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Why a Job Hopper Could be your Next Best Hire

People who have changed jobs many times, known as job hoppers, are often dismissed by recruiters and employers as being unsuitable. Once recruiters see that a prospective candidate has switched employment a number of times, then the application is often discarded.

But before you toss those CVs aside, take another look, as you could risk missing out on some great new talent. Job hoppers aren’t all just people who simply go from one employer to another with no loyalty or commitment.


Recruiters need to bear in mind that there can be a wide variety of reasons why someone has a long employment history. There are different types of job hoppers you need to identify:


Hopping for necessity


With this category of job hopper, the reasons why they have changed employment tends to mostly be out of their control. This can range from wrong career choices, to being made redundant or needing to relocate. 


There are industries that are more fluid than others and can lead to a higher chance of job loss. People that have been made redundant from an organisation often stay within the same industry but simply move to a competitor. The risk with this of course, is that the competitor could experience the same fate and have to then let people go.


Some people have no choice but to move jobs because they or their partners have other work or activities that require a lot of flexibility. This could be anything from event management roles, to construction; or even roles that need to be mobile such as oil engineers.


The candidate should be given the chance to discuss their job history and to be able to explain each job move. You will then be able to identify whether there are any patterns. Even when a candidate has been in a role for a short period, they should still be able to demonstrate what they achieved in that post. 


Hop for a change


There will always be people who choose to change job regularly, but their varied experience could actually be a benefit to your company. Often people change jobs at the beginning of their careers because they have not yet decided which path they want to take, or have found their niche. Sometimes candidates choose to move on to gain other skills and training, or to experience another sector or working environment. Some people choose to change jobs regularly as they simply enjoy the variety and flexibility it can bring. These candidates should be given the opportunity to explain their moves as they can be a worthwhile addition to your organisation. 


Problem hoppers ​


Some candidates find it difficult deciding upon a career or committing to a long-term job role, which has then resulted in them frequently hopping between different jobs. 


Often people have had to move jobs for understandable reasons, but CVs and applications don’t always provide an opportunity to fully explain the details. Inviting candidates to interview gives you the chance to discuss this with them. However at interview, they may struggle to explain their successes and indicate that they have had a bad working experience with previous employers, which is why they chose to move on.


The important rule when you are looking at prospective candidates is to not disregard people without finding out the facts. What is on paper, may not be a true reflection of the situation, so give the person a chance to explain why they made each job move. The essential thing you should be looking for is how the individual will fit into the organisation, as well as their skills and successes; not the employment dates on their CV.

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