Independently conducted research commissioned by Robert Half has found almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of New Zealand hiring managers would be more willing to hire a candidate who has a history of job hopping. A job hopper was defined as someone who has made an average of six job changes within a 10-year period. In Australia, hiring managers consider someone who has made an average of five job changes within a 10-year period to be a job hopper, and more than two-thirds (71 per cent) would be more willing to hire a candidate who has a history of job hopping.
Job hopping is overwhelmingly more prevalent among New Zealand’s millennials as almost eight in 10 (79 per cent) New Zealand hiring managers think millennial aged workers are job hoppers. This compares to 58 per cent who think New Zealand’s Generation X workers are job hoppers and just over one in three (36 per cent) who consider baby boomers to be job hoppers.
While many employment changes in a short time span can give hiring managers cause for concern, the majority (97 per cent) of New Zealand employers acknowledge there are also advantages linked to changing jobs frequently. The positive consequences of job hopping for employees, as identified by New Zealand hiring managers, include: the chance to learn more skills (44 per cent), faster career progression (39 per cent), more experience across different industries (38 per cent), higher salary progression (38 per cent) and resilience to change (34 per cent).
Megan Alexander, General Manager of Robert Half New Zealand said: “The widespread stigma around job hopping is fading as New Zealand employers show signs of increasing acceptance of candidates who change jobs frequently – particularly in a skills-short market where the availability of talent is scarce. As millennials continue to dominate the workforce, the generational shift in attitudes towards job hopping is changing in their favour especially.”
Yet switching employment on a regular basis can also have significant downfalls. Professionals who frequently change jobs should not disregard the potential pitfalls, with the negative consequences of job hoppers, as identified by hiring managers, being: lack of job security (41 per cent), missing out on professional development (37 per cent), increased stress (35 per cent), less influence on company strategies (35 per cent) and missing out on being part of a team (34 per cent).
“Job hopping has become more common in New Zealand’s employment market, but employers should still be cautious of any red flags when considering job hoppers for a vacant role,” said Megan Alexander, general manager of Robert Half, New Zealand. “It’s important to consider a candidate’s real motivations for switching roles frequently and after short periods. Recruiting can be costly, so employers must ensure job hopping isn’t a sign of negative character traits such as flippancy, a lack of commitment or disloyalty.”