‘Job hopping’ can derail your career progression, according to Australian CFOs

01 February 2015

Australian companies may find it difficult to source quality finance and accounting talent, but 93% of these business leaders will remove a candidate from consideration if they appear to be a ‘job hopper’.

A ‘job hopper’ is a term attributed to a person who has changed jobs, on average, four times in a 10-year period. However, recent research1 released by specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half shows that close to one in ten (9%) CFOs regard just two changes in a single decade as a sign of job hopping.

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The majority of Australian businesses (93%) find it challenging2 to find skilled staff in today’s labour market,with 37% indicating that the supply for accounting and finance professionals is outstripped by demand.

Andrew Brushfield, Director at Robert Half, says there can be a fine line between gaining broad industry knowledge and being viewed as someone who cannot make a long-term commitment to a firm.

“Breadth of experience is often sought after, but a lack of career stability can leave hiring managers wondering how long it will be before they are once again facing the disruption and costs associated with staff turnover. Employers want someone who can help the company reach its goals, and too many voluntary changes can raise a red flag”.

For employees, Brushfield says before leaving your current position; assess what factors are most important.

“Pursue a new opportunity only if it addresses underlying issues, for example, are you looking for more responsibility, higher salary, work life balance or something else? Also, don’t assume you have to leave the company you are at, there may be other jobs within the firm that are a better fit”.

Similarly, employers need to explore options for staff retention. Aside from direct remuneration, initiatives include training and mentoring programs, health and wellbeing benefits, flexible hours and a positive office environment.

“An employee may also feel the need to change companies to move up the career ladder faster. As a manager, once you on-board a new staff member, map out their development plan to ensure your expectations for the future align. Then check in with them regularly so they feel confident about their growth”, concludes Brushfield.

Notes to Editors: 

1 Results were developed by Robert Half in conjunction with an independent research organisation, which surveyed 160 Australian Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in July 2014.

2‘Challenging’ is used contextually in this media release; calculated as the addition of the ‘very challenging’ and ‘somewhat challenging’ responses from the data table.


Finding skilled professional-level employees 

Very challenging


Somewhat challenging


Not challenging / Don’t know



TABLE 1: 160 CFOs from Australia were asked: How challenging is it for your company to find skilled finance professionals today?


The Robert Half Salary Guide provides comprehensive analysis of current and future hiring trends including salary benchmarks. To download a copy of the full report, visit our salary guide centre.

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