It’s no secret: millennials are job hoppers and this is something I have spoken about in previous articles. In more recent years this has become a nightmare for employers and their retention rates. There’s constant chatter about how the millennial job hopping tendency makes them difficult to work with. Traditionally it has been perceived that job-hopping is a black mark on your CV, making you look unstable, undesirable and possibly non-committal when the going gets tough. But is that really still the case? No one expects you to stay in your first job for life these days. Or the second. Or the third, really.
But what if the root of the problem isn’t millennials? What if it’s actually employers who are failing to create a workplace that meets the needs of the generation? So they go from one company to the next looking for an organisation that can fulfil them professionally.
So, why can job-hopping be a bad thing for your career?
If you’ve moved jobs a lot in the past few years, employers may be worried about your loyalty and wary of hiring you as it seems like you’re not likely to stick around long (remember, it costs a company money to replace you – around 20% of your annual salary!). They may also assume you lack commitment - so getting hired in the first place can be difficult when you’re a perceived job-hopper.
Positives of job hopping
Candidates who've moved from one business to other also show how versatile they can be. Exposure to other businesses and ways of working can be beneficial for both you and any company you choose to work for. They get a lot of new ideas and innovation from you, and you get to know what kind of company you will fit best with, what sorts of company culture do not work for you and to be better able to gauge this at interview.
Putting it all into perspective
For the younger generation, it's perfectly natural to move around when starting off your career and its fair to say that if you have stayed at a company for a too long, potential new employers can worry about versatility. So what’s the answer?
Ask questions during your interview that will give you all the information you need to decide if that is the business that will pay you what you want, challenge and develop you, invest in you and also have people that will have similar values and interests as you.
Here's a few ideas:
- How would you describe the general culture of the company and the workplace?
- Why did you choose this company?
- Will there be any form of training provided?
- What are some of the biggest challenges/successes facing the department currently?
- What process will be used to evaluate my employee performance?
Reports are mixed on if millennials are actually job-hopping more frequently than previous generations. What is clear is that job-hopping is becoming the norm for the average twenty something. One LinkedIn study says millennials job-hop more than their predecessors, however this only contains data LinkedIn members actually report. Gen X and Baby Boomer members of the site may be less likely to report their extended history.ofployment, but rather the few most recent jobs.