Why Job Hoppers Deserve a Closer Look

Red flags don’t come any brighter than when a candidate’s CV screams ‘JOB HOPPER!’

Capabilities? Unproven. Depth of knowledge? Unlikely. Commitment? Forget it. We’re onto the next candidate in two seconds flat.

But Divikar Vadlamani has kicked off the debate byquestioning these assumptions. Maybe, just maybe, the ideal candidate is hiding behind that questionable CV.

Unless the candidate states otherwise, we often assume that poor performance was behind their short stints. Let’s play devil’s advocate.

  • Perhaps they’ve filled short or medium-term contract positions, as is becoming more and more common in various sectors.
  • Perhaps their seemingly premature exits were beyond their control. Their employers could have relocated, downsized, went out of business, or was sold.
  • Perhaps the candidate took advantage of the good years by enjoying short high-paid ‘bursts’ They now understand the game’s up, matured, and are ready to settle down.
  • Perhaps they’ve reasonably struggled to find the right environment or degree of challenge. High performers can be difficult to harness, but once they’ve found their home, they’re off and running.

And then again, perhaps they’re simply not a quality candidate. But let’s find out. A phone call and some probing questions will shed some light. Maybe you’ll end up with a useful contract candidate up your sleeve, and maybe – just maybe – you’d have uncovered a hidden gem for your permanent placement.

By carefully preparing and delivering such a candidate’s case, recruiters have proved that they truly understand their candidates. And that’s good news for everyone.

Are you a job hopper – how and why? Would you ever consider hiring a job hopper? Go on, have your say.




Categories: Articles for Employers, Articles for Job Seekers, Articles for Recruiters


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2 Comments on “Why Job Hoppers Deserve a Closer Look”

  1. Amy Charles
    January 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    Some might consider me as I ‘job hopper’. However, my reasons for changing jobs are normally down to circumstances which are out of my control, such as family commitments, changing industry sector and redundancy.

    My first, full time job straight out of university was as a Recruitment Consultant in the media sales industry. After 6 months, I quickly realised I was better suited to conventional sales (even though I was over achieving in that role) – so pursued a career in that area.

    I landed my first job media sales role very quickly, but after 5 months in the role, was effectively made redundant, as they re-shifted the team. Again, I was over achieving in this role, but weirdly, they re-located me within the company, but kept the rest of the sales team which were yet to achieve any sales? I wasn’t quite sure what happened there.

    It actually worked out for the better and was ‘promoted’ within the company and loved the job. I was there for a year, but after a lot of fulse promises about career progression, despite achieving all the goals they set me, they didn’t come through.

    I was headhunted within a couple of weeks after this realisation, and landed a job with the competitor. Again, fantastic job but my family commitments after my son started at school became too important to ignore and I was forced to find a job close to home, so I could be more of a ‘Mummy’ for my little boy.

    Despite first impressions, I’m actually a committed employee, with bags of enthusiasm and hard working to boot. My reasons to being seen as a ‘job hopper’ are down to circumstance, rather than a ‘flaky’ individual.

    • January 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      Thanks for the comment, Amy!

      Great example. We can see how your movements have been circumstance-based and even calculated. Not only that, your movements have actually accelerated your career. I wonder how you communicate this in your CV. After all, you need to avoid the potential of a recruiter/hiring manager glancing over your Career History and making the wrong conclusions. Perhaps you could write a one-lionger under each position, before your duties/achievements, summarising why you left – in the most diplomatic way possible. What is your CV strategy?


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