Recently, on Twitter of course, some self-proclaimed recruitment expert (who will not be quoted or given credence here) stated a major RED FLAG on a resume is someone changing jobs every 18 months. I started to reply there, several times, but there’s so much to break down in that short tweet, I thought I’d just bring my thoughts here.
This idea that you *have* to stay in a job/with a company for an arbitrary amount of time is ONLY about loyalty to a company. It shows nothing about the knowledge, skills or abilities the candidate brings, only that they can be loyal to an organization or a role. And somewhere, someone decided that 2 years was a good amount of time for that. There is 0 evidence that this amount of time has any meaning. Seriously, google it. You will find articles that say it is bad, but no data to back it up other than “hiring managers don’t like it.” And why? Because some recruiting expert told them so. [insert eye roll here]
I want to talk about why I think it’s GOOD to have someone that moves around a bit. Now I realize that this is going to make some recruiter experts uncomfortable, but it’s why you need to dig further into resumes beyond job titles and years of experience. And it’s why I really want someone to build an ATS that uses AI that can help me determine someone knowledge, skills and abilities in an easy, engaging way [seriously, if you know an app developer, I can hook them up with ACTUAL RECRUITERS who will help you build an ATS that candidates and recruiters will want to use].
Here’s why you want to hire a Job Hopper:
- Job hoppers don’t put up with bullshit. A short stint may mean the hiring manager pulled the old bait & switch with the job posting and the actual job, and they decided to leave.
- Job hoppers have some growth. I was once called a job hopper because I had 3 promotions in 3 years (with the same company). Now I know that some will say job hopping is only if you leave the organization, but if you are going to screen someone out of your ATS for short term jobs, how does the ATS know they stayed with the same company? And even so, some leave one job because the next step up came with another company.
- Job hoppers can adjust to change. They don’t care how things were done 5 years ago because they weren’t here 5 years ago. They want to know how to do the job today and how they can help make it better.
- Job hoppers have much wider experience than people who have only worked for one or two companies in their career. Think about hiring a cook: do you want the cook that has worked for a number of different restaurants learning a variety of dishes, or one that has only cooked at Applebee’s?
- Job hoppers make quick decisions. They don’t take 2 years to decide they don’t like the job they are in.
- Job hoppers have bad luck. These “little rules” always seem to make the rounds during a recession and some of these same recruiters don’t want to hire someone who isn’t currently employed. Which means they accept something that comes along, and then have to put up with some bullshit for a while until they can move on.
Unfortunately, I know a lot of recruiters who have this “little rule.” And honestly, any time a recruiter tells me they have a “little rule” when it comes to candidate screening, I roll my eyes. Nothing screams bias more than having these little rules. And trust me, I know what it’s like to recruit high volume (last direct recruiting position I held, I had 100 open requisitions) and you have to do SOMETHING to get through the 100 applications that came in over the weekend.
But it is on US to be better. We have to stop asking candidates to continue to conform to these outdated ideas of the “ideal candidate.” After all, the ideal candidate used to be a married white guy. And now that you know better, you can do better.