What you need to know about job hopping

We often find a lot of convincing is needed to sell someone who has an extensive career history, involving shorter periods of work at lots of different companies. There is a suggestion of a lack of loyalty or commitment and this makes a potential employer nervous, as the job-hopper seems like a risk.

Of course, there are many reasons as to why someone has moved on after a short period of time but it seems there comes a point when employers don’t want to see so many positions and companies on a CV. CareerBuilder’s research shows that 41% of employers find it less acceptable when a candidate in his/her mid-30s continues to job hop.

We’ve compiled a list of 5 reasons that might encourage a job hopper to stay put:

  1. Perseverance
  2. There are so many reasons to quit a job – perceived unfairness or serious challenges etc. – but it shows a strong character to persevere and take an active role in turning a situation around. Endurance such as this is often noted and can be rewarded down the line.

  3. Stability
  4. If you’re constantly worrying about where you’ll be this time next year, it can be difficult to make long-term plans. Stability in your career and workplace can have a positive impact on other areas of your life. Knowing you have stable, long term work can feel like a support system in its own way during time of personal upheaval.

  5. Flexibility
  6. With time comes the chance to progress, furthering your development and continuing to challenge you. The difference between moving within a company and moving between companies is that you retain your status and benefits – you’re also free to experiment and try some new things.

  7. Self-improvement
  8. If you allow yourself to stay in one place for long enough, people will get to know you and you’ll grow to trust their advice – they’ll be able to point out the blind spots you may have otherwise never addressed. You’ll recognise and resolve your own weaknesses far more effectively if you stay put and address what bothers you rather than jumping ship and blaming your discontent on your former co-workers and boss. A supportive group of co-workers can work wonders for professional development.

  9. Dependability
  10. Staying put for a long period of time shows allows you to show all the things you are doing right. The first 6months are always difficult, settling in and learning the ropes. Give yourself the time to get through this and excel. Employers will respect and trust you for the dependability you show.

At the X4 Group we always seek to find the right fit for every candidate, taking into account what you want from a role and a company. With the right recruitment consultant, who knows your professional and personal needs and desires, you are much more likely to find the right role in a company that you will want to stay with for the long term.


Take action to improve employee retention

We also have some tips to guide employers through so you’ll be less likely to end up with an unreliable staff member and much more likely to retain the undeniable talent that ‘job hoppers’ can have:

  1. Exit interviews
  2. If your staff do leave regularly, holding an exit interview will help identify the real reason they are leaving. There might be problems in your organisation, at ground level, that you didn’t know about.

  3. Recruitment and induction process
  4. How exactly are you recruiting? How do you identify a position in your company actually exists? Is it appropriate for the position to be shared between two staff? Looking really carefully at job design, what skills or competencies are required and how you’re attracting candidates could all lead you to streamline costs.

  5. Manage employee expectations
  6. Are you overpromising? Another reason for employees to ‘hop’ could be that they were promised one thing and it isn’t delivered. Does your new member of staff know exactly what’s expected of them and what their role entails? If your new employee fails to deliver or their team begins to quietly resent their efficiency, it could be because you haven’t been specific enough and they aren’t aware of your expectations.

  7. Flexibility
  8. Most HR professionals will appreciate the importance of flexibility for employees and the direct effect this has on overall job satisfaction. Employees who feel restricted or tethered are far more likely to seek out other vacancies where they believe they will have greater freedom. Offering a degree of flexibility means team members will feel respected and accommodated.

  9. Employee appreciation
  10. A key contributory factor here is the degree to which an employee feels valued within the company. Undervaluing or underappreciating your team can result in a deficient work ethic and ultimately in employees with little investment in their current position. Giving regular feedback, positive and constructive as opposed to only negative comments can go a long way in making an employee feel valued, resulting in a desire to improve and stay.

  11. Working environment
  12. Many employers make the mistake of assuming that salary is the ultimate incentive for employees. In fact, what is arguably the surest means of retaining an employee is cultivating a friendly and motivational working environment.


As ‘job hopping’ is becoming more and more popular in young people, it is important now more than ever to choose candidates that have the right motivations in place when accepting a role. Finding a recruiter who truly endeavours to understand the needs of a company can be the key to finding that perfect candidate. The X4 Group always takes the time and effort to get to know a company and understand what they really need, but importantly we pride ourselves on really getting to know our candidates and working out what is driving them to get up in the morning, what types of roles & companies they are really looking for rather than just matching skills up to a spec.