What Do You Do With The Job-Hopper?

The term itself seems derogatory, doesn’t it?

Job-hopping. The action of moving from one job to another and spending a short amount of time at each job. That’s my definition. After googling a definition of job-hopping, we get:

  • A job-hopper is someone who stays at a job for approximately one to two years.
  • Job-hopping, generally defined as spending less than two years in a position.
  • Job hopping is a pattern of changing companies every year or two of one’s own volition rather than as a result of something like a layoff or company closure.
  • Job hopping: the practice of changing your job very often.

Okay, that’s four definitions using Google plus mine.

But you likely didn’t need any of them. You know what job-hopping is.

Let’s look at it from the viewpoint of the “job-hopper.” Doesn’t he have every right to keep one eye always open for a better job? With better pay? A better location? Better perks?

It’s a free country, so the answer to all of those questions is:

“Of course.”

Do you yearn for the days of employees staying with the company for 20, 30 and even 40 years? No matter what happens, this loyal employee stays with the company. They feel invested in the company’s future and in the company’s success. And the company treats this employee with the respect such loyalty should bring about.

But, it was not always the case. The steadfast, loyal employee too often finds himself with a severance package after decades of work with one company.

I have spoken with many CEOs and business owners. Many. I have heard both sides of this. The owner who rarely has to hire someone new — unless they’re expanding the company — because the staff is composed of veteran employees who are not looking for a job somewhere else. The word “family” is often used in these companies.

The flip side of this is the owner who is frustrated and sometimes highly critical of the turnover of most everyone they hire.

Do you have the right to want someone to stick around for more than a year or so? Or for considerably longer?


If you have the viewpoint that today’s job market is filled with prospective employees not willing to stay on for more than a year or so, well, then that’s likely what you’ll get applying.

And that last statement wasn’t an effort to be mystical or spiritual.

If long term employees are important to you — and only you can define what “long term” means — then you need to have a real conversation with applicants before you hire them. And I’d recommend you have a similar conversation with them after three or six months of employment and as often as possible that seems appropriate.

You need to set the goal post. You need to make it very clear what you want.

All of the above of course includes the fact that these new hires ARE contributing to your scene.

I wrote two other tips on this subject:

How Long Do You Plan On Sticking Around?

How Committed Are They?

As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.

Our three minute video will help you hire the right people.

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