The workforce ecosystem is something I could probably write about forever. I follow recruiters on Linkedin, have been on countless interviews, and have been in the workforce long enough to see how the ecosystem functions. Yet, being the product of this ecosystem I feel I have a little insider information to share. For someone who never stayed at a job for more than 3 years; I’ve seen the faces of interviewers who feel you might have “commitment” issues when it comes to staying at a position. I’ve also seen recruiters voice their opinions both in person and via social media on the the “oh so rouge” class labeled as “Job-Hoppers.” Job-Hoppers are labeled as knowing no loyalty to a company; once they see something better they’ll take that opportunity in a heartbeat. However as a Job-Hopper, I wanted to provide a little clarity on why the workforce ecosystem is more to blame than Job-Hoppers themselves. In today’s blog lets address why Job-Hopping isn’t a personal preference, but an act of adaptation for workforce survival.
Money Anyone? – Sit down kids it’s story time. Travel back with me to once upon a time where people used to stay at jobs for 30+ years. That had to be a good feeling! Yet in the last 20-30 years the labor market has gone through some growing pains. With the market inundated with a Baby Boomer and Millenial mix; things got a little dicey, specifically with salaries. Somewhere down the line we ran into this issue where we still needed to pay Baby Boomers enough money to justify their career experience, but then we also have a generation who spent tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars on educations who well, expect some coin as well. What happens as a result? We know not everyone can get paid the same, something has to give. Enter the creation of Job-Hopping. The millennials aren’t going to wait to get paid what they’re worth, and aren’t willing to sit back until Baby Boomers retire; as a result they will continue to shop around until they get the opportunity and pay they demand.
Cost Of Living Much? – In my honest opinion I feel businesses are getting absolutely run over by the cost of living in parts of the United States. In the past ten-fifteen years: housing costs have increased, taxes have increased, student debt has increased, wages have increased… but not at the rate comparable to the aforementioned. As a result, a higher paying job isn’t a matter of a want, but a need; it’s survival. When looking at it this way it’s not hard to realize that a Job-Hopper needs to be opportunistic. As long as employers don’t give raises timely, or other incentives for their employees to stay; the turn over will continue to be high. I don’t believe you can fairly blame Job-Hoppers for consistently pursuing something better.
Oh, The Judgement – Job-Hoppers get a really bad reputation which I believe is through no fault of their own. Many Job-Hoppers do change jobs for money to give themselves the raises they missed out on during their past employment period. However, many Job-Hoppers get bored. This was always my personal motivation for changing jobs. Once again, I’m going to direct this back to the businesses who might have some “Job-Hoppers” on their hands. As a business, what would happen if you changed things up? What would happen if all businesses offered cross training, where their employees trained in different departments? Where associates alike would have the opportunity to move to any department they wanted? These types of things, believe it or not, spell retention (not physically, duh!). What I’m getting at is that people, no matter what stage in their careers, love opportunity. Humans like to learn, we like excitement, we like to work together towards a common goal. This is all achievable, however businesses need to look at the way they keep their associates engaged. Job-Hopping is the result of people feeling underpaid, underappreciated, and under stimulated by their work.
Conclusion – If you’re a recruiter or business owner reading this, the next time you look at a candidate who has more than a few jobs on their resume, I’d encourage you to dive a little deeper. It’s not that people specifically want to move job to job without knowing security; but it’s an adaptation of the environment created for them. If your goal as an employer is to stop Job-Hopping look at the ecosystem. Is your business engaging and growth oriented? How do you plan to keep your employees when just the basic benefits aren’t enough?
If you’re a Job-Hopper reading this, you have a simple question to ask yourself: what do you want out of your work? What is the feeling and purpose you want to leave on those around you? Until these questions are address by both sides, the ecosystem will continue to produce Job-Hoppers; the result of adaptation and survival in the workforce.