Thumbs down for serial job hoppers

Nov 08 2006 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Hot on the heals of research suggesting that one in five employees quit within the first two years of starting a new job, another study has found that serial job hoppers could find themselves bounced out of consideration for future opportunities.

At least, that certainly seems to be the case for financial or accounting positions, where considerable weight is still given to loyalty.

Almost nine out of 10 Canadian CFOs polled by recruiter Robert Half Finance & Accounting said that the length of time a candidate has spent with previous employers is an important factor when evaluating that person for a position with their company.

Based on responses from more than 270 CFOs in companies with 20 or more employees, the study found that a mere eight per cent felt that tenure in a previous role was unimportant.

"It's not unusual for someone to change jobs or careers multiple times during his or her lifetime, but holding too many positions in rapid succession and without signs of professional advancement can be a red flag for employers," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International.

"Hiring managers place a high value on employee loyalty, in part because it is so difficult to replace top performers."

Messmer noted that many job changes stem from a desire for greater challenge, which doesn't always require changing employers. Professionals in this situation should look for opportunities within their own companies first, Messmer said.

"Supervisors are typically receptive to matching valued staff members with assignments that allow them to expand their skills and grow."