I grit my teeth every time I hear or use the label Job Hopper. Until recently multiple job transitions meant you couldn’t hold a job, that you were undependable, unstable, or disloyal if you left on your own. After all, who would leave a perfectly good job? Hence the birth and evil branding of the term job hopper. There are 4 key reason to hire job hoppers.
However, not all job hoppers are alike according to Christopher Lake, University of Minnesota Instructor, and Scott Highhouse, professor, and researcher at Bowling Green University. They studied and identified two main groups, termed “escape-driven” and “advancement-driven.” I believe there is a third group, Job Survivors, which I discussed in my previous blog Don’t Condemn Job Hoppers. The escape-driven “tend to be impulsive, lack persistence, and are often fixated on negative emotions,” says Lake. However, the advancement-driven group is self-directed and has a strong drive toward achievement. “These are people who actively seek out a variety of responsibilities and work experiences.” These “advancement driven” should be the new hires you seek.
Indeed things are beginning to change. A CareerBuilder survey found that by age 35, 25 percent of full-time employees have held five or more jobs, while 20 percent of those ages 55 and older have had 10 or more jobs. Employees simply don’t stay with one company for as long as they used to for a variety of reasons. Instead, they move from company to company taking on new challenges and gaining varied experience. They are looking to expand their career opportunities, grow their professional networks, and find more relevant and stimulating work.
Job Hoppers are Innovative
How many times have you seen this phrase in a job posting? Wanted: Innovative thinker and creative problem solver who can think out of the box. The very skills a job hopper gains from working at multiple places are the very skills employers value! Innovation. Creativity. Leadership. Flexibility. Industry knowledge. Companies need top talent to solve problems build new solutions that will give them a competitive advantage. Job hoppers open themselves to opportunities to get that valuable experience. You can’t help but question the motivation and ambition of the employee who stayed in the same cubicle for 10 years and what they can bring to the table from an innovation standpoint.
Job Hoppers are Higher Performers
You can’t job hop if don’t add value each place you go. That’s why job hoppers are usually overachievers on projects they are involved in; they want something good to put on their resume. So from an employer’s perspective, this should be a good thing. Companies benefit more from having a strong performer for 18 months than a mediocre employee for 20 years. So job hoppers are always looking to do really well at work, if for no other reason than it helps them get their next job.
Job Hoppers Have Great People Skills and Emotional Intelligence
If you change jobs often, then you’re always challenged with a lot to learn so your learning curve stays high. This is true for people skills and industry-specific knowledge. It also applies to your emotional intelligence. The more you have to navigate corporate hierarchies and deal with office dramas, the more you learn about people and the better you will become at making co-workers and clients comfortable. And that’s a great skill to have.
Job Hoppers are Versatile and Flexible
They have experience working with different businesses, people, and clients, in a variety of roles and can bring their knowledge to your company. They aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone to tackle something new and in fact they would probably prefer it.
So smart recruiters and managers are seeking out employees who like to move around and who seek out challenges. These are the very people who can lead companies toward new markets and ideas. “We’re seeing more and more jobs that simply didn’t exist five years ago but were created as a result of employees driving toward new goals and objectives,” says Chris Hoyt, a recruiting strategist at PepsiCo. Ali Ghiassi, Talent Leadership advisor for Aerotek, Inc., confirms that the outlook on job hoppers is changing. “Sometimes we get so entrenched in the way we’ve been doing things that we don’t stop to consider whether it even makes sense anymore. Now we look beyond the job changes and learn the reasons behind them.”
Job hoppers know it’s no longer reasonable to expect an employer to take care of us. A job hopper knows “If I want this, I will have to take full responsibility for my own career and become the CEO of my own life. Now that is Leadership.
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Tricia Lucas has over 25 years of demonstrated success in recruiting, marketing communications, and social media and helps technology companies recruit more efficiently by focusing on Recruiting Efficiencies, Employer Branding, and Social Media.
At Lucas Select, based in Raleigh, NC, we are passionate about technology startups and about sales and marketing as professions and have built extensive national networks of top-performing executives and managers. Unlike typical staffing agencies and headhunters, our recruiting services ensure that your company maintains a sustained growth model that is supported by strong sales management, talent recruitment at scale balanced by on-going people development while aligning with your Company’s core values.