Get On Board Already: Job Hopping Isn’t Going Away

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Bandwagon street sign For many employers, there’s nothing scarier than the prospect of hiring a job hopper. Conventional wisdom says job seekers who have job hopped in the past will continue in the future. But can ignoring job hoppers actually hurt your company?

It’s important to remember Millennial candidates are the most likely job seekers to hop from place-to-place. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Millennials’ tenure in their 9-to-5’s is only about 2.3 years. This should make sense, considering 91 percent of Millennials only expect to stay in a job for about three years or less. Ignoring Millennials just isn’t an option, especially since by 2020, at least 50 percent of the U.S. workforce will consist of Generation Y.

Millennials might be leading the charge but even job seekers from other generations are jumping aboard the job hopper bandwagon. Once again, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers only tend to stay in the same position for about 4.4 years.

Whether you’re trying to hire a medical sales superstar or a marketing maven, few employers want to invest time and money into a candidate who will soon fly the coop. But just because a job seeker has hopped before doesn’t make him or her more likely to hop again. And surprising to those clinging to conventional wisdom, job hoppers can actually bring value to your company.

Will They Hop or Will They Stay?

The biggest misconception about job seekers who have jumped ship in the past is that they’re more likely to do so in the future. Just because a candidate stayed only a short time at his or her last job doesn’t mean the worker will repeat the pattern in your organization.

There are plenty of reasons why good people leave jobs. Perhaps their skills weren’t being properly utilized, or they needed to move, or they just didn’t fit into the company culture. There are also external factors to consider. In a profession like medical sales, industry instability may have forced even the most talented professionals to job hop. Without doing a little research, you really don’t know if the sales rep you’re considering left because of wanderlust or because they wanted to further develop their skills.

Job hopping doesn’t actually tell as much as you’d think. A recent study by Evolv looked at 10,000 employees in a call center to isolate job hoppers. Looking at the job hoppers and comparing them to non-job hoppers, the study found both groups held about the same amount of jobs. Just because job seekers have hopped in the past doesn’t make them any more likely to leave your organization in the future.

Job Hoppers Can Bring Value

Truthfully, job hoppers can actually bring value to your organization if you’re willing to give them a shot. Job hoppers might have gotten a bad rap, but they often bring expanded skills to the table. After all, a recent Gallup poll found a whopping 70 percent of workers are disengaged in their roles. Instead of staying at a company like an office drone for years on end, job hoppers look for better opportunities to use and hone their skills.

Employees without motivation or sincere passion might be more than happy to sleepwalk through the workday for years on end as long as they continue receiving a paycheck. Job hoppers, however, are less likely to stick around if they’re not being challenged.

These are exactly the kind of employees you need in your organization. These are the medical sales reps who will go above and beyond. They’re the marketing professionals who will seek out educational opportunities to grow their skill sets. These aren’t employees who will be happy resting on their laurels when they can be improving their skills.

Job Hoppers Can Improve Company Culture

They’re also the kind of employees likely to make a positive impact on your company culture. Zombie employees who have checked out from their jobs certainly aren’t making your company a better place to work. While 86 percent of workers are looking for job security, even more employees are looking for a positive company culture. A study by Net Impact found 88 percent of workers listed positive company culture as an essential ingredient to their work life.

Getting motivated and enthusiastic workers in the door to your company can only begin a positive cycle for your company. With more passionate workers, you’ll be more likely to have a positive company culture. This will not only attract more talent to your organization, but also help you retain the talent you already have.

Since positive company culture is so important to workers of all kinds, making your office a great place to spend the day is one way to cut down on employee turnover. Ironically enough, hiring passionate and motivated job hoppers might actually help you cut down on job hopping in the future.

With job hopping Millennials taking over the workforce, it’s no time to ignore job hopping candidates. Instead, you should look at the situation which caused the candidate’s hopping ways. Just because a job seeker has bounced around in the past doesn’t mean he or she can’t bring real and lasting value in the future.

What do you think? Do you hire job hoppers? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

By Robyn Melhuish