Why the term “job hopping” has had its day


Job hopping is the term used to describe the act of moving between jobs on a regular basis. It is generally considered to be a bad thing to have on your CV as a candidate, but is it really so bad?

It is considered bad by employers because it could indicate that the candidate has no intention of remaining in the new job they are applying for, at least not for any longer than they have in their previous jobs. And that makes sense. Why should an employer expect someone to commit to the role they are applying for if they haven’t committed to any other role they’ve had?

But while it makes sense on the surface, we can dig a little deeper to see that someone being a job hopper isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, in some circumstances it may even be a good thing. Let’s start digging.


Job Hopping Generation X?

First of all, a candidate’s age and working experience can make a huge difference as to whether or not their job hopping tendencies bode ill for their tenure at a new company.

For example, a Generation X candidate in their mid-50s who has never held down a job for longer than six months throughout their entire working life will quite rightly raise a few red flags. However, a similarly aged candidate who has only started job hopping in the last few years after previously working at one place for a long time may have simply encountered some unsatisfactory work conditions after moving on from their long term position.

That second candidate might actually be ideal for a particular role as they clearly have standards they expect to be met. Presumably, they would bring the same demanding standards to their own performance.


Gen Z Job Hoppers

In contrast, Generation Z candidates with recent job hopping histories will only be in their mid-20s at most. For these candidates, it is reasonable to expect them to be still figuring this whole thing called life out. We shouldn’t judge young candidates harshly for that. Instead, perhaps employers can provide opportunities that appeal to such candidates, providing them with the flexibility and development that will appeal to them in the long-term.

If employers expect such young candidates to commit long-term, then they need to show these candidates that they are willing to evolve the professional work environment to accommodate their needs.


The Most Job Hopping Generation

So what about Millenials, ranging in age from the mid-20s up to the early 40s, and who make up the majority of the workforce? Well, it turns out they are the most job hopping generation of them all.

A recent Gallup poll reported that 21% of Millennials changed jobs within the past year, while they also show less willingness to stay in their current jobs. Also, significantly less Millenials ‘strongly agree’ that they intend to be still working at their current company one year from now.

The Gallup poll also reveals some insight into why Millenials job hop so much, and it is all about seeking better opportunities. Millenials are a more confident and self-aware generation than Gen Z, while Generation Xers are more likely to have discovered exactly what it is they want. But Millenials want more.

They want better work conditions, they want better pay, and they want a better work/life balance. And if they don’t get it where they are working, then can we really blame them for job hopping onward to the next opportunity?

If you’re hiring or searching for a new role in 2023, get in touch with our specialist recruitment team here at Exchange Street to help you find the perfect cultural fit.

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