Wary of ‘job-hoppers’? Fear no more

by Human Capital27 Feb 2014

Would you toss a resume if the applicant had more than four jobs in five years? It might seem like common sense to assume that candidate isn’t thinking long term, but science says that assumption isn’t backed by reality.

“These results show that one of the most common screening tactics for employers may actually have no value in predicting future employment success,” said report author Michael Housman. “Employers may do well to revisit their employment screening process with an eye toward finding better tools that help them hire for the outcome they desire.”

The study indicated that up to 6% of applicants were rejected because of their experience and work history, candidates recruiters can’t afford to discard in the current employment environment.

However it seems most employers haven’t heard the news. A recent Bullhorn survey of 1,500 recruiters found 39% said placing someone with a history of “hopping jobs” or leaving a job within the first year was their biggest turnoff.


  • by Tim 27/02/2014 2:27:56 PM

    I disagree. I have worked in the recruitment and HR industry for roughly 20 years and in my experience past performance is overwhelmingly linked to future performance when it comes to tenure.

  • by Lorrae 28/02/2014 10:06:54 AM

    Tim, I think that is a short sighted view. It all depends on the reasons behind the short tenure. Sometimes people do just 'job hop' but sometimes its beyond their control. I work in HR and Recruitment. I've been on the "other side". I've been in positions that have been made redundant 3 times in 8 years. Twice it was during massive downturns [ GFC and Mining bust Qld]. It was extrmely difficult to find a new position, let alone one that was suitable. I spent a couple of years doing short term contracts. Does this look great on my CV? No it doesn't. Is it a predictor of my likelihood to stay in a position - not at all. I know that it was used against me in many job applications. I'm now in my "dream job", have been here 8 months with no intention of going anywhere.

  • by Ann-Marie 4/03/2014 1:02:53 PM

    It is interesting that the data is collected from call centre agents. After working in this industry for many years, very few FULL TIME agents made it to a 5 year anniversary, I can only recall two people, so I am wondering how much of this is influenced by industry. Personally when I am screening resumes, significant job hopping does put me off.

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