Job-Hopping: The New Norm or a Bad Habit?
You’ve seen it – a resume filled with 1-3 years of tenure at each position. Or a long tenure at one company and then a variety of short-stints in the most recent roles. The first thing that often comes to mind is – this candidate cannot commit. But this article from Jeanne Meister at Forbes.com, Job Hopping Is the ‘New Normal’ for Millennials: Three Ways to Prevent a Human Resource Nightmare, got me thinking.
In expansion-stage recruiting is job-hopping simply a side effect of working in the startup space?
I’m torn. On one hand, I get it. You don’t want to take a chance by hiring someone at such a vital time who is going to move on in a year. On the other hand, has the perceived job-hopper had good reasons for moving around, or even a choice?
In startups, change happens. That’s why agility is a characteristic that recruiters and hiring managers so often look for in new hires. Companies transform when they make the transition from the initial seed stage to the expansion stage and beyond. These changes can be anything from management transition, acquisition, IPO, funding, or a change in the long-term (or short-term) vision of the company. Employees are not always decision makers in these strategic changes, so they may have good reason to move on. Usually, candidates are open with recruiters and hiring managers about why they moved on, but it is still important to get references to check.
On the other hand, if you do your research and talk to the candidate about his or her career path up to present day and the reasons are either not clear or seem futile, it’s time to make a decision on whether you should move them forward in the hiring process.
My opinion? Be open-minded about candidates who have jumpiness in their backgrounds. Pick up the phone, ask the questions, and dig in to find out the reason behind each move. Don’t initially rule out a candidate based solely on a jumpy resume.