Is there still a stigma attached to job-hopping?

A high rate of turnover is something most employers have traditionally tried to fight against, with studies over the years decrying the immense financial impact it can have. However, the constantly evolving profile of the typical job seeker means job-hopping is becoming more and more acceptable – so is there any real value in a candidate who only wants to stay short-term?

US human resources firm CareerBuilder recently conducted an extensive survey into the issue, digging into why workers today are so restless, and how organisations now view these individuals. Its study of more than 2,000 HR professionals and 3,000 full-time employees reveal some interesting insights.

Results from the CareerBuilder survey suggest that the stigma once reserved for job-hoppers is waning in today's employment market. In fact, over half (55 per cent) of the employers surveyed said they have hired a job-hopper, with almost a third (32 per cent) saying that the act of working for numerous employers for short periods of time is now expected.

“More workers are pursuing opportunities with various companies to expose themselves to a wider range of experiences, build their skill sets, or take a step up the ladder in pay or title,” explained Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.

“Employers may be more understanding of job-hopping today, but most employers are still more likely to hire the candidate who has a pattern of longer tenure with organisations.”

This could prompt many organisations to reassess their recruitment and selection practices, especially those actively looking in the graduate market. According to CareerBuilder, younger job seekers who are just starting out their career are more likely to be restless. Almost half (45 per cent) of employers hiring new graduates said they expect them to stay no longer than two years.

So is hiring job-hoppers still laden with risk, or is there a reason the practice is becoming more and more accepted?

CareerBuilder suggests that there could be benefits to hiring those who have worked for a large number of companies in short space, as 53 per cent of employers believed job-hoppers could have “a wide range of expertise” – for instance, the ability to adapt quickly.