I'm helping one of my coworkers review candidates for "junior" jobs requiring 1-2 years of experience. I'm seeing a lot of candidates with spotty job histories, where they move around and job hop a lot. Now, if a candidate has a string of part-time jobs while they are pursuing a degree of some kind, that paints a much different picture than someone who doesn't have a degree. It's not the *degree* that is the issue, but the string of jobs.
Now, there is a difference between working a series of temporary jobs to get experience and having a bunch of "permanent" jobs that last 6 months or less. And here is the reason why job-hopping is seen as a negative.
*It costs an organization thousands of dollars to recruit and train a new employee*.
I'm including statistics we used to give a powerpoint presentation a few months ago to our hiring managers. These numbers are based on a per-hire average of a full-time employee (hours for employee are calculated on an a salaried employee making $60K).
Recruiting Resources (people): $628
Sourcing Resources (ads, job boards, career fairs): $125
Candidate Sourcing: $58
Resume Reviewing (hundreds of resumes, man hours involved to review by both recruiting/managers): $632,555
Phone Screens (recruiting and hiring team in terms of man hours): $44,488
Internal Interviews (man hours): $4,449
Realistic Job Preview (evaluating the job, headcount forecasting, writing and editing the job description): $3,941
Screening/assessment costs: $268
Offer preparation/Acceptance Costs: $578
Training New Hire: $3,668
Cost of new hire materials: $1,500
New Hire Salary Expense (paid to learn, no productivity): $1,177
Manager time during ramp-up period (coaching, mentoring): $736
So, as you can see from a purely fiscal standpoint, it is *expensive* to hire a new employee. And if a candidate has a habit of job hopping, why would an organization spend the money and man-hours to take a gamble on someone with a proven history of leaving in less than a year?
There is a difference between being laid off from a position due to downsizing and job hopping. Really, the last 18 months or so won't count against most candidates (here's a hint: put on your resume that you were downsized due to corporate restructuring/office closure.) But if you are in, say, retail, and you keep changing stores every few months, why would anyone believe you capable or interested in holding down a job long-term? Either you chose to leave, or you were terminated. Once or twice is one thing, but a repeated history of it is a huge red flag to employers.
So, if at all possible, you should try to stay in any job at least a year. Twelve months. Moving within an organization is fine, but jumping from employer to employer is going to lose you opportunities if you make it a career lifestyle.
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