If you jump from job to job, it's no longer considered flaky or unreliable – it's normal.
But just how long can employers expect workers to stick around? Recruiting software company Jobvite recently released data on what job hopping looks like in today's workforce. The report found that 42 percent of job seekers change jobs every one to five years. That's up 8 percent from 2016.
The report describes this phenomenon the age of the "hyper-hopper," a word Jobvite coined for a new generation of workers that switch jobs, on average, every one to three years.
"[Hyper-hoppers] tend to be young, single or earn less than $25,000 a year," said Rachel Bitte, chief people officer at Jobvite. "It makes sense – this demographic is still exploring their career paths and might test out different jobs to gain a more diverse skill set. And if an employee isn't earning as much money to begin with, there is only more to gain in exploring other options."
Why do today's workers change jobs so frequently?
Jobvite's report suggests that job seekers are more likely to hop between jobs because they aren't satisfied at their current position. According to the study, only 64 percent of job seekers are satisfied at work, while 82 percent are open to new job opportunities.
Job satisfaction is down compared to 2016, when 74 percent of job seekers were satisfied, with the same amount open to new opportunities.
Bitte believes job hopping is also on the rise because it's a job seeker's market. With social media and online job postings, we constantly see new opportunities, which means more chances to advance in our career.
"Gone are the days of waiting anxiously to hear through the grapevine that your dream job just opened up," she said. "Workers can find that information and apply online now, and they're taking full advantage of the chance to do so."
Even when you aren't actively looking for a job, Bitte said, recruiters are actively looking for you. With strong company cultures and an emphasis on employee satisfaction, recruiters can attract candidates even though they are happily employed.
Why employers shouldn't dismiss job hoppers
With more individuals willing to change jobs, the talent is out there – it's just a matter of finding and attracting the right people for your company. It's also important to not automatically dismiss someone who job hops.
"Someone who changes jobs to build a career shows initiative, but someone who jumps ship the second they get bored is a red flag," Bitte told Business News Daily. "When employers evaluate a candidate's movement from job to job, they should try to figure out why the candidate is switching jobs and what the candidate has done to make the most of their previous positions."
When a candidate switches jobs often, consider if they completed a big project or developed a new skill. Ask yourself if it's more likely they'd outgrown the opportunities or if they had a disagreement with management.
"There are myriad reasons for leaving a job," Bitte said. "Screen hyper-hoppers for their [reason] and decide if they jive with your company's culture."
Once you find the right employee, hire them quickly, said Sloane Barbour, regional director of Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates New York. If you wait too long, it's likely that the person will already be off the market, he said.
Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.