The Maine Group

020 7734 7341

Contact Us

Can job hopping affect an employees career?

Posted on 7th April 2016



As the market has changed over the years, job hopping is becoming more and more common. With the shift in demographic since 2000, millennials (those born between 1982 and 2002) are now looking for different career opportunities to those of the ‘baby boomer’ generation (those born between 1946 and 1964). Having also experienced a very different economic outlook in recent years, the way that job hopping is viewed has also changed. 

In a recent article by Lily Herman, she raises the question on whether job hopping should be viewed as a good or a bad thing.  In our experience, the debate is still polarised with some viewing it positively, as it progresses talented individuals quickly within their career and prevents the ‘dead mans shoes’ syndrome, however some employees disagree as they feel the loss of continuity, history and client relationships within their business, as well as the potential loss of intellectual property and that this outweighs the perceived need for speedy progression.  Some also feel employees don’t get the chance to learn and develop their skills properly, before moving on to their next role.


Did you know…according to a survey by Payscale:
·         Less than 13% of millennials believe they should stay in a job for more than 5 years, compared to 41% of baby boomers!  

·         26% of millennials believe they should only be expected to stay in their role for a year or less before moving


So what do the HR professionals think?
·         51% said moving once a year makes an employee a job hopper, and 34% said moving once every two years are labelled as job hoppers.

·         47% in 2002 felt it was damaging to an employees long term career plan to be a job hopper, compared to 67% more recently in 2014.

·         41% believe it is less acceptable to job hop once employees reached the age of 30  

·         However 85% of HR professionals have hired a job hopper!


The benefits to an employee:
·         Experience – a diverse background and mix of skills is attractive to employers

·         Networking -  quite often someone gets a role through networking rather than their CV

·         Opportunity – rather than waiting for a promotion, create one by moving

·         Salary increase -  average annual pay rates increase by around 3%, whereas by moving jobs it is between 10 and 20%


Things to consider:
·         Loyalty – Employers are sometimes hesitant to employ someone who is unlikely to stay as it is expensive to hire! On average, hiring costs 20% of an annual salary. (Which is why we encourage retention of staff)

·         Job security – in times of economic turmoil, the adage ‘last in’ so ’first out’ could apply

·         Limited growth – any long term development and growth from an employees work could be missed

·         Burning bridges – job hopping can prevent an employee developing reliable and long lasting contacts who will vouch for an employees work

·         Reliability -  demonstrates a potential lack of commitment


In summary, the jury is still out! Stay too long and the employee could be considered not ambitious enough or adaptable enough for new challenges, but leave too soon and an employee can miss out on an internal promotion and may appear un-loyal.

It is always worth taking time to consider your career situation and whether it is the right time to move, rather than making a rash decision. If you wish to discuss your current position, we are more than happy to do so and talk through your options with you in confidence. The Maine Group team are always on hand. Give us a call on 020 7734 7341.