Expectations tend to vary based on a candidate's age

Does job-hopping (working for various employers for a short period of time) carry the same stigma in today's job market? Not necessarily, according to a new study from CareerBuilder. More than half (55%) of employers surveyed said they have hired a job-hopper and nearly one-third (32%) of all employers said they have come to expect workers to job-hop.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 10 to March 4, 2014, and included a representative sample of 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals, and a representative sample 3,022 full-time, private sector workers across industries and company sizes.

Job-Hopping by Age

By the age of 35, 25% of workers have held five jobs or more. For workers ages 55 and older, 20% have held ten jobs or more.

While employers may be more accepting of job-hoppers, their expectations still tend to vary based on the candidate's age. Forty-one percent of employers said that job-hopping becomes less acceptable when a worker reaches his/her early to mid-30s (ages 30 or 35). Twenty-eight percent find job-hopping less acceptable after the age of 40.

Job-Hopping for New Graduates

Employers expect a higher rate of job-hopping among younger workers who are still trying to find their footing for their long-term career. When hiring a new college graduate, nearly half (45%) of employers expect the new hire to stay with the organization for two years or less, while more than one in four (27%) expect new college grads to stay five years or longer.

Job-Hopping by Industry

Information Technology, an industry with a notable talent shortage and highly competitive recruitment tactics, has the largest percentage of employers who expect workers to job-hop. Rounding out the top five industries are:

  • Information Technology: 42%
  • Leisure & Hospitality: 41%
  • Transportation: 37%
  • Retail: 36%
  • Manufacturing: 32%

So You've Hired a Job-Hopper

The study shows that a significant number of employers (43%) won't consider a candidate who's had short tenures with several employers. However, others point to advantages in hiring people who have worked for numerous companies. More than half (53%) of employers said job-hoppers tend to have a wide range of expertise, and can adapt quickly (51%).

The majority of employers (55%) said that they've hired someone they'd categorize as a job-hopper. Of those employers:

  • 34% said the job-hopper left after a short period of time
  • 40% said the job-hopper stayed for at least two years
  • 17% said the job-hopper stayed for at least three years