What is a Job Hopper (and what to do when you spot one)?

February 12, 2015

What is a Job Hopper?

If you work in recruitment, you might have had an experience fairly early in your career, where you saw a resume with loads of experience and hired the candidate, only to find that they left your company three weeks later.

This kind of employee is often nick-named a ‘job hopper’, and with a bit of experience you can usually spot them at a glance – for example, by checking for signs on their CV such as a long job history within a fairly short space of time.

Don’t Throw That CV Away Straight Away

Although you shouldn’t let a seemingly expansive list of experience sweet-talk you into throwing all the other CVs away, you shouldn’t immediately dismiss the CV of the apparent ‘job hopper’, either. First, you might want to take time to find out why the applicant had so many jobs over that short period of time.

Particularly in recent years, the job market has been awful and unemployment has seen some staggering figures – we’re recovering now, sure, but that doesn’t mean that everybody has suddenly found themselves a cosy career that they’ve been able to stick with.

Besides, what if it was you? If you’d lost 3 jobs in 3 months due to no fault of your own, wouldn’t you prefer an employer took the time to find out why?

So the key tip here, is this: If you’re impressed by the CV but worried about job-hopping, don’t throw it away right away. Do some research; ask some questions; and give the person you’re considering the same chance as you would have hoped for yourself. You might hire your next shining star by looking further into somebody you would have thrown into the recycling bin!

Job Hoppers are Sometimes Great!

If you tend to invest a lot of time and money into training your staff, then a job hopper might be a bad idea. But some types of work don’t necessarily require a large introduction period, and if you’re confident you can get value out of an employee as soon as they start working, then there might not be much downside to hiring a job hopper with the right experience.

Track Your Applicants

And remember, if you want to improve your recruitment drives you should always track your applicants – if you liked somebody but didn’t have a place for them, you should save their details for next time you’re hiring; it could make the cost of future recruitment much cheaper if you already have a Talent Pool to draw from.

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