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7 Reasons Job Hoppers Aren't the Waste of Time You Think They Are

A recruiter’s first step in screening a massive pile of resumes is usually to weed out the ones that are definitely not qualified. That could be the people who clearly have no experience, those from a complete other geographic location, and, for some recruiters, “job hoppers” — the applicant whose resume hosts a number of short-term positions.

There are valid reasons job hoppers automatically raise a red flag in your recruiting process:

  • They may have been fired or pushed out of many companies;

  • They could always be on the look-out for better salaries, leaving all loyalty behind;

  • They might be a negative, dramatic individuals who don’t get along well with others;

  • Perhaps they’re afraid of commitment or get bored easily;

  • The list goes on…

Any of these should cause you, as a hiring manager, to put their resume through the shredder and pretend you never saw it. After all, why would you invest so much time into somebody only to have them leave you with headaches down the road? The problem is, you don’t know if those are the reasons your candidate is a job hopper. In fact, one could argue that there are as many acceptable reasons for having multiple jobs as there are for unacceptable reasons.

Here’s why your job hopper may not be the high-maintenance drama king/queen you expect at first glance:

  1. Their multiple positions are all in the same company, or group of companies, and represent department shifts or promotions;

  2. The candidate has worked on temporary contracts that were never meant to last any longer than a few months;

  3. The “job hopping” happened in a rough economy, where jobs were hard to come by and companies were having unexpected lay-offs;

  4. The average length of a job in their industry or position is short;

  5. They organized their resume badly to show many co-op or internship positions;

  6. They’re very ambitious and still haven’t found the perfect fit (this is only good if you’re up to the challenge); and,

  7. Some people just have bad luck and get stuck in many terrible companies until they find the right one.

Your parents taught you at a young age never to judge a book by its cover and the same applies when hiring — never judge a candidate by their resume. Remember to ask the right questions and truly understand a job hopper before throwing them in the “no” pile. Of course, where your mother may have encouraged you to give people a second chance, we won’t force that upon you when you come across a resume with a ton of red flags. One or two questionable traits in a resume is one thing, but if an applicant’s CV sets off alarms in every line, you have our blessing to burn it.

What other reasons can you think of or have you seen for job hoppers — good or bad? There are an infinite amount of reasons, so let’s start the list in the comments below.