As someone who was once considered a ‘job hopper’ myself, I know the sinking feeling that accompanies a recruiter’s negatively framed question about moving around a lot. Thankfully, recruiters are starting to realize that when some people move from job to job over a short period it isn’t necessarily because they are bad employees. In fact, they are often well worth considering—and here’s why!
Buckets of Experience
A potential employee who has done the rounds in your industry should not necessarily be frowned upon. If they have worked with your competitors and other relevant companies, the experience that they bring to your workplace will be invaluable. They will be familiar with industry trends & specialized programs which can reduce the need for training.
Tip – Ask how their experience is relevant to your role.
Many job descriptions request applicants who can ‘hit the ground running.’ Job hoppers are perhaps the best equipped to do precisely this. They are familiar with orientations, procedures to get their employee details set up and are used to introducing themselves to co-workers and bringing themselves up to speed on the systems used. Having had a number of jobs in recent succession means that you have to be a fast learner; this is only a bonus for employers.
Tip – Ask what they have learned from their experience of job hopping.
Markets are unpredictable in the modern day. Regardless of what field you operate in, uncertainty will no doubt have shown its face at some point. How we deal with uncertainty can make or break us as business people. Think of the rabbit who gets frozen to the spot when they see oncoming headlights—this is not the kind of person you want in your company. Job hoppers have taken risks, they understand that the only certainty in life is change, and they run with it. If you want an employee who will explore new avenues and seek out previously untapped resources, rather than someone who is afraid to lift their head above the cubicle parapet, why not take a chance on a job hopper?
Tip – Ask what uncertainty means to them.
Often when an employee moves from one job to the next it is because they are being offered ever better positions in more successful companies. These candidates are perhaps some of the best you could hope to get. Sure, they may not stay with you for very long, but in that time, they have the potential to make significant contributions. With job hoppers on average changing position every two years, compared to an average employee who stays less than five, it raises the question—would you rather have short term brilliance or longer term mediocrity? I know which I would choose.
Tip – Ask what they feel was the most outstanding contribution they made while in their shortest employment contract.
They Actively Manage Their Career
If you are hiring for a management role, what better way to assess a candidate’s capabilities than by seeing how they manage their career? Some employees are happy to put their feet under a desk and stay there for as long as possible. They upskill as they go and relish the familiar surroundings. But what about those of us who have bigger ambitions? We need stimulation and crave new opportunities. While entrepreneurs find this in running a business, employees, who actively manage their careers to climb the ladder that leads them to where they want to be in life, are people to be admired. They have a great propensity to add value to you along the way.
Tip – Put yourself in their shoes, would you have done anything differently? If not, you’re onto a winner.
It turned out, in my case, that my job hopping was a training ground where I learned the most valuable skills and got wonderful industry insights before starting my own business. Over that time, I was dedicated to my employers and eager to give my best. Many ‘job hoppers’ are in a similar situation. They may not be in it for a long time, but they are invested in making their time with you a good time. So go for it!
Author: Elizabeth Lee is a passionate Content Marketer working at Pack & Send. When she isn’t working, Elizabeth might usually be found reading business blogs for entrepreneurs or attending another course where she hopes to learn new skills.