If you think the best way to advance your career in Australia is to jump from job to job, think again. Most employers will overlook you

Ian Waldie/Getty Images
  • The vast majority of Australian employers overlook candidates who often change jobs.
  • This is despite 25% of Australians being employed in contract, part-time or casual roles.
  • Indeed says this is harming their chances of finding good staff. It says offering training and new experiences for staff may help to reduce the prevalence of job hopping.

If you think the best way to advance your career in Australia is to jump from job to job, think again.

According to a new survey from global jobs specialist Indeed, rather than helping you climb your way to the top sooner than what otherwise would be the case, it could be harming your prospects of landing your dream job.

Based on responses from over 200 employers, the vast majority overlook a candidate who often changes jobs.

“Over three quarters (76%) of employers had chosen not to interview a candidate because they had ‘job hopped’ in the past,” Indeed says, adding that a tenure of 18 months or less is regarded as being short-term.

“A job hopper can be defined as someone with three or more short-tenure roles on their resume.”

However, while most employers overlook candidates who move around regularly, the vast majority said they don’t regard job hopping as being necessarily a bad thing.

Indeed says this demonstrates that employers are unaware of own prejudice against job hoppers.

“While over 76% of employers said they’d chosen not to interview a candidate because they had job hopped in the past, only a third (36%) of employers explicitly identified short tenure jobs on a resume as a negative thing,” Indeed said.

“This inconsistency highlights a potential unconscious bias and suggests that while some employers don’t necessarily view job hopping as negative, when up against other talent, it could be the reason that the job hopper is unsuccessful.”

Curiously, of those employers surveyed, over two thirds said that hiring a job hopper had a positive impact on their business, providing fresh perspectives and new ideas they bring to the table.

With around 25% of Australia’s labour force currently working in contract, part-time or casual roles, Indeed says the reluctance of employers to hire those who change jobs regularly may see them miss out on great talent.

“In today’s fast-changing workforce, short-term roles and project-based work are becoming increasingly more common. Employers could potentially miss out on great talent if they are automatically discounting potential new hires based on a history of short-term employment,” says Paul Wolfe, Head of Global Human Resources at Indeed.

“A candidate’s skills, aptitude and what they will add to a company’s culture, are all better indicators of their suitability to a position than the length of their tenures at previous workplaces.”

If employers are concerned about employee retention rates, Wolfe says there’s a simple solution to keep good staff — offer new experiences and training, a key factor that drives the motivation for many job hoppers to leave.

“If retention is their concern, businesses should focus on improving employee engagement through training and personal development to reduce the risk of staff job hopping to another business, rather than defaulting to favouring those with long tenure histories,” Wolfe says.

According to the more than 1,000 job seekers surveyed by Indeed, 65% said that by changing jobs frequently, it provided them with an opportunity to learn new skills.

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