What is a Job Hopper, and How Can They Hurt Your Business?

For decades, hiring managers avoided hiring job hoppers, but in recent years – thanks to the Millennial penchant for job hopping – there has been a push to give job hoppers a second look. You can find endless justifications for hiring someone who is a serial hopper, but should you take the chance with your business?

What is A Job Hopper?

Job hoppers work at short stints (a few months to a year) in one role after another, rather than staying with one company. Job hopping is a pattern of behavior – the person leaves on their own volition, rather than layoffs or downsizing.  For decades, job hopping was uncommon. Most people stuck with a company for their entire career or only made one or two changes throughout their working life. Today, however, job hopping is much more common.

Justifications For Hiring a Job Hopper

Why do some experts say you should consider hiring a job hopper? Its commonality is leading to more acceptance, and some people believe there are benefits to hiring job hoppers, including:

  • Skill variety: Job hoppers tend to build a variety of useful skills at each job.
  • Diversity of experience: Job hoppers have likely worked for companies of various sizes and cultures. They may have new ideas you can harvest for your organization.
  • They embrace risk: Job hoppers tend to be willing to try new things and take risks, which can be important for innovation.

Reasons Not To Hire A Job Hopper

While you could justify hiring a job hopper, especially in a tight employment market, hiring someone who can’t stick with a job is a major risk. Bad hires are extremely costly – both in real dollars and in lost productivity and decreased employee morale.

If you’re kicking around the idea of hiring a job hopper, consider the drawbacks:

  • No guarantee they won’t hop again: While the candidate might assure you that they have just been waiting for the right opportunity, you have no guarantee that they will stay put.
  • Lack of expertise: Working a few months here and there does not allow a person to develop a deep understanding of processes or industries. It takes time to build knowledge, so while the candidate may have skills, they lack expertise. Without demonstrable results and achievements, it’s difficult to truly gauge a candidate’s potential value.
  • Unfocused goals: Someone who hops jobs is likely unaware of what they want from their career. A person who isn’t sure a field or career path is right for them is not likely to be engaged and not likely to stay around for long.

Are You Struggling to Find Top Talent?

You don’t have to settle for a job hopper, even in a tight market. If you are looking for more ways to reduce hiring risk at your ag business, contact the agricultural industry staffing experts at Morris Bixby Group. Our proven strategies for success can help you access the right person for the role, every time.


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