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Job Hopping Among Employees: Why Is It More Common Now, and Is It A Bad Thing?

Mon, 31 Jul 2023

Job Hopping Among Employees: Why Is It More Common Now, and Is It A Bad Thing?

Job Hopping Among Employees: Why Is It More Common Now, and Is It A Bad Thing?

Are you noticing a trend of employees constantly switching jobs in Malaysia? It's not just your imagination.

Job hopping has become increasingly common among Malaysian employees in recent years, and it's worth exploring why. Is job hopping a negative phenomenon, or does it have its advantages?

Let's delve into the reasons behind this trend and evaluate whether it's a positive or negative development for the workforce.

What is Job Hopping?

Job hopping refers to the trend of employees frequently changing jobs within a short period of time, typically within two to three years.

In the past, it was more common for individuals to stay with one company for a significant portion of their career. However, in recent years, job hopping has become increasingly prevalent in the workforce.

Job hopping is often seen as a negative trait, with employers questioning an individual's commitment, loyalty, and ability to adapt to a new work environment.

The Prevalence of Job Hopping in Malaysia Today

The prevalence of job hopping among employees, especially among younger generations, has been on the rise in recent years.

According to a study conducted by a tech company, Kisi, titled "Cities for The Best Work-Life Balance 2020", 61% of respondents indicated their intention to seek new employment within the next year. This percentage exceeds those in Australia (48%), New Zealand (50%), and the UK (55%).

Reasons for Job Hopping

Research by UiTM correlates the relationship between job hopping and salary/benefit. Around 83% of Malaysian workers seek job hopping because of the higher salary offered.

Many employees prioritise salary or compensation as the main factor for staying longer with a company. Money is often chosen as the extrinsic motivation factor for switching jobs.

There are several other factors that make job hopping more attractive to Malaysian workers today, though the main ones are:

  1. Increased Access to Information: With the availability of various platforms online, it has become more accessible for people to search for job opportunities. This has made it more convenient for job seekers to compare salaries, benefits, and other factors that come with a new job.
  2. Economic Uncertainty: The uncertain economic climate in Malaysia has also encouraged more people to switch jobs as a form of income security.
  3. Attractive Employment Packages: Companies today are offering attractive employment packages such as flexible working hours, higher salaries, and more vacation time. All these benefits make the prospect of job hopping more appealing to many workers.

How Does Job Hopping Impact Career Development?

One of the positive impacts of job hopping on career development is the opportunity to gain new skills.

When employees switch jobs, they often encounter new challenges and responsibilities, which require them to learn and acquire new competencies. This continuous learning process helps individuals expand their skillset and makes them more well-rounded professionals.

Job hopping also allows individuals to diversify their expertise. Employees can gain exposure to various business practices, cultures, and work environments by working in different industries or organisations. This diversity broadens their understanding and knowledge, making them more adaptable and versatile in their careers.

Exploring different industries through job hopping can also be a way to align with career goals. It allows individuals to test different career paths and industries, helping them better understand their interests and passions. This experience can be valuable in making informed career choices and finding the right fit.

Financial Considerations with Job Hopping

Salary Increase Over Time vs. Jumping Around for Higher Salaries

One aspect of this trade-off between long-term career growth and short-term salary increments is the impact of job hopping on employees' financial goals.

According to a 2019 ADP study, job hoppers tend to experience higher salary increases (5.3%)  compared to those who stay in the same job for an extended period (4%).

On the one hand, staying with one company and working your way up the ladder can have advantages. As you gain experience and prove your worth, you may be rewarded with regular salary increases.

Over time, this can lead to a significant increase in your income. Additionally, staying with one company allows you to build relationships, establish a reputation, and develop a deep understanding of the organisation and industry.

On the other hand, job hopping can also be a strategic move to increase your salary. Moving to different companies or positions allows you to leverage your skills and negotiate higher wages. This can be particularly beneficial if your current employer is not offering competitive compensation or if you are seeking rapid career growth.

However, there are downsides to job hopping for higher salaries. One of the main concerns is the potential negative perception by employers. Some hiring managers may view frequent job changes as a lack of commitment or loyalty.

They may question your ability to work well within a team or adapt to new environments. Moreover, constantly switching jobs can hinder your ability to build long-term relationships and networks within a specific industry.

Implications for Retirement Planning and Savings Goals

One key consequence of job hopping is the potential loss of employer match contributions to retirement plans. Many companies offer matching contributions as a way to incentivise employees to save for their future.

However, when individuals switch jobs frequently, they may not have the opportunity to vest these contributions fully. This means that they may lose out on the full benefits of the employer match, resulting in a reduced retirement savings amount.

Furthermore, job hoppers may miss out on other company benefits, such as comprehensive healthcare coverage or pension plans. These benefits are often designed to provide long-term financial security during retirement.

By constantly changing jobs, individuals may be unable to access or take advantage of these valuable benefits fully.

Companies Focusing on Short-Term Profits vs Long-Term Investment in Employees

When companies prioritise short-term profits, they often fail to invest in employee training and development programs. This lack of investment leaves employees feeling undervalued and stagnant in their current roles. As a result, they start looking for opportunities elsewhere that can offer them better prospects for growth and advancement.

This approach also leads to a lack of commitment to long-term employment from both employees and employers.

Employees may feel a sense of disillusionment and lack of loyalty towards their current organisations, perceiving them as mere stepping stones rather than a long-term career option. On the other hand, employers may struggle to retain talented employees, as job hoppers are more likely to seek out new opportunities for better growth and job satisfaction.

The consequences of this lack of commitment to long-term employment are significant.

Employees who job hop may find it challenging to build a solid track record and establish themselves as reliable candidates in the job market. Similarly, employers may struggle to attract and retain talented individuals, leading to increased recruitment costs and a potential loss of productivity.

So, Is Job Hopping a Bad Thing?

The answer to this question depends on how you look at it. On the one hand, job hopping can be beneficial if employees are looking for better pay and career opportunities.

It can also provide personal growth and development opportunities by exposing the individual to different environments and challenges that can help them learn and develop new skills.

On the other hand, job hopping can be perceived negatively by employers who consider it an indication of short-term commitment or lack of loyalty to the company.

There is also a risk that job hoppers may not have enough experience in a particular field or industry, potentially leading to problems down the line.

At Upscale, ensuring talents are rewarded, and their career growth is enhanced through long-term commitment, job satisfaction, and a supportive work culture. This also means providing opportunities for businesses and job seekers to grow together instead of just making short-term commitments.

Reach out to us at upscale.my so we can help you make the right career decisions.