A Recruiter’s Perspective on Job Hopping and its effects

Job hopping is the frequency at which a candidate moves from one job to another, but this can differ based on different organizations and career levels.

A recruiter's perspective on job hopping

Recruiters are typically on the lookout for various traits in a potential candidate. While some may give the recruiter the needed confidence to give the candidate a chance, some could be considered a red flag that will make a recruiter think twice about hiring. One of such major red flags is Job hopping,

To delve deeper into the peculiarities of job-hopping, Chisom Ofili, the Head of Recruitment at Jobberman Nigeria shares some insights on the inner workings of recruiting and how job-hopping affects it, based on her experience of over a decade in the area of recruitment and talent acquisition.

First take, What qualifies as job-hopping?

Job hopping is generally defined as the frequency at which a candidate moves from one job to another.  According to Chisom, the definition will differ based on different organizations and career levels. For some organizations, staying less than six months in a job will be considered job-hopping, whereas for some staying less than two years is a major cause for concern. 

Job hopping

When is job-hopping considered okay?

“It’s absolutely normal for candidates with 0-4 years of experience (entry level) to move around. This is because they are in the self-discovery stage, trying to find their career path ” said Chisom Ofili. They are trying to garner different experiences that will help them decide what career path to remain committed to, which will ensure long-term success and happiness.  Hence, any good recruiter will take the peculiarities of this career stage into consideration and not consider it a red flag. 

It’s also justifiable for professionals to seek opportunities elsewhere when a workplace becomes toxic or it is lacking in structure, in a way that doesn’t promise career advancement. This is why the onus is on recruiters to do their due diligence first, by finding out the root cause of a candidate’s short stay in any organization. 

A short stay within an organization will also not be considered job-hopping if it doesn’t appear to be a pattern in a candidate’s history. That is, its occurrence is not repeated. 

When and why job-hopping becomes a red flag 🚩

Red flag

Professionals with at least five years of experience are expected to have found their feet in whatever career path they have chosen. Ideally, candidates in this demographic should already have a focus in terms of career goals. This is why seeing a pattern of moving from one job to another within months or one or two years could pose a serious concern to recruiters, and here’s why:

  • No company would like to settle for a jack of all trades, master of none candidate. This is what recruiters believe becomes of anyone who doesn’t stay long enough in a job to get the necessary knowledge and experience they need to significantly contribute to the progress of any organization they find themselves in. After all, skilled employees are the major driving force behind a thriving company.
  • For some recruiters, job-hopping is tied to the level of loyalty of the candidate. Frequently moving from one job to another could suggest that the candidate is always ready to up and leave at the slightest provocation or downtime in any company. This is why recruiters will be hesitant to settle for a candidate whose level of commitment is highly questionable, Chisom says.
  • The cost of recruitment is usually high- with regards to both time and resources. Recruiters therefore would like to cut this cost as much as possible by ensuring that only candidates who would not make them incur this cost again in a matter of months or a year are hired. As far as profiling job hoppers go, they simply will not be considered fit for that category.
  • Only a few things worry employers like low employee retention rates. Maintaining a workforce of highly motivated employees through various strategies can be tough. What can certainly make it tougher is recruiting a candidate who recruiters believe may simply walk away in a short period of time, despite the company’s effort at retention. This is why recruiters may avoid job hoppers like a plague.

“The job market has certainly evolved, especially post-pandemic leading to the Great Resignation. Recruiters must therefore consider all possible circumstances before concluding that a potential candidate is a job hopper. For job seekers, it is important to carry out self-analysis with the goal of understanding your strengths and weaknesses. This, and openness to learning (whether through internship or volunteering, in the absence of a full-time job opportunity) will help provide the clarity you need to quickly find your career path”- Chisom Ofili (Head of Recruitment, Jobberman Nigeria).

Do you have at least five years of experience and you’re looking for a platform that will serve as a beacon as you establish your feet firmly in your career field? You should definitely join the Jobberman Expert Network.

Are you a recruiter or a job seeker? We’d like to get your perspective on job-hopping too. Let us know in the comments!

Bukola Okikiolu
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