A recent study by Evolv Analytics on the relationship between past work experience and future employment success has found that job history is a poor forecaster in determining an employee’s expected job tenure. The study, which analyzed employment outcomes for over 21,000 hourly call-center workers from five different contact centers, found that the duration of previous employment said nothing about current length of employment.
Industries that employ primarily hourly workers, such as fast-food dining, retail stores, and call centers, experience very high turnover and suffer the myriad costs of being in a constant state of hiring and training employees. One of the main tactics employed to combat the phenomenon has been the use of the now conventional screening technique of identifying so-called “job hoppers” and removing them from the application pool. A job-hopper is defined as a worker who has held many short-term jobs in a relatively short time period.
The results of the Evolv study suggest to recruiters not to immediately rule out job hoppers and the unemployed from serious job consideration. The study showed no difference in employment outcomes regardless of number of previous jobs (short-term and long-term). Similarly, outcomes were equally uniform for individuals experiencing a state of perpetual unemployment and those who held multiple positions within a five year period.
“These results show that one of the most common screening tactics for employers may actually have no value in predicting future employment success,” said Michael Housman, Managing Director of Analytics at Evolv, “Employers may do well to revisit their employment screening process with an eye toward finding better tools that help them hire for the outcome they desire.”