Holding a job or hopping on?
There is always some amount of employee dissatisfaction in
some form, and the grass always seems greener on the other side. Renuka Vembu
finds out more on job hopping
employee job hopping a common phenomenon in the age of myriad opportunities
and better prospects? Or is there a perennial breed which does not show an ounce
of stability? Is there any particular time frame considered ideal for employees
before they make the switch? Questions aplenty, and views varied, employee job
hopping is here to stay thereby giving rise to higher attrition levels.
Voices from the industry
There is a widespread perception of HR people from the industry
with regards to job hoppers. While some people in the industry feel that changing
jobs as frequently as twice or thrice in a year does not make up for a good
CV, some feel one to two years, or even three years is the ideal time to stick
with a company. While there are still others who feel that there is no right
time, but it is better to move on rather than to stay put and stagnate
in the same organization.
C Mahalingam, EVP and Chief People Officer, Symphony Services, opined, Job
hopping is an employees personal decision arising out of their unhappiness
with their current job. It hurts the organization when it is (a) not triggered
by unsatisfactory performance of the employee; and (b) employee hopping is not
willing to complete the knowledge transfer to the replacement employee.
Aditya Prasad Dhal, Manager, HR, TVS Electronics, listed the impact from the
organizational stand-point. He said, Positive reflections can be in providing
growth to existing employees, infusing new talent, upgrading the talent pool,
and sometimes reorganizing. Negativity can be spurred by the loss of critical
talent which can jeopardize a critical project, and thereby the growth progression
of the company.
Who are job hoppers?
reflections can be in providing growth to existing employees, infusing
new talent, upgrading the talent pool, and sometimes reorganizing Negativity
can be spurred by the loss of critical talent which can jeopardize a critical
- Aditya Prasad Dhal
Manager, HR, TVS Electronics
from the time the offer is made and the employee joins, there is a considerable
period of time, the organizational dynamics, especially in a growing one,
will dictate the change in profile. In case of IT companies, if the project
specs change then the job profile (or technology) will change"
- J Krishna Prasad
are specific reasons we dont hire job hoppers and need individuals
who can commit to us, like product implementation, customer handling and
deployment, which are very sensitive issues and the company prefers to
show the face to their client that would stay and build a brand for them"
- Ravi Verma
Head HR, Nucleus Software Exports
would always advocate that we ask ourselves one questionwhat is
that actually are we moving for and what is that we are losing in the
haggle. I am sure at multiple junctures, the candidate has much to lose
in the long run"
- Ishtiyaque Khan
Senior Team Leader, HR Management,
Oceans Connect (India)
NV Rajan, Senior VP, HR, Infinite Computer Solutions (I),
asserted, A job hopper is one who wants to make hay while the sun shines.
His interest is in maximizing earnings. A job hopper is not keen on career progression.
He attaches value to his technical or professional competence and would like
to associate himself with an organization which is willing to offer him the
best. Therefore, when the going is good, it makes sense to a job hopper to make
best use of what is available to him.
Skill-sets plays a significant rolepeople with special talent in a particular
domain who are more in demand for niche jobs change companies frequently because
they are invariably paid better and are more in demand. Likewise, if an employee
is too creative and ambitious, and the company does not give a proper platform
to leverage the impetus, he is likely to start looking outside. There are also
a set of people who are not career focused, or too confused to take on a line
of function or are not open to feedbacks and cultural, work-related and people-related
adjustments. These are the people who hop jobs often and do not make for a good
Rajesh Athihalli, CEO, Metis ERC India, said that if job hopping means frequent
change of jobs, then it means any of these:
- No clarity in where one wants to take his career.
- Competency is not matching with the kind of profiles
an individual is getting into.
- One is not mature enough to accept reality in terms
of pressure, culture and work styles of todays global economy and still
believes that grass is always greener on the other side.
- Running behind monetary benefit and not focusing
on competency development.
The reasons for shifting jobs can be aplentyboth personal
and professional. Professional can be lack of connect with the job role, a mismatch
with the work culture and work ethics, monetary compulsions, a nagging temporary
problem, lack of work-life balance, stress and pressure owing to 24/7 working
conditions, etc. Similarly, personal reasons can be either family or health
related issues. More often than not, the problem is itself not the actual issue.
It is when individuals manifest a small temporary grievance and dress it up
as a permanent headache.
Rajkumar D, Head, HR, RIMS, Microland, gave a different perspective,
Brand attraction is another important factor; people move from less known
to better known brands; this happens mostly in the early years of ones
career. Whereas, there is a reverse trend in case of highly experienced people
who move from very large organizations to comparatively smaller organizations
for reasons of challenging assignment, lucrative position, freedom and no doubt
a great earning potential.
Mona Gupta, Senior Manager, HR, Cincom Systems India felt
that when job hopping is frequent, the learning is superficial. She gave an
opinion on what an employee should ideally do when dissatisfaction and disgruntlement
- Know the reasons for dissatisfaction. Mostly the
first thing that comes to mind when one has a bad day at work is let
me leave. Like all other things in life, a job may not be interesting
every single day. One has to first understand the cause to be able to address
- Discuss/talk about it to the right person who you
think can help address the issue.
- Sometimes, things need time to settle down, so give
it rest. Dont jump at trying to find solutions instantly.
- If changing a job is the only solution, then do
it, but do it for the right reasons, not to escape finding a solution to the
existing problem. It is very likely the next setup may have the same problems
in a different name and shape. Escaping doesnt help solve things.
Diagnosing the problems, analyzing it objectively, evaluating
the options keeping in mind a host of factorsall inclusive of the past,
present and futurewill mean a matured and responsible decision- making
by an employee.
Besides these obvious positive motivators, job dissatisfaction,
team issues, various commitment failures, untimely appraisal, odd work schedules,
personal problems are catching up as negative motivators, opined Iti Kumar,
AVP, People Development and Employee Services, GlobalLogic Inc. She said that
employees need to exercise the following options before taking the plunge:
- Speak up: These
two words are crucial. If any employee has any concern be it related to job
profile, career progression, compensation, etc., he must talk about these
to the manager. In case these are not resolved at the manager level, these
can be escalated at skip manager level. HR as business partners can further
facilitate in resolving these issues as their prime objective is to enhance
employee engagement in the company.
- Reaching beyond a project/manager boundaryMany
times an employee does not put in efforts to think or explore beyond existing
project/managers span. Every company has ample projects and domain where
such employees can explore their fitment in case they have certain issues
with the existing.
J Krishna Prasad, President, MatexNet, said, The dynamics of the organizations
would depend as to how the job profile can change. If from the time offer is
made and the employee joins, there is a considerable period of time, the organizational
dynamics, especially in a growing one, will dictate the change in profile. In
case of IT companies, if the project specs change then the job profile (or technology)
The effect of change
When an employee changes jobs too often, what is learned in the time period
gets no medium for application. The skills developed and the knowledge gained
in the interim do not find any platform to test the understanding and application
of the same. This is because the employee then has to acquire new skills as
per the demands of the new company and job role, or modify the existing talent
to suit the requirements of the new place and process. Ashok Srinivasan, Vice
President-Operations support, Expertus, said, It generally takes close
to six months to a year to understand any role in its entirety and after
that a year or more to provide any perceivable contribution which can be measured
for any consistency and does not merely manifest itself as a flash in the pan
or one-time excellent contribution.
Lack of stability also leads to lack of growth and progress. Pay package or
monetary considerations are not the reasons always why one would change jobs.
It depends on job expectation and satisfaction too. Every employee should take
heed of certain questions like:
- Will the new place open up fresh and better opportunities?
- Will the company and the job align with ones
personal goals, interests and aspirations?
- Will the role challenge ones creativity and
do justice to ones talent?
- Will getting associated with the company give an
impetus to ones market value?
- Are the problems faced in the current workplace
likely to occur in the next organization too?
- Is the benefit reaped just a short-term fruit or
there are long-term rewards associated with the move?
Ishtiyaque Khan, Senior Team Leader Human Resource Management, Oceans Connect
(India), added, I would always advocate that we ask ourselves one questionwhat
is that actually are we moving for and what is that we are losing in the haggle.
I am sure at multiple junctures, the candidate has much to lose in the long
These are some of the factors that need to be considered, and one should see
to it that the pros far outweigh the cons, and the decision of quitting does
not have negative repercussions and backfire. Ravi Verma, Head HR, Nucleus Software
Exports, said that an employee should have a solution-seeking approach and not
have a fault-finding attitude. He added, There are specific reasons we
dont hire job hoppers and need individuals who can commit to us, like
product implementation, customer handling and deployment, which are very sensitive
issues and the company prefers to show the face to their client that would stay
and build a brand for them.
Jagat Mohan Sarkar, Head, HR, eRevMax, said that often employees change jobs
and instead of a good package, they look for a lateral career option as that
would help them diversify and gain a broader experience in a wider field. He
pointed out the positive and negative impacts of job hopping:
- A variety of experience, though with good time spent
in each, helps in developing a well-rounded profile. It helps an individual
gain a broader perspective.
- It helps one determine what their latent talents
are and find the right career. Trial and error helps in this case, but one
needs to learn from the past mistakes and not repeat it.
- Helps one in becoming more adaptable.
- Better packages and more responsibilities.
- Lateral moves help in helping one gain wider knowledge
- Too many job shifts reflects badly on ones
resilience and loyalty towards a company.
- One may be regarded as directionless and fickle
- Companies may not want to hire and spend on a person
who has a history of shifting every few months.
- Family life of an individual too gets affected because
of frequent job shifts.
- May impact financial condition also.
Geeta Goti, Associate Director, HR, Virtusa Corporation, explained, Factors
that are generally overlooked by a job hopper are the ones that will again be
the cause of hopping the job, instead of making a sensible move, trapping the
hopper in a wasteful move:
- When the move is only for compensation hike and
the hopper gets carried away by the recruiters sales pitch on the salary
and benefits that are not consistent with the first pay-check.
- Regardless of what happens at the time of recruitment,
sooner or later there will be some kind of evaluation, and the imbalance will
be leveled with the job hoppers future increments.
- The job profile looks very attractive with a lot
of management jargon, but when the job hopper arrives, the job content, responsibility
and positioning in the hierarchy are a rude shock, as an outsider one cannot
accurately judge the job content.
- Business performance inefficiencies come into play
when the new employee is ramping up in the role. The job hopper is hired for
the potential shown at the time of the interview and the same when not demonstrated
immediately may prove detrimental to the career.
Any decision taken is like a game; it can seldom be a win-win
situation. The employee can never be assured of its results; one has to be patient,
wait and watch for the results and hope that the move pays off.