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Job hopping: What it is and what advantages it has

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It is undeniable that the process of hiring and personnel selection has become increasingly complicated in recent years, regardless of economic fluctuations.

New generations of workers, although it is important not to generalize, seem to prefer a career full of experiences instead of the traditional model of staying in one company for life. The average duration of these experiences is around two years. In fact, human resources specialists say that the perception of “job hopping” has recently changed and has become more common among many workers.

“Job hopping” is an increasingly popular trend among millennials, a generation that is difficult to attract and retain in a single job, as they seek new challenges and better working conditions. Although historically seen as a negative thing for a worker to change jobs frequently, hiring a “job hopper” can have multiple advantages.

In the following lines, we will explain what this trend consists of, how to detect the professionals who follow it, and the advantages that having them on your team can bring.

What is job hopping?

“Job hopping” is a growing trend in the workplace that refers to a new generation of professionals, generally young people with highly sought-after digital skills, who change jobs frequently. These workers, known in the field of human resources as “job hoppers” or “job jumpers,” have a strong desire for advancement and are constantly seeking new challenges.

The term “job hopping” refers to those professionals who change jobs voluntarily and frequently. These workers are known as “job hoppers” or “job jumpers,” which would be translated in Spanish as “saltamontes de trabajos” or “cambiadores de trabajo,” respectively.

The profile of a job hopper.

It is undeniable that those who decide to advance in their professional career see the labor world differently. Although they change jobs frequently, they carefully plan their next move. Millennials have skills and competencies that distinguish them from other generations. Although some more traditional employers may not agree with the practice of “job hopping” among these new generations, even they admit that these professionals have the courage to take a leap into the unknown. The common characteristics of these profiles are the following:

  • They are curious individuals: they search for answers to the ‘whys’ of problems, acquire detailed knowledge of practices and concepts, and learn to develop different skills through their experiences.
  • They are tireless: they never run out of energy and have an incredible capacity for work, allowing them to achieve satisfactory results.
  • Passion for what they do is essential: they seek a job that allows them to be authentic and share their enthusiasm with others, and they do not settle for a job that does not ignite their passion.
  • They are characterized by having a risky personality: they enjoy taking risks and venturing into the unknown.
  • They show great personal motivation: they are ambitious and focused on their own development and professional growth, so they seek to keep learning. They are known as ‘knowmads,’ as they change jobs to improve their knowledge.
  • They have a great capacity to adapt to change: they do not resist change and, in fact, actively seek it out, adapting effectively.
  • They are creative: they bring innovative ideas to solve complex problems.
  • They are technology lovers and up to date with the latest digital collaboration tools, allowing them to effectively organize their tasks and have successful self-management skills at work.

How can we identify a job hopper?

Identifying a job hopper is easy if you examine their work history and pay attention to the duration of their stay at each company. If their average stay is about two years, it’s likely they are one. However, to confirm this and evaluate if their profile is suitable for the position, it’s recommended to conduct a personal interview. In the interview, you can ask key questions such as:

  • How long were you at your last job and the one before that?
  • Why did you decide to leave?
  • Was it your decision or were you fired?
  • What aspects of your previous job didn’t you like?

With these questions, you can gather valuable information to evaluate the candidate and make an informed decision about whether they are suitable for the company.

Advantages and disadvantages of hiring a job hopper.

Hiring a job hopper can have both advantages and disadvantages for a company. Some advantages include:

  • It’s easier to attract these professionals, as they are usually the ones actively seeking job opportunities, which speeds up the hiring process.
  • They tend to be highly productive, as they are working in the place where they want to be and remain motivated as long as they feel challenged.
  • They have a wider and more diverse experience than other profiles, which allows them to know different business models, internal processes, products, and brands.
  • They usually have good communication and team management skills, as they don’t have conflicts of interest with their colleagues due to not intending to stay in the company for a long time.
  • They have an ease in adapting to changes, as they are used to facing new challenges, roles, and projects, which promotes a suitable work environment.
  • They possess a broad network of contacts that they have built throughout their career, which can be very valuable for a company.

Regarding the disadvantages, we could point out the following negative aspects: a lack of commitment due to not feeling a bond with the company, a lack of specialization due to the lack of time in each job and a lack of focus in a single area, a lack of long-term vision that can hinder the planning and execution of future projects, and a lack of security for the company as they don’t know how long they can count on the employee.