Survey: 75% of millennials think ‘job hopping’ looks good

While there’s certainly been an ongoing debate about the extent that millennials actually change jobs, recent research from global staffing firm Robert Half found that 75% of people ages 18-34 think it’s possible for “job hopping” to be good for their careers.

While there’s certainly been an ongoing debate about the extent that millennials actually change jobs, recent research from global staffing firm Robert Half found that a whopping 75% of people ages 18-34 think it’s possible for “job hopping” to be good for their careers.

Independent research firms surveyed “more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas” and more than 1,000 American adult office workers, according to the press release. Robert Half came up with the two surveys.

Each group also defined the trend, with workers saying they consider “a job hopper” to be someone who’s had five positions within 10 years and CFOs saying it’s someone having six within that span of time. Here are some of the points that stood out.

How workers feel about ‘job hopping’

While 64% of employees overall think job hopping can help their careers, 36% are against this idea.

Forty-seven percent of people with an education of “high school or less” are in favor of it, compared to 58% who’ve made it to “college/associate” and 67% with an education of “university or higher.”

Outside of the 75% of millennials who look at “job hopping” in a positive light, 59% of people ages 35-54 and 51% of people ages 55 and older also agree.

Management not on the ‘job hopping’ train

While 44% of CFOs said that when it comes to hiring “job hopping” applicants, they are “not likely at all to avoid losing them in the future,” 35% percent took a neutral perspective, agreeing that “there is no difference if the candidate is the right fit.” Just 20% said they would be “likely to hire the candidate” with “a history of job hopping.”

There were also results based on a company’s size: Only 20% of employers with 20-49 employees, and 16% of ones with a minimum of 1,000 workers said they’d be “likely to” give this type of candidate a job, among other results.

Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, commented on the research:

“While job hopping can have benefits, too many employment changes can raise red flags with hiring managers. Professionals should take time to weigh the pros and cons before making a career move,” McDonald said. “In today’s candidate-short market, keeping key performers engaged should be top of mind for managers. Businesses worried about losing talent to the competition should focus on improving corporate culture and strive to be the type of company employees want to stay with long term.”

The pros and cons of changing jobs

Employees also weighed in on the pros and cons of “job hopping.”

In the positives category, the most popular answer was “earning higher compensation” at 37%. “Gaining new skills” came in second place at 28%, and the least popular answer of “it looks better on a resume to have multiple employers” at a slim 3%.

In the negatives category, “being perceived as a flight risk” was the most popular answer at 46%. “Being perceived as unstable” came in second place at 23% and the least popular response of “being perceived as only interested in a higher title” came in at 3%.

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.