How to Avoid Hiring a Job Hopper

By: BrightMove Recruiting Software

Today, the average employee stays at his job for 4.4 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

You are in the recruiting business to find and fill permanent positions for employees and employers. Employers are looking for a candidate who is dedicated to his craft and has long-term growth potential. Employees, in turn, want employers with robust care packages such as 401Ks, ample benefits for themselves and their family, and a clear path to promotions.

A job hopper is an employee who is dissatisfied with their job, whether it is because he doesn’t like the field he is in, the salary he is given, or the position he took. Most job hoppers don’t know exactly what they want to do as a profession, and it’s this indecision that can cause companies to lose money by hiring the wrong person. Employers who hire job hoppers waste valuable time and resources training and investing in their employee.

Job hoppers play the field so to speak, dabbling in this position and that industry until they eventually discover where they want to belong. Obviously, a lot of job hoppers are younger in age with less experience and knowledge about their career path, but older candidates can also face the same dilemma.

According to, one third of Americans who start a new job end up leaving in less than a year. Furthermore, the average American changes 11 jobs by the age of 46.

How do you spot a job hopper? The most obvious way is to scrutinize his resume. How long has he worked at previous jobs? For jobs listed that indicate less than a year, ask why he left? Has the candidate held any jobs that have lasted over four years?  Longer employment periods indicate longevity and loyalty. Shorter employment periods indicate instability and indecision.

It’s your job as a recruiter to ask essential questions to avoid hiring a job hopper, such as:

1)    Do you like this industry? Why?

2)    Do you like working as an [x]? Why do you like working in this position?

3)    If you could do anything you wanted for a living, and salary wasn’t a factor, would you still work in this field?

4)    Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

5)    How do you see yourself growing with the organization?

Some of the best hiring can be accomplished by hiring within because employees have already proven themselves to their employers. However, recruiters will continue to be essential to organizations that need fresh minds and new talent. Armed with proper knowledge, recruiters can satisfy an organization’s hiring needs while properly weeding out the chronic job hoppers.


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