Is Job Hopping An Impediment To Working In Startups?

Job hopping is still one of the major drawbacks for classic recruiters. The more jobs an employee switched during the year, the worse. According to a survey made by Bullhorn, global leader in recruiting software, over 39% of recruiters say that job-hopping is the single biggest obstacle for job seekers and it will stop your CV from being chosen from the pack.

Today the values and expectations from work are highly different than twenty years ago, when stability and financial security were the main benefits of a job, and big companies offered those before anything. Living in troubled economic times, characterized through instability of entire industries changed completely the values employees live by, especially young ones. Job-hopping became a necessity, a way to build experience and knowledge and evolve in different functions, which is extremely difficult to do in a corporation.

On the other hand, freelancing is growing on us. According to a report made by Kauffman Foundation, new employer business has declined with 27 percent but when you add the freelancing businesses launched, the overall level of startups has maintained and even slightly increased. Freelancing will become the future of work and more and more former employees wish for freedom to choose their projects, schedules and collaborators, being part of a new generation with new values and principles to live by.

Forbes identifies the work values that differentiate the generation Y of previous generations, to be summarized in workplace flexibility, being listened to, and matching company culture with own values. It’s true that these needs are not considered by big corporations, mostly because they are quite inflexible in adapting to their employees needs (only a small few have flexible working hours; creativity, even if declared as valued in corporations, is most of the times expressed between boundaries and procedures; personal values and freedom of expression are also limited by the corporate culture and regulations).

Being baby-companies, startups are flexible and are more likley to fulfill these new employee needs and actually many are already functioning by them:

  • Startups are by definition flexible, and value their employee’s time as much as their own.
  • Most startups don’t have a “corporate” culture installed, their culture is created based on the values of the employees, so you can participate into building your own culture, self expression being highly valued.
  • Creativity and innovative ideas are some of the most important features that are required from startups employees, as it is these ideas that take them further and pushes them upwards.

Nevertheless, even in startups, there are issues when it comes to hiring a person who is considered a serial job hopper (as in had at least 5 – 6 jobs in the last 10 years, according to Mark Suster), because it all comes down to loyalty: how can you make sure that the person will be loyal to your company and not leave the moment the going gets tough. In our next post we will come up with an answer to this question and propose a few ways to make your CV more appealing to employers if you changed quite a few jobs in your career.

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