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DEAR WORKFORCE

Dear Workforce Should We Hire Job-Hoppers

Don’t dismiss these people out of hand. Dig deeper to learn what their goals are. You might find a mutual match by taking the extra time.
December 31, 2002
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Dear Jumpy:

Let’s understand "job-hoppers." There are several reasons that people will change jobs frequently. One is societal: "everybody does it." A recent study revealed that the average 32-year-old has held 8.6 jobs already. A second reason is personal career development -- moving to a job with more challenge or opportunity to learn, a higher level of work, or more pay. A third motivator for a job change is to escape from a toxic work environment or manager who’s still back in the Stone Age. The reasons for the movement could be very legitimate and even admirable.

Before dismissing job-hoppers out-of-hand, like so many employers used to do, dig a bit deeper. Ask why each move was made. Seek to learn what the worker is looking for. Get the applicant to articulate those desires and objectives. If you can meet those wants and needs, describe to the applicant just what your opportunity is and how it will relate to his/her criteria. Ask for a commitment: "If we can accomplish all this, are you prepared to stay with us for at least several years? And if we encounter slippage on any of these factors, will you talk with us (HR, senior management, ombudsman) so we can get the problems resolved and avoid forcing you out?"

Build a long-term partnership during the hiring process. If you don’t get the collaborative buy-in, encourage the applicant to look elsewhere. Be more selective--not just in seeking "A" players, but in negotiating a mutual commitment up front.

SOURCE: Roger E. Herman, Certified Speaking Professional and Certified Management Consultant, The Herman Group, Greensboro, North Carolina, June 21, 2002. Herman is co-author of How to Become an Employer of Choice (runner-Up for Best Business Book of the Year).

LEARN MORE: Read a Workforce article: The Myth of Job Happiness.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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Dear Workforce Newsletter

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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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