Does job hopping really make you unemployable?

July 22, 2014

job hopping

Job hopping is increasingly common, but uh oh…

According to a survey of 1,500 staffing recruiters, corporate recruiters, and hiring managers, job hopping can damage your employment prospects.

While people in their 30s are in highest demand for job placement, a 55-year-old with a steady employment history is easier for recruiters to place in a new job than a 30-year-old job hopper.

One of the problems I find with the survey, is that they do not define job hopping, or the frequency of job hopping which makes a potential employee “undesirable.”

It also fails to account for the fact that job hopping is not just for an entry level employee or career changing. Many times, consultants and entrepreneurs change titles or gigs every year; this is also job hopping, but I have a hard time believing this could negatively impact your career goals given your boss is remaining constant (yourself).

Nevertheless, some of the statistics are worth a look

According to recruiters, the three biggest obstacles for an umemployed candidate in regaining employment are: hopping jobs, being unemployed for more than one year, and gaps in employment history. In addition to employment gaps, age groups impact your placement as well: 70% of respondents say that easiest age group to place are job seekers in their 30s.

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There is also a greater demand for candidates in their 40s than those in their 20s. Also, the range of time for which a candidate is unemployed before it becomes difficult for a recruiter to place them in a new job (according to the recruiters surveyed:) varies: 36% say between six months a one year, 17% say fewer than six months, and 4% stated that it is difficult to place someone unemployed regardless of the duration of their unemployment.

These same recruiters also say that it is easier to place someone with a non-felony criminal record in a job, than someone who has been unemployed for two years.

A less surprising factor, contributing to difficult placement is the skill set a candidate possesses. 31% of the recruiters surveyed state that skills are no longer even in demand, but 26% of candidates are out of touch with modern technology and workplace procedures, which can hinder placement.

While this survey lacks consideration for those candidates changing titles, gigs, or entrepreneurs, it is still a source of valuable insight into what a recruiter believes to be the qualities of a “good” candidate.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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