Hiring Job Hoppers: the Good, the Bad and How to Prepare


For many of us in HR, finding applicants who are prepared and willing to stay employed by our company for the long haul used to be a no-brainer. But the youngest employees of our workforce seem to be taking a different career path—according to a Future Workplace survey, 91 percent of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years. Some would label these employees as the dreaded job hoppers.

While you may be used to screening out job hoppers and seeking employees with job longevity, many recruiters and hiring managers are beginning to take a different approach when evaluating job hoppers. Here we discuss three types of job hoppers and how you can leverage your recruiting and hiring process to identify those who will ultimately be the right fit for your business.

3 Types of Job Hoppers

Before you completely discount a candidate who appears to be a job hopper, you must understand the types of job hoppers and be able to distinguish their career paths.

Necessary Job Hoppers

For necessary job hoppers, frequent job movement has been an essential part of their careers due to the nature of the industry or reasons outside of their control. This can include time-related roles such as contract or temp positions. These employees may also turn to job hopping because they feel they no mobility or growth opportunities in their current positions.

Opportunity Job Hoppers

These job hoppers are high achievers, those who are willing and ready to take their skills elsewhere if there’s an opportunity to grow and exhibit success at another company. If a better opportunity comes knocking, these job hoppers are all over it. They may be more inclined to hop because they are exploring career options, but opportunity job hoppers most likely have a proven track record of successful contributions throughout every role.

Dissatisfied Job Hoppers

Dissatisfied job hoppers are struggling to find a career path that sticks. They are looking for the ideal opportunity, but they aren’t sure what type of career is right for them. These job hoppers may have difficulty adapting to different work environments and finding happiness in their roles.

If you can identify these types of job hoppers in your applicant pool, you can take that into consideration as you review their applications, ask interview questions and engage candidates throughout the hiring process. When reviewing resumes, don’t dwell on date ranges. Instead, focus on the candidate’s successes within each role. This will help you determine the kind of impact the employee can have in a few short months or years.

Also, contact references for every role, even if the candidate only worked at the company for a short period of time. Great references from a handful of previous employers can be more telling about the candidate’s experience, success and adaptability than one reference from a long-term role.

Use Your Applicant Tracking System to Identify Best-Fit Job Hoppers

Your applicant tracking system can help you find employees that fit best with your business and the role you’re hiring for, even if a candidate has a history of job hopping. For example, leverage your customized application options to incorporate qualitative questions into the application process. Ask questions such as:

  • How would you describe your biggest success in your last three positions?
  • How did you adapt to different workplace environments in any of your previous roles?
  • What is the most important factor that must be present in your work environment for you to be successful and happy in you role?

Additionally, if you have dozens of applicants to screen, applicant tracking software can make reference checks even easier. Reach out to references using automated pre-written emails, track all incoming reference replies and store reference feedback in the applicant’s file. If you are concerned about the candidate’s job hopping history, bring this up in your email to references to get more insight on the applicant’s experience in past roles.

The right applicant tracking software can help you identify best-fit applicants for your business, and fast. Click here to discover how you can find the most qualified candidates using Hyrell’s online applicant tracking solution.



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