Placing People Professionally

BPC doesn’t ignore Job Hoppers

5 June 2014

Long serving employees are becoming an endangered species in a modern World characterised by: downsizing, mergers and acquisitions.

Gone are the days when we could expect to have a pile of resumes containing job for lifers. Research shows that the average employee changes jobs every 3 - 4 years, and some even more frequently.

In the past, employers could easily discard candidates with multiple short tenures on the basis that they were job hoppers, but nowadays a large proportion of the candidate pool is made up of job hoppers – and employers need to be better at analysing job hoppers in a modern context.

One of the first things that employers should do is let go of the prejudice surrounding job hoppers  - as there are many positive aspects to this type of employee;


Job hoppers can gain more experience and skills from each new environment they work in, so the more roles and different environments means increased experience. As well as this, job hoppers may have developed their relationship building skills, and be able to quickly integrate into teams and build rapport.

Signs of ambition and high achievement

Job hopping can also be a sign of ambition. Previously and especially in larger companies, career progression could be done from your office chair. Climbing the corporate ladder meant going upstairs to the next floor. But, in today’s environment not only are employees more ambitious, (largely due to a harsher economic climate), many employers and jobs don’t have the advancement opportunities and if an employee wants to progress they need to change companies. So job hopping can show initiative and a willingness to progress.

Not afraid to take a risk

Job hopping can also show that a candidate is courageous and not afraid to take a risk. Many employees stay in roles they are not happy with because it’s the path of least resistance and they are not comfortable with the risks associated with moving. Job hoppers are often bold enough to take the risk of making the move. It means they may be more flexible and may be prepared to take on new roles in your company.

There is an obvious criticism of job hoppers - in that they may be unsettled and aimless, but many people go through a phase in their career when they are simply searching for the right role and this is commonly seen at the start of one’s career. So, don’t frown too hard on candidates who change roles very frequently in the first five years as they may just be looking for the right fit – and who knows your company could be it. This can also happen to candidates who are in career transition. Buxton Pratt Consulting will interview these candidates closely to ensure your role is right for them.

Also, don’t overlook the fact that job hopping could be simply as a result of the difficult climate – and the job hopping may have largely been out of their control, e.g. relocation, redundancy, mergers and acquisitions, reduction in permanent contracts, etc. In these circumstances, job hopping does not necessarily suggest a lack of commitment or focus, which means they can still be an asset to your business.

Therefore it’s no longer suitable for employers to immediately consign job hoppers to the resume bin, as job hoppers characterise our industry and employers need to be able to understand and assess job hoppers in the context of their individual circumstances and then appoint the candidate most suited to the role.