negative connotations that with the phrase job hopper may be true, but in this new job market place, what if there are some positive ones that may make that resume deserve a second look?
Liz Ryan wrote an article for Forbes on precisely this concept, even going so far as to give a critique on why longevity at one company may not always be the benefit that we assume it will be. Yes, definitely, you want an employee who is not going to give up and jump ship at the first sign of a struggle but what happens, when 5, 10 years down the road the company is (hopefully) advancing and that same person is doing the same job with the same and hasn’t had to apply any new skills in that time. That could be a big problem for both the company and also the employee. She proposes that a “job hopper” is more likely to be adaptable to new situations and that can be a benefit rather than a hindrance.
Even the Society for Human Resource Management is noticing that people, especially those of younger generations, are less likely to stay put at one place. They note several reasons for this, one being that employees of the Millennial age group see themselves as temporary, rather than permanent fixtures in the workplace. Let’s look deeper at this issue for a moment and think about what is the causation of this attitude? Is this because of boredom or is it because they feel like they can be replaced at any minute? Perhaps both. In the past 10 years, we have seen layoffs, and company collapses and new candidates heading out into the job markets may not want to get too comfortable in one spot. Also with our tech based society allowing us to streamline everything from flipping through photos to ordering coffee it is really no wonder that there are those who like to move about from project to project, even if it is within the same organization.
In fact, both SHRM and the job aggregator Zip Recruiter suggest that rather than giving an automatic no, if there are other positives to a candidate, a HR rep needs to look further into the person’s employment background. Just like at every other stage of the process, questions needed to be asked by both sides – employer and employee to make sure this may be a good fit. The same goes for accessing the comfort level of such a risk.
While the stigma of being a job hopper is still very much around, at the very least it is starting to be questioned. As with many other things, it is an antiquated notion to assume that once a person takes a position with a company, they will be with that company until retirement. People are looking for advancement, challenges, even a change of scenery which of course leads them to switching jobs.