Millennial job hopping proves no barrier to getting hired for majority of Hong Kong employers

Job hopping within the finance and accounting industry is no longer a hindrance to being offered a job. Read more here.

  • Hong Kong CFOs consider someone who has made an average of five job changes over a 10-year period to be a job hopper. 
  • 60% say they would be willing to hire a candidate who has a history of job hopping. 
  • 87% think millennial generation workers in finance and accounting are job hoppers, compared to 24% for Baby Boomers professionals.  
  • Top three positive consequences for employees who change jobs frequently are higher salary progression (47%), learning skills faster (35%) and learning more skills (35%). 
  • Top three negative consequences for employees who change jobs frequently are missing out on promotions (45%), lack of job security (39%) and missing out on job opportunities (31%).

Job hopping (moving to a new employer frequently) within the finance and accounting industry is no longer a hindrance to being offered a job.  A new independently-conducted survey commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half shows Hong Kong’s CFOs consider someone who has made an average of five job changes within a 10-year period to be a job hopper, however six in 10 (60%) say they would be willing to hire a candidate who has a history of job hopping. 

Job hopping is overwhelmingly more prevalent among Hong Kong’s millennials [1] as almost nine in 10 (87%) Hong Kong CFOs think millennial-aged finance workers are job hoppers. This compares to only little over one in three (36%) CFOs who think Hong Kong’s Generation X [2] workers in finance and accounting are job hoppers and less than one in four (24%) who consider Baby Boomer [3] professionals to be job hoppers.  

The positives of job hopping 
While many employment changes in a short time span can give hiring managers cause for concern, Hong Kong employers understand there could be also advantages linked to changing jobs frequently. The positive consequences of job hopping for employees, as identified by Hong Kong CFOs, include: higher salary progression (47%), ability to learn faster (35%), ability to learn more skills (35%), opportunities to expand network (25%), and more experience in different industries (24%).   

Adam Johnston, Managing Director of Robert Half Hong Kong said: “Contrary to popular belief, many employers are not discounting candidates who have had several jobs over the past few years. Hong Kong is experiencing a generational shift in attitudes where job hopping is slowly losing its negative stigma within the finance and accounting industry, with millennial finance and accounting workers quick to embrace the benefits of changing jobs frequently.”

The negatives of job hopping 
Professionals who frequently change jobs should not disregard the potential pitfalls as switching employment on a regular basis can also have significant downsides. Hong Kong’s finance leaders have identified the negative consequences of job hoppers as: missing out on promotions (45%), lack of job security (39%), missing out on job opportunities (31%), missing out on being part of a team (24%) and missing out on professional development (19%). 

“While changing jobs on a regular basis has become more common in Hong Kong’s workforce, employers shouldn’t disregard the red flags job hopping could raise when hiring. Too many jobs in a short amount of time can be seen as a lack of career stability which could earn job hoppers a reputation for being disloyal, and hiring managers may consider this a negative investment when balanced with the costs of hiring. Indeed, changing jobs every few years might be the right strategy for many workers but, like any decision in a person’s career, it’s about getting the balance right and changing jobs for the right reason,” concluded Adam Johnston. 

[1] Millennials are those born between 1977 and 1995.

[2] Generation X are those born between 1965 and 1976.

[3] The Baby Boomer Generation are those born between 1946 and 1964.

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About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in December 2017 by an independent research firm, surveying 75 CFOs in Hong Kong. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.  

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