Now that job-hopping has lost its stigma …

From the pages of In Business magazine.

Thanks to seemingly irreversible workforce trends, job-hopping doesn’t carry the stigma it once did, and that’s a dilemma for employers who are virtually compelled to reduce the phenomenon.

Is this even possible? Yes, and the solution offered by Kyle O’Keefe, regional manager for Robert Half Inc., is not terribly exotic. It involves having deeper conversations around career progression and identifying what an employee wants out of the job.

It’s tricky to align specific projects or tasks with the skills required for future opportunities, but employers should do this to the extent they can. “It’s about forecasting what that would look like in the organization to give people a clear understanding of what they could potentially be doing in the years to come,” O’Keefe says. “Make sure you’re not just having those conversations on an annual basis, but having ongoing conversations throughout the year.”

Understanding what motivates employees is especially important with high-value employees who are showing signs of being disengaged and ready to “hop,” whether it’s for higher compensation, a better chance to learn new skills, or a chance to get on a faster career track.

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“If they are a valued team member, it’s important that once you start seeing those signs and behaviors you address them as directly as possible,” O’Keefe stated. “We are in a situation right now where there is a shortage of top-performing talent. If you can retain that talent and keep those people on your team, that’s a huge value-added thing, and it brings significant monetary savings for the organization.”

The job-hopping tide began to turn in the early 2000s, O’Keefe says, but there are limits. If hiring managers encounter applicants who have made five or more job changes in a 10-year period, it can still give them pause, especially if those prospects have a lack of real accomplishments.

“If you’re just hopping for the sake of hopping, that’s going to hurt you in the long run,” O’Keefe says.

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