Do You Disregard Candidates With Too Many Jobs?

Job hopping is a term that carries negative connotations and is used to describe professionals who change jobs frequently. Many employers avoid these job hoppers when seeking to fill open sales positions, but hiring managers should not necessarily write off these candidates. If you look beyond the resume, there can be much more to a job hopper than meets the eye.

Is There an Upside to Job Hopping?

Tenures at US companies are becoming shorter. While our parents and grandparents may have stayed with one company throughout their entire careers, most professionals today change jobs up to six times before they hit age 30. “Job hopping” is becoming more frequent, and many candidates use it as a way to advance their careers, seeking out more responsibility, greater challenges and higher salaries. The key to understanding why someone moves from job to job is to understand their motivation.

So what’s the upside? When a candidate has had an extensive work experience, it can show that they:

  • Are willing to take risks – Risk taking isn’t always an ideal character trait, but in sales, it can be. If you’re looking for someone who isn’t afraid to put themselves out there and try new things, these candidates can be ideal.
  • Are easily adaptable – People who change jobs frequently are typically able to adapt quickly to different cultures and ideas.
  • Have an extensive professional network –Candidates who have held lots of positions will have an extensive network that they can bring to the organization. They may be able to reach out to former customers and bring them on board.
  • Are not complacent – These types of professionals usually follow money and responsibility to each new position. This shows that they have a desire to strive for bigger and better things. While some job hoppers – especially in sales – move around because they are unsuccessful, many are actually high achievers who consistently seek new challenges.

How to Identify the Right Motivations

In order to determine if a job-hopping candidate is a go-getter rather than an underachiever, hiring managers must ask the right types of questions, and know what to look for in a candidate’s answers.  Be direct. If you notice that someone has held more jobs than the “average” candidate, ask them specifically why they left each organization.  If they indicate that each position was a step up in terms of responsibility, contract sizes, and pay, it shows that they are the type of candidate who is always striving for more. If they are vague in their answers, or if it is clear they have made a series of lateral moves throughout their career, it could be a red flag.  Remember, you can always verify the validity of their answers with a thorough reference check.

Some hiring managers may feel that a candidate who is always looking for greener pastures won’t stay long with their firm. While this may be true, it is possible to “tame” a job hopper by offering them a clear career path and the chance to take on more responsibility and earn higher pay or bonuses if they are successful in their positions. In many cases, people job hop because they have not found a company that provides them with new and exciting challenges.

If your enterprise software company is looking to improve the quality of your new hires in sales, the team at Strategic Search Solutions can help. We recruit exclusively for the enterprise software sector, and we have developed a recruiting, interviewing, and hiring plan that will help connect your organization with high-achieving sales candidates who will drive results. For more information about our proven processes, contact us today


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