Recruiters - Should You Work With Job Hoppers?


It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of presenting job hopping candidates to clients was considered taboo by recruiters. Today, attitudes are changing - often through necessity – and job hoppers are no longer instantly disregarded. As a recruiter in search of candidates who will remain in a job once placed, should you work with job hoppers?

Understanding motivations

Why does your ideal (job hopping) candidate want to leave their current position? Job hoppers often switch jobs several times early on in their career while testing out their strengths and weaknesses and what works best for them. Before you rule out a candidate, review their CV and find out why they changed jobs so frequently. According to a LinkedIn survey, the top reason is lack of career advancement opportunities with their current employer, followed by:-

  • Salary
  • Unhappiness with company leadership
  • Dissatisfaction with company culture
  • Wanting more challenging work

No recruiter wants to be paying out a rebate or gain a reputation for placing candidates who leave their jobs within a year. If your job hopping candidate is ideal in all other aspects, dig a little deeper and discover just why they keep moving jobs. NB : If your candidate is only interested in salary, look for a more suitable applicant.

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Presenting job hopping candidates to your clients

Highlight the following benefits of hiring a job hopper to employers:-

  • Job hopping candidates have generally gained experience in a wide range of different working environments and are willing to take risks and eager to learn.
  • They gain additional skills and experience in each position, are more adaptable and more able to make rapid progress in their new environment.
  • Job hopping is a typical trait of talent performers frustrated by their lack of opportunity. Promote their background as a sign of ambition and ability
  • Their ability to integrate quickly enables them to work well within a team environment.
  • Through their many jobs they learn vital networking skills and bring a wealth of experience, best practice and contacts from a broad range of different companies.

Evaluating your job hopping candidate

When working with a job hopper, ask yourself one question. Has every career move resulted in advancement, additional achievements and new skills? If the answer is ‘yes’, finding the right employer who meets their career aspirations may put an end to their job hopping career. The LinkedIn survey also found that 42% of departing employees could have been persuaded to stay in their jobs if their career ambitions were supported.

Keep in mind too that some early career job hopping may have been as a result of redundancies, temporary jobs or reliance on zero hours contracts during the economic downturn.

Recruiting benefits

To succeed in the current recruitment market you have to move fast. A candidate who’s unsure about accepting a job offer can lose you the deal. Job hoppers habitually make decisions quickly so for that reason alone are ideal candidates. 44% take less than a month from applying for a job to accepting an offer. All you need to do is convince your client of the need to move quickly in the hiring process and the deal is pretty much sealed – which we know can be a challenge in itself.

Should you work with a job hopper?

Our answer is qualified ‘yes’. Like all applicants, understanding motivations and assessing their background against a specific vacancy is essential. While they may need additional screening and evaluation, job hopping candidates can be a valuable resource for your next placement.      


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