A look at retention: Have attitudes toward job hopping changed? - Technical.ly Philly

Company Culture

Aug. 30, 2019 10:01 am

A look at retention: Have attitudes toward job hopping changed?

Increasingly — and especially in the tech industry, a field where skills and trends are constantly changing — employees will make moves every few years. What's normal?
On the job hunt at NET/WORK 2016.

On the job hunt at NET/WORK 2016.

(Photo by Neal Santos)

Long gone are the days that employees spend their whole career at the same company until they retire.

Or at least, it’s becoming incredibly uncommon, said Maria Incollingo, the Philadelphia division director for human resources firm Robert Half Technology.

About 30% of all employees in the Philly region said they were looking for a new job in the next year in a recent Robert Half study, and while a higher salary was noted as the number one thing that could get them to stay, other factors like a promotion, more time off and a better boss were also cited.

Folks in Philadelphia are actually looking for a job at a far lower rate than the rest of the country, Incollingo said, where about 43% of workers nationwide said they were job hunting.

“I was kind of proud to see that,” Incollingo said. “Employers in the city are working hard to keep their employees, and that shows a trend of people that continue to chose Philly.”

But that doesn’t account for the trend of job-hopping, about which Incollingo said attitudes have changed a lot, even over the last five years or so.

Increasingly, and especially in the tech industry, she said, employees will make moves every few years. It’s a field where skills and trends are constantly changing, and workers want to make sure they’re aligning themselves with companies or projects that they’re excited about.

There are a few factors that have made job hopping more common, Incollingo said. People are more openly talking about compensation, for one, so it’s easier to know where you might be making a better salary.

But it’s not all about money: Perks like working from home, professional development and team bonding help employees feel like they understand their place in the larger picture of a company.


“That is how you build loyalty,” Incollingo said. “And that’s becoming more and more an important piece of what workers are looking for. ‘Does this company care about me and my development?'”

The United States is also currently at one of lowest unemployment rates in recent history, she said, so the ball is in the court of jobseekers.

Back in February during How to Get Hired Month here at Technical.ly, we heard some of the same sentiments over and over from recruiters on how to keep top talent. The things that matter most to employees are opportunities for growth, internal mentorship, external professional development and clarity from leadership, according to Jumpstart HR CEO and Baltimorean Joey Price.

“We know the mantra that employees join organizations but leave bosses … but why? It’s because bosses stifle growth, fail to offer career support, frown upon outside professional development for fear of being poached, and fail to give clarity around goals,” Price said. “If you can work on those four things, you’ll build a more attractive culture from the inside out.”

Incollingo agreed: Just because the attitude about switching jobs is changing doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t try to hold on to their employees. Having a plan for retention that considers the priorities of current employees will help companies hold on to their people and deal less with constant turnover.

But just because attitudes are changing about making career moves more quickly, doesn’t mean a bunch of jobs over a few year span won’t raise some eyebrows, Incollingo said.

“If you had six jobs in the last 10 years, that’s still a red flag,” she said. “People are a little more open to exploring that option, but you better still have a good explanation for why you’re leaving your most recent position.”


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