Don't be a Job-hopper!

Written by: Jessica Robson, Bain and Gray
Published on: 14 Oct 2014

It is generally accepted by all, that the days where people would spend decades of their life at the same company have now passed. This, however, is not to say that we should go through life chopping and changing jobs without a second thought.

This may sound like recruitment jargon, but a “job-hopper” is a term known by many, and those people who are labelled as such are avoided by most recruiters. According to a survey by recruiting software Bullhorn, 40% of recruiters and hiring managers say that a history of job-hopping is the single biggest obstacle for candidates.

There are several reasons why a person might change jobs regularly:

  • Boredom… feeling the need to change jobs frequently to keep interested in a job.
  • Necessity… giving all that you can to a role, to the point where you feel your skills have been exhausted and you now need a new challenge.
  • Grass is greener… a view that there’s always a better opportunity somewhere else, particularly if the pay is higher or the benefits are better.
  • Career change… Indecision over the right career path leads some people to switch between dramatically different industries and roles.

It’s important to remember that a job-hopper is not to be confused with a person who has been temping. Temping is brilliant experience for any candidate and is certainly valued on any CV. Temping demonstrates you are adaptable and capable of being thrown in at the deep end with little or no previous knowledge of the company.

What’s the problem with frequent career changes?

Frequent career changes flags alarm bells with prospective employees, indicating:

  • the candidate is unlikely to stay in their new job for long. 
  • the candidate may lack engagement or struggles to get along well with others.

Even if you have moved from role to role for valid reasons, this is still not easy to explain in an interview. Job-hoppers will often find themselves only discussing negative stories, as they have had to move on from roles so much. Even if you are able to give an explanation to a recruitment consultant, they might not be able to relay this to their Client (the hiring manager) in the same way. Recruitment consultants will struggle to place a candidate who has a fluctuating job history.

So what can you do to avoid being a Job-hopper?

  • Seek new projects and tasks within your current role to stay interested and challenged.
  • Ensure you are kept busy in your role. Setting personal and professional goals can keep you motivated in the job you are already in.
  • Keep an eye out for opportunities for promotion.
  • Make sure you choose the right role to begin with! A lot of people will leave their job after just a few months because they rushed into it, not thinking about whether it is really the right direction for them. This is when using a recruitment agency (such as Bain and Gray) can really be of use. With the help from an expert Consultant, we can advise you on where your personality would best fit – in terms of both role and industry.