Does job hopping look bad?

Where do you stand on job hopping? I remember when I was in my very first job, everyone said to stay in a job for at least a year, no matter what. I was told that it would look bad if I left a job after a few months, or had few positions that only lasted a few months. Well, that’s not the case anymore.

job hopping

Job hopping is when you leave a job before completing a full year with that company. Once seen as a red flag on a CV, but now seen as a strategy to advance your career to tie you over while you are looking for a permanent position. If you receive a CV from someone who has a few short stints on their CV, don’t instantly dismiss them as a fickle. 

Length of each employment does not equal loyalty

If the candidate is in roles for less than six months that would suggest to me that they are prone to getting fired, the company was downsizing, they get bored, or they don’t know what they want to do or they have been doing temp roles. If the candidate has taken a few temporary positions while looking for something more permanent, then they are not a job hopper. 

Whatever the case, it doesn’t mean this employee is disloyal or can’t hold down a job. They have the right to move on to a better opportunity that gives the standard of living and career progression that they are looking for. 

Reason for leaving

Ask the candidate exactly why they have been in positions for shorter periods. Try to get to the bottom of each resignation or termination as the case may be. Does the candidate have a history of quitting for no real reason, or being let go because of poor behaviour or issues with other people. Ask about each role on their CV, not just their most recent position. Listen to how they talk about previous roles; are they respectful or a little bit sour. 

See what their motivation is behind applying for the position at your company. Ask them where they see themselves in five or ten years, this will give you a sense of whether they have a plan at all or if they are a bit flakey. 

Pick the one that feels right

You will know the right candidate for your company and team when you meet them. Ultimately you will hire based on the right skills, personality and fit for your company culture.  So don’t get too hung up on whether this person job hopped or not. 

If someone applies for the job without much interest in the role, then you know that they are not the right fit for your company. 

 We don’t see job hopping as a red flag on every CV, a candidate may have preferred to take shorter contracts while waiting for the right opportunity. Ask the right questions and go with your gut on this one. 

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