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Job Hopping Recruiters: The norm or just bad?

Posted on 17/06/2016 by Jason Rumney


To all my front disclaimers: Job hopping articles get people wound up. This one shouldn’t. I tried to stick to logic and some well-reasoned opinions. This post isn’t about you, so no need to get wound up.

Like any job category, talent acquisition pros come in all sizes, but there is one thing that’s easy to see after looking at a slew of recruiter CV's/Resumes recently a bunch struggle to maintain long-term employment at one joint. I see a lot of 6,9,11-month stints in the Recruiting/Talent Acquisition world.

So, a question is: Do recruiters job hop because they not very good, or because that’s the economy in which we live? First, some context...

Tim Sackett’s post, The Life Span of a Crappy Recruiter:

Just having recruiting experience, especially IT or Technical, can guarantee you a recruiting career for at least ten years or more, even if you are completely awful at recruiting… Beware TA leaders—here’s a reason a recruiter has had 4 – 6+ jobs in 10 years, and it’s not because they’re good at recruiting! The best recruiters don’t move around because they’re so valuable—the organizations they work for won’t let them leave! If you’re crappy, people are hoping you leave!

A lot of people say to me, This is the new way of things. Lots of recruiters job hop,  "It’s the awesome thing to do" ....No, it’s not!

Steve Boese quote the WSJ and riff in What HR should be talking about most in 2016 (and what we need to stop talking about):

WSJ, as quoted by Steve B: Far from turning into a nation of gig workers, Americans are becoming slightly less likely to be self-employed, and less prone to hold multiple jobs. Official data shows around 95% of those who report having jobs are accounted for on the formal payroll of U.S. employers… little changed from a decade ago.

Stevie B: … it just feels like the gig economy is fast becoming the dominant form of work. But the data just doesn’t reflect that at least not yet. And it likely will not in 2016 or 2018 or maybe even in 2020. So for now, it makes sense to think about your labour force composition, sure, (just like it always has), but massive, fundamental changes in that mix of labour is not typically top of mind for mostorganizations.

Is Tim right? Lots of poor recruiters? I think it’s said more nicely that they fail to demonstrate they’ll make a long-term impact on their employer. And when that happens, they get let go as soon as the hiring binge is over.

If you want to hire a recruiter just to fill a bunch of requirements, then this doesn’t matter. If, however, you want a talent acquisition professional who can come in and make a long-term impact on your attraction, sourcing, selection and closing processes, look deeper. Someone who can influence senior managers, manoeuvre within a system and get things done at a tactical and strategic level then you need someone who spent more than nine months at a place. They need to have been somewhere long enough to do that work.

Happy Friday!