Job Hoppers and Boomerangers – The New Workforce?

Job Hoppers and Boomerangers – The New Workforce?

Have you heard of ‘continuous candidates’? Despite sounding like someone who drones on and on in a job interview, the name is actually coined by recru

Have you heard of ‘continuous candidates’? Despite sounding like someone who drones on and on in a job interview, the name is actually coined by recruiters for the new wave of candidates who are continually looking for their next position. The world of recruitment has changed dramatically, with a study showing that over half (59%) of millennials are looking actively for their next role. It’s not just millennials either – the trend is catching. A study of 1,300 respondents in the USA showed that 25% of people across all age groups have applied to 3 – 15 jobs in the last 6 months. So what does this mean for employers? The first prediction is that attitudes around tenancy are simply going to have to change. Dismissing CV’s because they show too much varied experience, or contracts that are too short may become an outdated concept. Whilst many of us still want to see a 5 year plus residency at a business on the CV, there is no denying the way people work is changing, and the positives are there if you look for them. Candidates who look for new roles regularly keep their skills fresh. They understand how to add value to a business, and they also understand every hire has a cost and that they need to add value. The chief reason people leave is for better leadership opportunities. Whilst an employee with a long stay at a business looks stable and reliable – can they demonstrate an exceptional increase in value over their 5 years vs the candidate who remained for 2 years? If their peers are leaving for new roles, better management opportunities and are refining their skills – can the candidate who has stayed put compete? Are they as driven?

Whatever your thoughts, ignoring the way people now work could be a recipe for disaster for companies who want the very best talent. The second prediction is the hire of boomerangs. Simply, boomerangs represent the growing candidates who return to a workplace later in their career. Whilst boomerang employees have typically been seen as someone who is great for reduced training costs and investment on the hiring side, there may have been resistance to taking back people who weren’t ‘loyal’. This perception too may also be set to change. People who return are putting themselves at a real risk of repeated failure.

The ball is truly in the employer’s court when someone returns. What is key is that all the issues from the exit interview have been addressed. Do you really believe you can offer them a 2 year period of growth and security or are you expecting the ‘old candidate’ to return? If you do decide to change your expectations of what ‘job hoppers’ are, or if you dive into your pool of previous employees, remember that motivation is not monetary alone. Leadership opportunity, autonomy, purpose and development all rank as key reasons people stay, or leave a business. How you engage people could see you being the business that bucks the trend for the revolving door culture.