Can You Forgive A Job Hopper?

As I sit down to write this blog, I do so fully conscious that the content of this blog MAY offend some of my readers. No offence is intended but I just have to get this off my chest as I think someone has to stand up and tell this group of people some home truths…

If you have moved every 3-6 months in recruitment and you cannot show consistent employment with achievement versus a target, of at least 12-18 months in ONE employer, then are you a massive risk to your next employer. Fact.

There – I said it.

Now please, if you wish, read on as to why I find it hard to be charitable about recruitment job hoppers:

Am I the rarity or the norm?

I am a rarity in recruitment. Well, for lots of reasons but, heck, I am modest. One of the main reasons I am rare is that having been in recruitment for 15 yrs and I have only worked for 3 companies in that time. 3 years in company 1, 3 years in company two and this is my 9th year of trading as Qui Recruitment.

I meet a lot of recruiters – obviously, that’s my job after all – and it just shocks me how some of those people have actually had as many jobs as I have in a short time frame or maybe a year or so. Sometimes I even interview people who have moved every few months!

The “blip”:

Now I am not a mug, nor am I a heartless, ruthless woman, so I am always open to giving the benefit of the doubt to anyone who seems to hold valid reasons for wanting to leave their current employer. I will absolutely forgive a “blip” or even two, if the references and the reasons stack up. But beyond that?

And if someone hasn’t yet forged a career choice yet, ie. early 20s. Only just realising what their aspirations are then I can wholly forgive a few jobs here and there. After all, I was 24 and a ½ when I discovered my true vocation!

ROI versus ROI?

I watch from the sidelines as other less discerning R2R’s scavenge the job boards and LinkedIn (another job board, let’s face it!) and place people who quite frankly have never held down a permanent job for more than a year!

If I was representing them, I would advise them to put “freelancer” on their profile to dissuade people from judging them as a hopper – joking! However, in all seriousness, I can’t believe that someone would pay a fee for such a high risk person – unless the company hiring them were an equally high risk for the potential employees.

I don’t recruit on behalf of risk companies so it is an impasse for both and for me!

One size does NOT fit all!

I know there is a myth that you should move jobs every 2 years otherwise there is the fear you will become stale, not show progression or become institutionalised. There is no “one size fits” all recommendation – of course not!

If you are being developed and progressed in your employer, why would you move on regardless? Judge your position on its own merits and don’t be persuaded to move if you aren’t the one driving the notion!

The amount of times I hear that someone moved (and is subsequently moving on) because their friend suggested/headhunted them to this shiny new company and it hasn’t worked out. What’s right for one, isn’t always right for the other!

The perfect 10?

Now I am not naive – people move around, I know, and not every candidate can show a perfect CV (you know, 2:1 in a proper degree from a proper Uni having gained 3 good academic A levels, 2 years in their first job showing progression and then 2 years in a recruitment role, moving into 360, developing own business, perfect shiny teeth, funny, good looking – you get the picture!)

But there is something worrying about the trend that in candidate short markets (which we all know R2R is and most perm markets clearly are), that companies compromise by hiring risks. Then all that happens, is your accentuate the cycle, as you know that the client who takes the risk will be a risk and so on….

Conversely to most of my competitors, I advise my clients against taking risks if they aren’t certain – asking for the “no” rather than the “yes”. Maybe that’s why a lot of them trust me exclusively and why my placements have longevity rather than running a charlatan desk like some R2Rs I hear of, who seem to place then have numerous credits falling out?

Be brave and bold – CHANGE the pattern:

Anyway, I digress. I have never hired a job hopper. I probably wouldn’t ever hire a job hopper as once you show people you move on every 3 months or 6 months, how do you break that cycle?

You need to change career, seriously. If it hasn’t worked in one company, I can totally forgive it, but more than 3 in one sector in less than 2 years, sorry, it’s YOU that is the common denominator.

Make a brave and bold decision – “I am NOT right for recruitment” – it is not a reflection on you personally.

Life is too short to be in a career that you don’t suit and doesn’t suit you.

So my benchmark, if you are in recruitment and you have moved more than 3 times in 2 years, something is not right. And that is YOU in RECRUITMENT.

Do you agree or am I harsh? Am I just too old and impatient now to rub people’s egos?

Love to hear your thoughts on job hoppers and if you are a job hopper in recruitment, how do you feel when you read this?

By Lysha Holmes.

Find this article, and many other quality pieces here:



Back to listing