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Never Job Hopper  

2011-06-29 11:23:56|  分类: 經濟管理 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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The ‘job hopper' label is usually perceived as negative, but if your recruitment team is discarding candidates just because they have switched jobs too many times, you could be missing out on some great talent.

There are three typical categories of job hoppers that you should look to identify when screening candidates.

Essential hoppers
There are countless reasons why a candidate may have a long list of previous employers on their CV including poor career choices, company takeovers, relocation or redundancy. What sets essential hoppers apart is the fact that the majority of their moves would have been out of their control.

The candidate should be able to easily explain each move and often you will spot patterns that fit in with wider economic trends. People that have been let go from a business often move to a competitor company which itself could fall foul of market conditions. In certain highly volatile periods, this can happen a number of times in a short period of time.

Some people are destined to hop by necessity. Those who are involved (or have partners that are involved) in a roles or industries that will necessitate change, such as:

  • Time related roles — Olympics, event management
  • Project related roles — Construction, software installation
  • Mobile roles — Oil engineers, training consultants

Regardless of the time a candidate has been in a role, they should be able to explain what they have achieved. If they're able to make a bigger impact in 6 months than some people do in 36 months, then they will surely be an asset to your business.

Opportunity hoppers
There are people who opt to change career regularly and are unlikely to cause much disruption your business. This is regularly done at the start of people's careers, usually because they have not yet decided in which direction they want to take their career.

Candidates may move to learn a new language, to get experience in another industry, or simply to get money to fund another career. Some candidates will get a taste for regular change and remain in contract work for the revenue the lifestyle it provides. These candidates can provide a worthy addition to your workforce, presuming they are able to show logic and progression in each move.

Difficult hoppers
Some people just can't find their place in the working world, and that can become very clear when it's written down in black and white.

Occasionally ‘difficult hoppers' will have moved on for valid reasons, but their CVs will show a pattern that the candidate finds it difficult to adapt to the work environment. They will have difficulty in explaining success in interviews and will have stories about bad managers, bad colleagues and generally bad experiences.

Remember the following when assessing hopper behaviour.

  • Do not discard people without knowing the facts
  • Give the candidate a chance to explain the logic behind each move
  • Look for successes rather than date ranges

As well as the questions you ask at an interview, make sure you probe candidate's references a bit deeper if you're worried about their job hopping past.

A glowing report from five recent employers could tell you a lot more than an average recommendation for someone who had been in their job for five years.

Does Your Resume Make You Look Like a 'Job Hopper'?

Hiring managers understand that today's economy has people changing employers more often than used to be the norm. But there is a point where a pattern of job changes begins to raise suspicions that an applicant is an unreliable – and undesirable – 'job hopper.'

It's impossible to give a hard and fast figure as to what number of job changes or what length of job tenure starts to make an applicant look like a potential problem. Expectations vary from industry to industry and even from person to person. Your career situation will affect perceptions of job hopping, too. There will be different expectations for someone who's just finished college than there are for someone who's been in the work force for six years.

But it's safe to say that you may have an image problem if your resume shows two or more recent jobs that lasted less than 18 months each. In the absence of any other information about you or your job history, a hiring manager will wonder why you left those jobs after such a short period. Are you unwilling to make the effort to adapt to a work situation? Do you get easily bored? Are you leaving jobs before you can get fired? Are you simply not serious about your career?

The way to counter potential concerns about your employment history is to be upfront about your experience.

  • Use your cover letter to put your past employment in context. You don't need to apologize for leaving past employers, but you can say something like, "having experimented with different career paths in the health care field, I have found that my true passion lies in helping people to understand their health care choices, and I am very excited by this chance to work with you as a health care communication specialist."

  • You can use your resume to put certain information in context, too. Some positions are temporary by nature. If that's the case with some of your past work, say so in the description of your job duties – for example, "planned and executed a year-long strategic communication campaign to raise awareness among seniors of upcoming changes in Medicare coverage."

  • If your job tenure was cut short because your employer downsized, went bankrupt, or was merged into another firm, you can slip that information into your resume, too: "Ensured timely and complete transfer of client accounts to new responsible office following merger of ABC into XYZ."

  • You can also use your resume to highlight non-career activities that demonstrate your reliability and commitment to long-term projects. This would be a good reason to mention that you have been an active member of your neighborhood association for the past X years and played a leading role in getting the city to install a stop light at a problem intersection.

  • Be prepared to handle interview questions about your reasons for leaving past employers. Take care to explain why you wouldn't expect this job to turn out like the last two or three. Remember, you want to persuade your interviewer that you are not only a qualified and likeable candidate, but also one capable of bringing some benefit to the organization – and that includes staying around long enough to merit the time and resources the company invests in your training and orientation. And who knows – this just may turn out to the employer that is the perfect fit for you, the one that you'll be happy to make a years-long commitment to.



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