Job-hopping is traditionally frowned upon by hiring managers because it is seen as a sign that the candidate is just as likely to hop away from the role as they were eager to hop into it. Hiring managers who understand how to analyze a pattern of job-hopping, however, can position themselves as the best long-term fit for a candidate.
Here’s what to look for when faced with a job-hopping candidate:
Where does the trail lead?
Not all job-hopping trails say the same thing about a candidate. A trail of short-term jobs that are in closely-related positions within the same industry, for instance, may indicate that the candidate sought to move ever closer to their ideal role. A trail of jobs in various geographic locations may indicate that the candidate experienced a period of life in which moves were frequent. A trail of short-term jobs in unrelated industries may suggest that the economy was tough or the candidate wasn’t sure what they were looking for.
Start by identifying the pattern in the job-hopping trail. Doing so will help you shape the questions you ask the candidate or your recruiter.
Ask the candidate about their experience.
If the candidate has an otherwise strong resume, consider interviewing them for the opportunity to ask additional questions about their pattern of job-hopping.
Questions like, “What connects your four most recent jobs?” or “I see you’ve had five jobs in the past four years, each in a different state. What can you tell me about that?” encourage the candidate to narrate their experience in the way they see fit. The story the candidate tells to place these discrete jobs into a coherent framework can help you understand how the candidate sees their career and their ability to commit.
Get an outside perspective.
Your recruiter can help you place a candidate’s job-hopping into a broader perspective. Staffing firms can also help you develop a plan to analyze instances of job-hopping and determine whether the candidate offers the right fit for the role. Don’t hesitate to ask for additional help if you’re on the fence about a particular candidate.
At SMR Group, our recruiters connect our clients in the biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical industries with some of the best sales and marketing professionals available in the industry. To learn more, contact us today.