Job hopping, the trend among a new and restless generation of professionals
Job hopping is a trend that is growing exponentially in the labour market and mainly refers to professionals who change jobs frequently and voluntarily. They are known as job hoppers and their aim is a constant search for new challenges. Although they rarely settle in a company, unless they are offered the possibility of jumping internally, companies have begun to value them positively.
The new generations of professionals, although it is important not to generalise, tend to shy away from the standard job for life and opt for the opposite: a career full of experiences that, according to a study by the Harvard Review, magazine, last on average a couple of years. In fact, according to Ryan Kahn, founder of the company specialising in Human Resources, The Hired Group, "the perception of job hopping has changed in recent times and is now becoming normal for many".
What is job hopping
Job hopping is a way of working that is gaining popularity among a new wave of professionals, who are generally young and have digital profiles — and are highly in demand —, and who hop from one job to another quite frequently. Workers who do this are known in the human resources area as job hoppers or job jumpers and among their defining characteristics is a persistent ambition to move up the ladder.
But what are the specific reasons that drive them to jump from one job to another every few months? Mainly, the constant search for new challenges, better salaries and conditions, the consideration of change as a driving force in their lives, the feeling of freedom by not being tied to a company, the desire to boost their knowledge, among others. If companies offer them a similar scenario, as well as making it easier for them to make the leap internally, some of them may rethink their situation and stay.
The profile of a job hopper
Although more and more professionals are being seduced by this trend, job hopping is not for everyone. Most of them belong to the millennial and post-millennial profile, i.e. they are now between 20 and 34 years old, are usually linked to the world of technology and prefer to work on a project basis rather than being linked ad aeternum to a company. In fact, they immediately start planning their next career move.
In addition to having that vision as part of their DNA, according to Randstad, one of the world's largest HR companies, a job hopper possesses the following qualities:
Curiosity and ambition drive them to enjoy continuous learning, a clear sign of their ability to take on different duties and challenges. This is a basic requirement in fast-changing sectors like technology.
When you are accustomed to functioning in new situations, your ability to deal with stress and tension tends to be higher. In uncertain times like those we live in today, companies admire self-confidence, resilience and openness to change.
Communication and organisational skills
Throughout their careers, these types of workers are likely to develop communication and management skills, which will be valuable to companies. Their emotional intelligence is probably more highly developed, and, therefore, they find it easier to work well with their colleagues.
Job hoppers are clear about their goals and do not hesitate to go for them. In this way, they continually test themselves, which makes them aware of their shortcomings and drives them to improve, becoming more determined and daring.
Mastering know how
The expertise they amass, combined with the other qualities mentioned above, makes them capable of coming up with new ideas and ways to improve productivity, all of which can give companies a significant competitive advantage.
Advantages and disadvantages of hiring a job hopper
From a company's point of view, recruiting a job hopper has both advantages and drawbacks. These are some of the advantages:
- It is easier to attract this type of talent, as they are usually the ones looking for the job and the company rather than the other way around, which also simplifies negotiations.
- They tend to be highly productive workers, due to the mere fact that they are where they want to be, which keeps them motivated provided they can see a challenge.
- They are more experienced in different fields than other profiles because they are familiar with more business models, internal processes, products and brands.
- They make good team leaders, both because of their communication skills and because, since they do not intend to stay long at the company, they do not get into conflicts of interest with their colleagues.
- They find it easy to adapt to change, which is a constant part of their lives, in other words, they enjoy and have no trouble with new challenges, roles, project etc.
- They have an extensive network of contacts that they have acquired throughout their careers, which are highly prized by companies.
In terms of disadvantages, we could highlight the following: lack of commitment as they do not develop a sense of belonging to the company, lack of specialisation as a result of constantly jumping from one job to another and lacking the time to do so, lack of long-term vision that makes them unsuitable for future projects, lack of security for the company as they do not know for how long they will be able to count on their services, among others.