Should I hire a job hopper for an IT job?

Job hoppers used to have a bad reputation. These days though, the story is very different. But should you hire a job hopper for an IT job?

It’s certainly worth considering. In fact, there are many reasons why a job hopper is just the type of candidate that tech companies and teams of all kinds are looking for:

What is a job hopper?

As the name suggests, job hoppers change employers frequently. They tend to stay in-post for the minimum acceptable timeframe – typically one or two years – and then move on.

Once upon a time, people tended to join a single company and stay with them for most of their lives. You worked up the ladder, eventually towards a better pension.

This changed towards the latter part of the 20th century as attitudes towards the employer-employee modernised.

Job hopping is not common in every sector. But if you are an Information Technology company – or hiring for IT jobs of any kind – you’ll notice job hopping is a relatively common phenomenon.

Indeed, the often project-based nature of some tech jobs can mean that job hopping isn’t always done by choice.

Are job hoppers good or bad?

Why do job hoppers hop jobs? Reasons vary. Some may be:

Unsure of their goal in life or their career. They change jobs because they don’t know what they prefer yet.

-Very sure of their own worth, with a record to prove it. They’re willing to change jobs to drive their career forward.

Other job hoppers are drawn like moths to the flame of interesting projects. Again, for those with the right skill sets and experience, this could be a strong sign of intelligence and creativity.

The downside is that if you offer a project that isn’t going to stay bright forever, a job hopper might hop jobs on you again.

The important point is to review each candidate on a case-by-case basis. A “job hopping” applicant isn’t necessarily a negative.

It can be a sign of someone who is so in demand they choose where they work.

Why hire a job hopper?

1) Their diversity of skills and experience

Even a candidate who has hopped between a few different positions may pick up a great wealth of experience.

Who would you rather hire for a web developer job? Someone who has stayed with the same company for eight years?

Or someone who has worked with three or four different teams and managers in that same time? Someone who has gained a wide variety of skills and isn’t set in their ways?

Potentially, the former. But the latter has many benefits too.

2) Their go-getting nature

Job hoppers may have a great deal of ambition. They move on to the next role because their current role simply isn’t enough for them. They want a new challenge to test themselves against.

As an ambitious or highly motivated person, they can be someone who can drive themselves and potentially a whole team forward. If you need an energy injection, look no further.

3) Their out-of-the-box thinking

Some job hoppers have gained some pretty exciting creative skills thanks to all the ideas and approaches they’ve seen put into place by different teams and leaders over the years.

They may have some innovative solutions to problems that your team might not otherwise think of.

4) Their network

Job hoppers may know a lot of people. They’ve formed a lot of relationships. They can reach out to these people or provide insights into how others do things, and what works and what doesn’t.

Having so many previous colleagues to talk to also makes it pretty easy to check a job hopper’s references and make sure they’re the kind you want to hire.

5) Their keenness for growth or responsibility

The kind of job hopper that seeks the biggest challenge can be just the sort of hire you want to make when you have team or business growth in mind or a particular project coming up.

This kind of hopper is deliberately on the hunt for opportunities like this, so they’ll be in the front rank when you ask for suitable volunteers.

Should I hire a job hopper for an IT job?

Gone is the time when job hoppers were viewed as the last sort of applicant you wanted.

These days, they can make the most interesting applicants for any kind of IT job. Just be sure that your recruitment process or partner checks their reasons for switching jobs in the first place.

Want to work with a recruiter that understands the value of diversity in the hiring process?

Ernest Gordon is a specialist engineering and IT recruitment company. Our extensive talent pool gives you access to the best professionals.

Reach out to us today to discuss your particular needs with an expert.