Spotting—and Stopping—the Job Hopper

No one wants to hire someone who’s simply going turn around in a few months and leave for another job. Recruiting, hiring, and training is costly enough as it is. Plus, a departing employee messes with your company’s morale and destroys any hope you had of developing a good sense of teamwork. Here are some tips for spotting a job hopper during the interview and avoid hiring them.

Examine the resume

The resume can tell you a lot, but it’s not the whole story. Some hiring managers will tell you that they simply look at the average job tenure on the resume. You can take the number of years they’ve been in the workplace and divide by the number of jobs they’ve had. If the result is a number less than one year, that person is a job hopper. Slightly more than one means a possible job hopper. And anywhere between two and three years is questionable. It’s important to dig a little deeper during the interview to uncover the context of the career.

Consider the context

Resumes can be misleading of course. And so can the average job tenure formula mentioned above. For example, if a candidate had three jobs in just two years, they’d likely be labeled a job hopper. But if that candidate is young and it turns out they were a student during that time—going to school while also juggling a few side jobs and an unpaid internship, maybe they’re not a job hopper. Maybe they’re actually really responsible, hardworking, and good at multi-tasking. So ask for more details.

Ask about why

One of the most revealing questions when investigating the possibility of job-hopping is why. Why did they leave their last job and why did they take the next one? You might find a reason that’s different from what you expected. Perhaps the company they were with got bought and new hires were let go. Or maybe the company culture changed so drastically that they felt they had to leave. Or they were getting transferred to another location and they weren’t willing to move. Also, there’s probably no need to worry if they were guilty of job-hopping early in their career, but more recently, they’ve had some longer tenures.

Some red flags

Beware if they seem to be talking a lot about bad bosses, colleagues they didn’t like, or uncooperative customers as they discuss their reasons for leaving. If they display a pattern of dealing with toxic personalities, there’s a pretty decent chance that they’re the toxic person.

To prevent it

You can always simply ask for a commitment. Tell your candidate that you’re looking for an employee to stay for a certain number of years, to help with a transitional project, and to commit to the team. Then, assess their reaction. If they say yes, excitedly, great! If they balk or hesitate, beware.

For more tips on hiring the best, most committed talent, contact PrideStaff Thousand Oaks today.

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