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4 min read

What Factors Should Hiring Managers Consider When Evaluating Candidates With a History of Job Hopping?

What Factors Should Hiring Managers Consider When Evaluating Candidates With a History of Job Hopping?

When evaluating candidates with a history of job hopping, hiring managers often face a challenging task. On the surface, frequent job changes might raise concerns about a candidate's stability and commitment. However, in today's dynamic job market, where career shifts are becoming more common, it's essential to dig deeper and understand the context behind these moves. 

Client Success Manager Rebecca Wood dives deeper into job hopping in this edition of nSider. We outline the key factors hiring managers should consider when assessing candidates with a varied job history. By adopting a nuanced approach, managers can uncover valuable insights into a candidate’s adaptability, skills, and potential, ensuring a fair and comprehensive evaluation process.

 

What Defines Job Hopping? 

You’ve probably heard the term “job hopper” used in professional settings. But what does this title entail?

Wood explains, “There isn't a rigid definition of job hopping—it can differ from one individual to another based on their perspective. Generally, it refers to a pattern where someone changes jobs frequently without staying with one company for an extended period.”

Job hopping has become more relevant in recent years, as the work landscape has shifted. Factors like layoffs, budget cuts, bad management, personal growth, and development all contribute to the new landscape of job hopping and career change. 

Forbes outlines why job hopping is here to stay. 

 

What Factors Should Hiring Managers Take Into Account When Assessing Candidates With A History Of “Job Hopping”?

When hiring for a contract position, it's only fair to consider candidates with prior contract work experience. Hiring managers must also account for the current labor market and economic conditions, recognizing their profound impact on candidates. Outside factors can create instability beyond the candidate’s control.

Penalizing individuals for exploring different career paths is unjust. Wood advises, “We should understand that finding the right fit takes time.” 

Given that we spend a significant portion of our lives at work, our workplace must be one where we can thrive and grow. Wood says, “As a millennial, I am passionate about fostering change and providing opportunities [as a hiring manager] for those who may feel marginalized. This isn't merely about job hopping; it's about enabling personal growth and development.”

Generally, companies that offer stability and opportunities for advancement will retain their employees. Rather than scrutinizing candidates, we should examine the practices of employers and companies. The human side of hiring is crucial and should not be overlooked. Everyone deserves a stable job and a secure livelihood. However, many individuals find themselves changing jobs due to factors beyond their control.

Wood advises others in her position: “...to make a significant difference in someone’s life by recognizing their value and offering them a chance—not just as contractors, but as individuals with aspirations and potential.”

 

Is Job Hopping Always A Red Flag?

Certainly not! At times, job hopping can be viewed as a positive attribute. Each role held usually provides invaluable insights. While long-term tenure at one company can be rewarding, it may also limit exposure to new perspectives and innovative ideas that are crafted through experiencing different teams, industries, roles, etc.

Wood recognizes her own experiences in this regard:

“As an Opera Singer turned Client Success Manager, with previous roles as a Brand Activation Manager (from which I was let go) and Recruiter (a position I lost due to pandemic layoffs), I've had the opportunity to explore diverse career paths. This journey has significantly shaped my professional identity. While my resume might suggest a lack of direction to some, a brief conversation would reveal the wealth of experience and growth I've accumulated.”

Our experiences shape who we are as employees and most importantly, individuals. People deserve the benefit of the doubt and a moment of your time to share their unique journeys and perspectives.

Business News Daily outlines the various reasons why many job hop

 

How Can Hiring Managers Differentiate Between Legitimate Career Progression And Excessive Job Hopping?

The key to distinguishing legitimate career progression from excessive job hopping is simple: have a conversation about it.

Partnering with a staffing agency like nTech Workforce ensures already invested time and effort in understanding the candidates' backgrounds and stories. Recruiters do this routinely, even amidst the chaos of the staffing world. Staffing decisions are based on their skills and experiences, this includes the reasons behind a candidate’s job changes. Therefore, trust your staffing partners to screen for this, or take a few minutes to ask questions via email or phone.

While a resume can outline job history and is encouraged, it's ultimately just words on a page and doesn't tell the whole story. Each candidate is unique, and it can be challenging to discern their true potential. Taking an extra moment to set aside biases and be open-minded allows you to better understand the candidate.

This approach helps identify the underlying reasons for their job changes, which often reflect adaptability, growth, and varied experiences rather than instability. In addition, these conversations help you make more informed hiring decisions, benefiting both the employer and the candidate.

 

In What Ways Can Hiring Managers Leverage Interviews And Reference Checks To Gain Insight?

During the interview process, it's crucial to maintain a curious mindset and an inquisitive attitude. Here are tips to leverage essential information on a potential candidate: 

  • Instead of focusing solely on the candidate's employment history, shift the emphasis to their abilities and experiences
    • Explore the journey that has brought them to this point 
  • Listen actively and without bias
    • Many candidates are eager to share their stories and value interviewers who listen attentively
    • Remember, as a hiring manager, you must decide whether to be a listener or to pass judgment
  • Conducting reference checks is another effective way to comprehensively understand a candidate's work history
    • These checks provide valuable insights and help you build a fuller picture of the individual

These approaches help hiring managers select the right candidate while ensuring a more inclusive and supportive recruitment process.



What Strategies Can Be Implemented To Mitigate The Risks Associated With Hiring “Job Hopping” Candidates?

There are various strategies to help mitigate risks with hiring “job hoppers”, including: 

  • Partnering With a Staffing Agency
      • One of the key benefits of partnering with a staffing agency, like nTech Workforce, is the risk mitigation ability 
      • For example, nTech’s robust interview coordination process ensures they’re hosting thorough conversations with candidates, exploring their experiences and how they align with the client's needs. Staffing companies can address any questions or concerns clients might have. 
  • Fully Support New Hires
      • Consider what your company can do to support new hires, including onboarding, career growth, safety, goal management, etc. 
      • Ensure alignment with your company’s mission and values, making them well-defined and easily understood. A company that offers mental and physical safety, stability, and growth will retain its employees 
  • Establish Regular Communication 
    • Regular check-ins are crucial for gathering feedback from new hires
    • By maintaining open lines of communication and fostering a supportive environment, you can address new hires' needs effectively, improving satisfaction and retention 

 

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Are you considering interviewing a traditional "job hopper" or just searching for the perfect fit for your team? At nTech, we value the insights and improvements we bring to staffing solutions.

Contact us to learn how we can help you tackle staffing challenges and build your winning team today.

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