Job hopping fast losing its negative stigma: Survey

In an encouraging sign for those who change jobs frequently, new independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half reveals more than seven in 10 (71%) Australian hiring managers would be more willing to hire a candidate who has a history of job hopping, with a job hopper being defined as someone who has made an average of five job changes within a 10-year period.

  • Australian hiring managers consider someone who has made an average of five job changes over a 10-year period to be a job hopper.
  • Compared to five years ago, 71% say they would be more willing to hire a candidate who has a history of job hopping.
  • 76% think millennial generation workers are job hoppers, compared to 57% of Generation X professionals and 38% of baby boomers.

Sydney, 19 June 2019 – In an encouraging sign for those who change jobs frequently, new independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half reveals more than seven in 10 (71%) Australian hiring managers would be more willing to hire a candidate who has a history of job hopping, with a job hopper being defined as someone who has made an average of five job changes within a 10-year period.

How do job hoppers compare across the ditch?

Similar attitudes towards job hoppers apply across the ditch, as New Zealand’s hiring managers consider someone who has made an average of six job changes within a 10-year period to be a job hopper, and slightly more businesses (74%) would be willing to hire a candidate who has a history of job hopping.

Which generation is more likely to be a job hopper?

Job hopping is overwhelmingly more prevalent among Australia’s millennials1 as more than three-quarters (76%) of Australian hiring managers think millennial-aged workers are job hoppers, compared to 57% who think Australia’s Generation X2 workers are job hoppers and just over one in three (38%) who consider baby boomers3 to be job hoppers.

The positives of job hopping

While many employment changes in a short time span can give hiring managers cause for concern, the majority of Australian employers (97%) understand there are also advantages linked to changing jobs frequently. The positive consequences of job hopping for employees, as identified by the hiring manager research, include: the chance to learn more skills (43%), expanding their professional network (39%), more experience across different industries (38%), and higher salary progression and faster career progression (36%).

Andrew Brushfield, Director of Robert Half Australia said: “As the largest demographic in the workplace, it’s not surprising the concept of ‘job hopping’ is quickly losing its stigma as millennial-aged workers are more likely to change jobs frequently than their Generation X and baby boomer counterparts. Considering the growing skills shortage where talent is hard to find, Australian employers understand the potential benefits job hoppers can bring from first-hand experience.”

The negatives of job hopping

Yet switching employment on a regular basis can also have significant downfalls. Professionals who frequently change jobs should not disregard the potential pitfalls, with the negative consequences of job hoppers, as identified by hiring managers, being: lack of job security (42%), missing out on being part of a team (38%) and missing out on promotions (35%).

“Job hopping has certainly become more prevalent in Australia’s employment landscape but hiring managers should still exercise caution when considering job hoppers for a role. While there can be many benefits of employing a candidate who has changed jobs frequently, regular job changes over a short period could raise a few red flags, such as disloyalty or a lack of direction. Recruitment processes can be costly, so employers should consider a candidate’s true motivations for switching roles, before proceeding with what could be a risky hiring decision,” concluded Andrew Brushfield.

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