Does Job Hopping Help or Hurt Your Career?

Survey Reveals Canadian Workers Favour Frequent Job Changes, but Managers Aren’t on Board

Toronto, ON – The tenure tide is shifting, and more workers – especially those from younger generations – see rewards in job hopping, according to new research from global staffing firm Robert Half. Fifty-seven per cent of Canadian professionals polled think changing roles every few years can be beneficial, with the biggest perk being a higher salary. This marks a 14 per cent increase from a similar survey conducted four years ago.

Executives don’t necessarily agree. A separate survey of CFOs found 59 per cent are not at all likely to hire a candidate with a history of job hopping because they want to avoid losing them in the future.

When asked the number of role changes in 10 years that constitute a job hopper, professionals said five and CFOs cited eight.

Other key findings from the research:

  • Sixty-three per cent of employees ages 18 to 34 view job hopping as beneficial, compared to 54 per cent of workers ages 35 to 54 and 52 per cent of those age 55 and older.
  • Workers with an undergraduate university degree or higher see the most benefit in changing jobs every few years (68 per cent).
  • Company size matters: 80 per cent of CFOs at companies with more than 1,000 employees said they would avoid candidates with a history of frequent job changes.
  • The biggest drawback of job hopping, cited by 42 per cent of workers, is being perceived as a flight risk.

"While job hopping can have short-term advantages, many employers are cautious when considering candidates who make frequent moves,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. “Before jumping to a new position, ensure you’ve made the most of growth opportunities in your current role and seek an outside opinion to weigh the impact a change may have on long-term career prospects.”

Companies struggling with turnover need to make retention a priority. Added Scileppi, “Employee satisfaction must be fundamental to your business. Establish your company as a great place to work through tailored career development programs, a robust and competitive benefits package, and an engaging corporate culture that supports employee success and commitment.”

Robert Half offers the following tips for professionals when considering a job change and managers to attract and retain workers:

For professionals:

  • Assess your current situation. Consider what you would be leaving behind by changing jobs, including your compensation package and nonmonetary aspects such as a supportive manager or team.
  • Ask for a second opinion. Consult with a trusted mentor or specialized recruiter who can help you decide whether changing jobs is the best option or not.
  • Leave on good terms. Give ample notice and complete outstanding projects before your last day. You never know when you will cross paths with current colleagues or if you may decide to return to your present employer.

For managers:

  • Make your company a great place to work. Promote your organization’s reputation and values to attract candidates who have similar principles. Highlight advantages, such as a positive corporate culture and flexible scheduling options, that make employees feel respected and excited to come to work.
  • Implement succession planning at all levels. Have career path discussions with top talent so they understand how they can advance at your company.
  • Invest in employees’ growth. Offering professional development opportunities can increase job satisfaction of existing staff and attract in-demand candidates.

About the Research

The surveys were developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms. The survey of workers includes responses from more than 400 Canadian workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments. The CFO survey is based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CFOs in Canada.

About Robert Half

Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The company has more than 300 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at For career and management advice, follow our blog at Follow Robert Half Canada on Twitter at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.