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Screening Applicants Job Applicants Job Interviews Decision Making Finding a Job Stereotyping Hiring

We have been having a hard time finding good applicants for an outbound sales position, and we disagree about one candidate. His work experience and training look good, and he presented himself well in the interview. The problem is that he has had seven jobs in the past five years. I say this should eliminate him from consideration, while other managers say this is not a problem. What do you think?

Although this applicant sounds like a job-hopper, you should not automatically jump to this conclusion. While you should be cautious when viewing any applicant with this type of record, you should also look at the big picture.

On the one hand, people who change jobs frequently are likely to continue to do so. Rather than parking at a job, it is as if these employees are double-parked.

However, there can be some acceptable reasons for frequent job changes. For example, there can be corporate financial troubles, layoffs, broken promises, marginal managers, personal circumstances, or a truly better job. Granted that seven jobs in five years is not a great sign, the explanations are worth hearing. Besides, many articles today indicate that changing jobs is one of the best ways to get a pay increase.

In this particular situation, it is important to look carefully at the applicant’s work experiences and listen carefully to his reasons for leaving each job. However, if every job change has been for a “better opportunity,” you are likely to be that opportunity until an even better one comes along.

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