How to Spot and Manage Job Hoppers

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Recruiters and HR personnel have been rejecting job hoppers attempting to join their organizations for a long time. That’s because many don’t trust applicants who have short employment histories with different companies or employers. If you or your recruiting team still abide by this approach, you may be missing out on many potentially talented hires.

In today’s competitive job marketplace where job-hopping is becoming common, it’s wrong to assume and classify everyone who changes jobs often to be disloyal, untalented, or impatient workers without determining the underlying reasons behind their job-hopping ventures. This applies to all professions. So, whether you’re looking to recruit divorce lawyers for your law firm or an architect to design your dream home—give everyone a chance.

To help you make the right decisions, here’s what you need to know about job hoppers—from defining who they are, how you can spot them, and how to handle them.

What are Job Hoppers?

Job hoppers are anyone who changes their job and applies for a new one almost every year. They are the applicants who have not stayed in their job for a long time. Many recruitment agencies usually see them as ‘negative’ applicants, immediately discarding their resumes and never giving them a chance for an interview.

Spotting a Job Hopper

You can quickly tell if someone is a job hopper by merely looking at their records or resume. For instance, if an applicant is around his early 30s has had more than eight jobs since he got his degree, this means that he never lasted in a job for more than a year or so. This raises the red flag, meaning they can be a job hopper.

However, it’s important not to quickly judge the applicant by their work history because there are often misconceptions about them, including being impatient, selfish, or not having loyalty to the company. But there are different reasons why some frequently change their jobs, such as getting offers for much better positions and more.

Here are the different categories of job hoppers:

Essential Hoppers

Essential hoppers are those applicants who need to change their jobs out of necessity. They are usually the employees who formerly worked on time-related projects, such as project managers in construction firms, illustrators, software installation projects, financial analysts, and event coordinators. They perform high-paying delicate jobs that end after every project. That’s why they need to look for another job.

You can easily spot one by looking at their records and how they can confidently explain and defend their records with their past achievements and the quality of their jobs.

Opportunity Hoppers

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This type of job hopper is usually those fresh college graduates. They typically change jobs more frequently because they’re not sure yet of the career they want to take. These young employees commonly use their first job to get experience, perks, and money that they’ll use to apply for another job that they want. Some of these job applicants can be useful to your company if you have project-based business lines and if they can show good performance in the job.

Difficult Hoppers

These job hoppers are those applicants who can’t seem to find their right path for their career. You can spot “difficult hoppers” by checking their resume or on how they explain their frequent change of job. They usually blame it on their former company’s bad management, bad experiences with co-workers, or bad workplace.

Remember when assessing job hoppers’ behaviors, don’t discard individuals without knowing the facts behind their experience and resume, look for their accomplishments rather than the date ranges, and give them the chance to explain the logic behind each resignation. Doing all of these helps you handle job hoppers better, allowing you to make the best decision for you or your company.

When evaluating a candidate for your team, don’t rush when making a judgment based on the number of jobs a candidate may have or their length of time stayed with former employers. Instead, find out why they ‘hopped’ jobs and what they achieved from them—and remember the signs mentioned to spot job hoppers easier to deal with them better.

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