Job Hopping

We have all heard that switching jobs regularly can damage our careers, but is that actually true? 

Perhaps in the past, when the process of searching for a new role was more arduous and loyalty was one of the most sought-after qualities in employees, but something transformational is happening in the talent market that had turned this idea on its head. 

Job-hopping is certainly becoming more common. In fact, according to our latest Talent Trends 2023 report, more than two in five (41%) people who started their current job as recently as 2022 are now actively seeking a new role, with little concern about what potential employers will think. 

So, has job-hopping become less detrimental to your job prospects, and how do you know when it’s the right time to make a move? In this article, we’re going to look into the truth behind job-hopping and uncover what employers really think about it. 

What is driving the increase in job-hopping?

The rise of job-hopping can be attributed to two main factors: technological advancements and remote work. Together, they have created a totally new environment for job seekers. 

Thanks to the internet and mobile phones, job seekers now have instant access to job opportunities through notifications, emails, and messaging apps. This convenience has made the process of finding new jobs easier than ever before. 

Meanwhile, remote work has significantly contributed to the increase in job-hopping. In the past, when employees were tied to the office five days a week, it was challenging to connect with recruitment agencies or hiring managers during office hours, and scheduling interviews often required taking a day off. However, with more than half (55%) of employees in the UK now working hybrid, and a further 19% working remotely all the time, searching for new jobs has never been easier. People now find it easier to look for and apply for jobs, speak to recruiters and even interview for their new roles as a result of flexible working. 

A shift in mindset

Better access to career opportunities has certainly driven an increase in job-hopping in the past, and now we are facing a new revolution. In addition to the two in five workers actively seeking a new role, 13% would change roles for the right job, and 19% say they are not currently looking for a new role but wouldn’t rule it out. It is clear that people are focusing on seizing opportunities as they come along.

The ease of finding, applying, discussing and interviewing for new roles is one driver of increased job-hopping, but shifting attitudes to work and the evolution of workers’ expectations is also a significant factor. People now expect their employers to meet their expectations, whether that is on work/life balance, career development opportunities or something else – and they will move on if they feel an employer is falling short. 

Interestingly, our report also shows that many workers have come to adopt a transactional approach to work, viewing their jobs as a means to an end rather than a source of personal fulfilment. They’re replacing the traditional emotional benefits of work, like passion, belonging, and purpose, with others from their personal lives, such as from their families, friends, and communities.

Only 6% of the UK workforce selected “a greater sense of purpose” as a key motivator when considering a new role. Furthermore, a whopping 75% of people did NOT select relationships with their colleagues in the top 3 most important factors in company culture (with only 8% ranking it as most important).

It’s clear that many people are no longer looking to their jobs for emotional fulfilment, which could explain why loyalty is becoming far less commonplace and job movement becoming the norm. 

What do employers really think about job-hoppers?

Employers recognise that the talent market and employee expectations are changing, and that there are benefits to having a mix of both job-hoppers, and ‘lifers’ who typically stay for longer, in their teams. 

The truth is that the modern workplace has space for both mindsets, with their different attitudes and attributes helping to create stronger, more diverse teams. While in the past, job-hoppers might have been seen as unreliable, more than half (54%) of employers now believe that a person can move frequently without showing a lack of reliability. 

There are benefits to both styles of job-seeking. Half (49%) of employers agree that hoppers have greater experience of different working styles, which can often bring about much-needed change within a team when it comes to culture and processes. In contrast, people who typically stay in their roles for longer are thought to have the potential to create a lasting legacy. 

When looking into this in detail, PageGroup’s Managing Director Doug Rode commented: 

There are a lot of outdated perceptions around moving jobs frequently and indeed, staying in one place for too long. Being a ‘lifer’ doesn’t necessarily mean staying in one role for your entire career and becoming outdated, just as being a ‘hopper’ doesn’t necessarily mean being flighty and unreliable. It’s important to remember it’s not a one size fits all approach – individual personality traits and different life circumstances all play a role in why someone might identify as either a ‘hopper’ or a ‘lifer.’ The modern workplace has space for both. Harnessing the unique attributes of these two mindsets will strengthen any team. What’s really interesting about these findings is that we’re able to bust the myth that younger workers wouldn’t consider a long-term future with a company in the early stages of their career. Yes, they are more likely to identify as ‘hoppers’ than older workers, but it’s clear from the data that if they find the right employer, they could be willing to stay for a long time. 

Ultimately, there is also an acceptance that when people find the right fit, where they secure a good employer, new friends, flexible working, and can build good relationships with their managers, they will stay. And if they don’t stay, it’s not necessarily a problem – a third (35%) of the hiring managers surveyed agree that employees with a more varied CV can still have an impact in a short space of time.

In the modern world of work, you might not need to worry as much about how changing roles regularly looks on your CV. Businesses recognise that the talent market has changed, and that people who take on varied roles bring a different set of benefits to those who like to stay put for a little longer. It comes down to whoever is right for each business at that time.

What’s next?

If you are thinking about your next role, submit your CV today and one of our expert consultants will be in touch. Alternatively, take a look through all our live jobs to find one that matches your skillset. 

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