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Is job hopping bad? Tips for hiring managers

7 min read

Job hopping is becoming an increasingly popular practice in the employment market, especially among younger workers. Instead of sticking with one job for an extended period, many employees are choosing to switch jobs more frequently. As a result, it’s crucial for hiring managers to understand the reasons behind job hopping and how to navigate this trend.

But what is job hopping, and is job hopping good or bad?

In today’s post, we are going to share a comprehensive guide to job hopping. We will discuss what the term means and why some employees choose to job hop. We will also share effective techniques for addressing job hopping in interviews, as well as strategies to help you incorporate this concept into your hiring process.

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Job hopping meaning

Let’s start with the definition of job hopping.

Job hopping, also known as job hopping syndrome, is a term used to describe a tendency to switch jobs frequently. People do this for a variety of reasons, such as wanting better pay, finding a more satisfying job, or improving their work-life balance. They may also do it to gain new skills, grow personally, or because their circumstances change.

So, what is considered job hopping?

Here are a few examples:

  • Jane has worked at four different companies within the past three years, switching roles and industries multiple times.
  • Emily has a history of changing jobs frequently, with her longest tenure being 10 months and shortest being three months.
  • Mark has changed jobs every six to eight months for the past five years, seeking new challenges and higher salaries.

Much like quiet hiring, the concept of job hopping has become more prevalent in recent years, particularly among Millennial and Gen Z workers. This trend reflects the changing attitudes towards work and career among younger generations, who prioritize factors such as personal growth, work-life balance, and job satisfaction. In fact, according to a recent report by LinkedIn, a larger proportion of Gen Z and Millennial employees are intending to leave their jobs compared to individuals from other generations.

Reasons why employees job hop

Now, let’s delve into some of the most common reasons why employees engage in job hopping. It’s important to keep in mind that these reasons can vary greatly from person to person. However, understanding these reasons can provide hiring managers with valuable insights for employers and hiring managers.

Job hopping to increase salary

Salary increase is a strong driving force behind job hopping. When employees feel that they are not being paid fairly for their skills and contributions, they may actively seek out other opportunities that offer more attractive salaries, bonuses, or benefits packages. This is especially relevant now given how competitive the job market is.

Job hopping and mental illness

In today’s demanding work environments, employees prioritize their mental health and work-life balance more than ever. If their current job causes excessive stress, requires long hours, or there is a lack of work-life integration, employees might seek positions with more flexible arrangements and supportive cultures. That way, they can prioritize self-care, reduce burnout, and maintain a fulfilling lifestyle.

Additionally, specific mental health conditions can contribute to job hopping tendencies. For instance, individuals with bipolar disorder may experience alternating periods of manic energy and depression, affecting motivation and satisfaction. Those with ADHD may struggle with focus and impulsivity, leading to restlessness and a desire for new experiences. Job hopping can provide the variety and stimulation they need to thrive.

Unsatisfied with job or company culture

If an employee is unsatisfied with their job or company culture, they might choose to look elsewhere for opportunities. This might happen for a number of reasons, including poor management practices, limited growth opportunities, a lack of diversity and inclusion, or a toxic work environment.

Moreover, if an employee feels that the company culture doesn’t align with their personal values and expectations, they might look for another organization that better aligns with their professional aspirations and provides a more positive and supportive environment.

Career development

Employees might job hop because they want to move up in their careers, learn and grow professionally, and gain new skills. They might also crave new learning experiences that challenge them and help them expand their knowledge. Job hopping allows them to explore different industries or roles, diversify their expertise, and seek out opportunities that align with their career goals.

Lack of job stability

Company instability or restructuring can prompt employees to job hop. When organizations undergo significant changes like mergers, acquisitions, or frequent layoffs, employees may feel uncertain about their job security and future prospects. In response, they may proactively seek more stable employment elsewhere to maintain a sense of stability in their careers.

Relocation or other personal circumstances

Relocation or personal circumstances often lead employees to job hop. Life changes such as moving to a new city, starting a family, or pursuing personal interests may result in an employee seeking new employment opportunities that align with their new location or accommodate their changing personal circumstances.

Lack of fulfillment or purpose

Finally, if an employee feels that their work lacks meaning or fails to align with their core values and passions, they may seek alternative employment to find a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment. For example, they might leave a job that focuses solely on profit-driven goals and instead look for a role in an organization that emphasizes social or environmental impact.

How to ask about job hopping in an interview

Given how prevalent job hopping is becoming, it’s important to address the issue during the hiring process. However, this needs to be done in a sensitive way so that candidates feel comfortable discussing their job history and motivations. You also need to ensure HR compliance to avoid any potential claims of discrimination. To achieve this, instead of immediately dismissing job hoppers at the start of the talent acquisition process, hiring managers can use interviews as an opportunity to delve deeper into their experiences and understand the reasons behind their job changes.

Here are some tips on how to ask about job hopping in an interview that you can include in your hiring process checklist:

  • Be tactful and non-judgmental: Approach the topic with an open mindset, without conveying any negative assumptions or biases about job hopping.
  • Seek clarification: Begin by asking the candidate about their previous job transitions to gather relevant information and gain insight into their motivations.
  • Focus on the candidate’s growth: Inquire about the skills, experiences, or achievements they gained from each job. You should also emphasize their professional development and how it aligns with the position they are interviewing for. This can provide insights into their commitment and alignment with the organization.
  • Evaluate stability factors: Explore the circumstances surrounding each job change, such as company restructuring or personal factors, to understand the candidate’s adaptability and resilience.
  • Assess cultural fit: Discuss the candidate’s preferred work environment, team dynamics, and values to ensure compatibility with the organization’s culture and expectations.

Above all, remember that the goal is to have a constructive conversation that allows candidates to explain their career choices. That way, you get a border perspective that helps you make an informed hiring decision.

Should you hire a job hopper?

Whether you’re recruiting locally or hiring international employees, taking on a job hopper can present both advantages and disadvantages for employers.

Here are some pros and cons to consider.


  • Diverse skills and experiences. Job hoppers often bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise that they’ve gained from different roles, industries, or organizations. This means they can contribute fresh perspectives and innovative thinking.
  • Adaptability and flexibility. Job hoppers are typically used to adjusting to new environments, quickly learning new systems, and integrating into teams. This makes them adaptable to changing business needs.
  • Motivated and ambitious. Employees who engage in this practice may be driven by career advancement and personal growth. This can result in increased motivation and a willingness to take on new challenges.
  • Skill-base recruitment. Job hopping can help you adapt to a more skills-based hiring approach. This is where employers prioritize assessing a candidate’s skills, abilities, and accomplishments rather than solely focusing on their job history or length of tenure.


  • Lack of loyalty. Job hoppers may have a history of shorter tenures, suggesting a potential lack of commitment and loyalty to employers. This can raise concerns about their long-term dedication to the organization.
  • Training and onboarding costs. Constant turnover can result in higher recruitment, training, and onboarding expenses. This is particularly problematic if you have just come out of a hiring freeze.
  • Cultural fit challenges. Frequent employment changes may indicate difficulty in finding a compatible work environment. This might raise questions about the candidate’s ability to integrate into the company’s culture and work well with existing teams.

The verdict: Is job hopping good or bad?

So, is job hopping a bad thing? Or is this the new normal in business?

Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer to this. As we’ve just seen, job hopping can be beneficial in certain situations, offering advantages such as a diverse skill set, fresh perspectives, and a drive for personal growth. It allows employees to explore different industries, roles, and environments, enhancing their adaptability and marketability.

However, there are potential downsides to consider. Frequent job changes can raise concerns about loyalty, stability, and long-term commitment. Moreover, employers may face increased recruitment and training costs. Plus, there could be challenges in building cohesive teams and maintaining company culture.

Ultimately, the decision to hire a job hopper depends on the specific circumstances and needs of the organization. Assessing individual motivations, performance history, and cultural fit throughout the recruitment funnel can help employers make informed choices and avoid the potential risks associated with job hopping.


Streamline recruitment and candidate selection

As we have explored in today’s post, as a hiring manager, it’s important that you understand the reasons for job hopping so that you can account for this trend in your recruitment and selection process. However, it’s equally important to have access to the right tools and recruitment analytics for effective candidate selection. With the right screening and filtering tools, you can avoid the potential downsides of job hopping that we discussed above.

For example, with Factorial, you can simplify and centralize candidate management by storing all candidate information in one centralized database. This allows you to easily track job hoppers and evaluate their suitability for specific roles.

Factorial also offers performance tracking features that allow you to assess a candidate’s performance history. This includes their tenure and accomplishments at previous jobs. Additionally, you can request and manage reference checks within the platform. That way, you gain valuable insights from previous employers to validate a candidate’s suitability and assess their job-hopping patterns.

Furthermore, Factorial’s onboarding tools, available through the platform’s hiring dashboard, streamline the process of integrating job hoppers into your organization, facilitating a smooth transition and ensuring they quickly become productive team members. The platform also supports ongoing employee development, offering growth opportunities for job hoppers to enhance their skills and align with their career aspirations.

Ultimately, by leveraging Factorial’s comprehensive features, you can efficiently manage job hopping candidates, evaluate their fit within your organization, and navigate the recruitment process with confidence and success.

Cat Symonds is a freelance writer, editor, and translator. Originally from Wales, she studied Spanish and French at the University of Swansea before moving to Barcelona where she lived and worked for 12 years. She has since relocated back to Wales where she continues to build her business, working with clients in Spain and the UK.  Cat is the founder of The Content CAT: Content And Translation, providing content development and translation services to her clients. She specializes in corporate blogs, articles of interest, ghostwriting, and translation (SP/FR/CA into EN), collaborating with a range of companies from a variety of business sectors. She also offers services to a number of NGOs including Oxfam Intermón, UNICEF, and Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership.  For more information or to contact Cat visit her website ( or send her a message through LinkedIn.

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