The Great Reshuffle: Are S'pore employers' attitudes towards job hoppers changing?

Surveys show that a record number of Singaporeans plan to quit this year. But unemployment has remained low at 2.2 per cent in the first quarter, suggesting that people are switching jobs rather than leaving the workforce.

The Straits Times examines the rising trend of job hopping in Singapore.

S'pore employers' attitudes to job hoppers changing amid rising trend

Job hopping is rising, and maybe it is time to change attitudes towards workers with a history of job flings.

Employers, recruiters, organisational psychologists, workers and trade associations are noticing the same trend. Covid-19 has made long-stalled career moves suddenly feel "urgent", and more workers are flitting among jobs.

Director Rob Wisdom from executive search firm Ethos BeathChapman (EBC) said the rise of remote and hybrid work has energised workers to seek jobs that better fit their lifestyles.


So what's wrong with job hopping?

Ms Ng Lay Peng, 33, has had 10 jobs in the last 10 years: six full-time and three on contract. She now works part-time with consultancy firm Veldhoen, and runs her own business, Bask Communications.

At the start of her career, she moved around jobs due to the long hours: She wanted to have more time with her parents instead of seeing them only when they were asleep.

Ms Ng's tenure, on average, was 18 months. She said she would have loved keeping a job and growing a portfolio of work. But a lack of career progression pushed her to keep looking for better-paying jobs. 


Work/Life: The job (hopper) interview

I can't believe that it has come down to this, walking to a room to interview a chap with not three, not four - but six jobs held over the past six years.

In my time, only delinquent kids would flit around like this, not taking their careers seriously. They take for granted good opportunities, good jobs and good managers who are unlucky enough to hire them. They have no care about the efforts spent on hiring, training and making them feel part of the team.

If the talent market were not so tight - 2.42 jobs for every unemployed person - I would not waste time seeing him. That is a record since 1998: Too many jobs for too few job seekers.


5 tips for job hoppers to fend off scepticism from employers, colleagues

You may not have found a fulfilling role, nor perhaps a company whose work you identify with.

Maybe these have led you to switch jobs relatively quickly because even if you do not know what you want exactly yet, you already know what you do not want.

Here are some tips by human resources and recruitment experts to help you take control of your career development, fend off naysayers and turn adversity into reward.


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