Job hopping

A young recruiter posted this rant on LinkedIn:

I’m a recruiter. But I don’t judge my candidates based on their length of employment on each company they worked with. Candidates seem like job hoppers if they frequently change jobs, but I see them beyond being job hoppers. Each employment have their own stories. Each candidates have their own passion and strength. You will never know what will happen on your job until you’re in it every day. I’m happy to hire a candidate as long as he performed excellently in interview. I believe each new joiner will bring a new change in company. I am Gen-Y and I hate traditional recruitment mind-set.

A gentleman replied:

Job hoppers are a problem for hiring managers and teams – they are not team oriented and tread a ‘greedy’ path of ‘growing bucks’ instead of steady state and investing in a Career. DO not agree at all – I hate this Gen Y recruitment mindset.

In this post I would like to counter this huge generalisation with one or two of my own, and hopefully we can land somewhere in the middle, where the reality lies.

Great talent often “job hops” because of the sheer amount of companies with a culture of mediocrity, and the lack of companies with a culture of excellence.

High performers get bored because their talent is not anywhere near utilised in the majority of organisations in which they are likely to end up.

They get frustrated because their ideas are continually ignored.

They get bemused by the baffling decisions made by senior management without involving the folks who will be affected most by the decisions.

They get tired of management constantly harping on about their teams needing to be “more efficient”, or “delivering what they committed to”, or being “lazy”.

What of the folks who don’t “job hop”?

Often those who stay with companies for years and years are folks who are so comfortable they should be coming to the office wearing slippers.

They see no need to stretch their capabilities. They will never challenge the status quo. They will dutifully “do their job” every day, without ever really learning or improving new techniques or approaches. They are lacking ambition.

Perhaps. I’m generalising, right?

My message to the gentleman who responded to the recruiter is:

Instead of judging folks who “job hop”, let’s start judging potential candidates by what really matters. Mindset, attitude. Ability to do the job required. Humility. Kindness. Joy. Passion. Curiosity. A desire for better.

The person you are looking for – the “right” person – might well be a “job hopper”. Maybe they simply haven’t found the “right” employer up to now?

In order to accommodate the “right” person we are bringing in to our company, let’s make damn sure our workplace is one where that person wants to stay.

Perhaps then there won’t be so much “job hopping” to worry about.