How soon or late should you change companies?

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In IT, the loyalty is more towards technology, and not the organisation. However in many traditional sectors, the stay period is still longer as people need to build credentials or grounds for a job change.

Long long ago, jobs were few and bagging a job was the biggest achievement in life. People spent their life on that job.

As opportunities widened and there were more jobs available in the market, it was acceptable to switch 3-5 jobs in a career and each job would last a minimum of 3-5 years. People who changed jobs more often than this, were not considered to be reliable.

Now the taboo around frequent job hopping has vanished. In fact, the reverse has happened.

According to a research by ETH Zurich and the University of East Anglia (UEA), every successful job change is linked to higher chances of employability and career progression.

Sudhir Kumar

Employees in technical organisations have to fulfil the technology requirements. The loyalty is more towards technology, and not the organisation, and hence, employees prefer to invest in technology and reskilling rather than being loyal to an organistion.

It’s proved that job hopping is the trend today, and stickiness is a weakness, but is there a time frame to follow. Most employees face such dilemma at some juncture in their career. Is there any particular timeline that employees can look at before calling it quits? Not really. There is no thumb rule as to when you should look at a change.

“It is very rare to find talent with three–four years’ experience because skill sets, especially on the digital side, are not available with people busy gathering the know-how by working in various organisations. The cut-off of one–two years has become a norm now. We segregate candidates by analysing the reasons for change; money or the role. It is important to determine if the person is a fast learner and adaptable,” said Archanaa Singh, senior vice-president -human resources, Reliance Broadcast Network.

With the number of millenials or gen Y increasing in the workforce, it’s a different game. Millenials stick to the organisation if it contributes to their learning and career growth.

However, it is up to the organisation to determine if such employees have achieved success in the previous role, by virtue of appraisals, within 12–18 months. It’s also for the companies to define the success of the candidates. Every company will try to find a match between the expertise and skillset of the candidate with their requirement, and this is what matters at the end of the day.

Archanaa Singh

It is very rare to find talent with three–four years’ experience because skill sets, especially on the digital side, are not available with people busy gathering the know-how by working in various organisations. The cut-off of one–two years has become a norm now. We segregate candidates by analysing the reasons for change; money or the role. It is important to determine if the person is a fast learner and adaptable.

The loyalty or longevity in a job doesn’t ensure success of employees. In the IT domain, the standard hiring matrix has undergone a change, with reduction in project-delivery cycle and lesser number of people now employed on the bench.

In a technical role, companies look for productivity and value addition that employees bring to the table. “Employees in technical organisations have to fulfil the technology requirements. The loyalty is more towards technology, and not the organisation, and hence, employees prefer to invest in technology and reskilling rather than being loyal to an organistion,” says Sudhir Kumar, AVP, head-talent acquisition & workforce management, Tech Mahindra .

Most recruiters feel that longevity is no longer a criterion to judge a candidate.

Even recruiters have a different perspective of employees in an organisation. The ecosystem in bigger organisations ensures that employees are given the right amount of learning and the appropriate environment to be able to grow. Employees in such organisations may not have gone through the whole learning curve. However, in smaller organisations, learning for candidates may reach its peak within the first appraisal cycle. Hence, a career change at that point makes more sense for individuals.

For non-technical jobs, there is a need to build credentials or grounds for a job change. It may not be easy for a recruiter to judge an employee who changes the company within a year or less. For instance, a sales person will not be able to prove her/his worth within such a short time. Here, more stability of at least three years is expected for a person to be able to justify deliverables.

Singh emphasises that the organisation’s requirement and employee expectations have to be aligned to make it a win-win situation for both.

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