Dear SaaStr: Should You Hire Someone That Seems Good … But Always Job Hops?

I know there are a lot of views on this question, but I’ve reflected on many years of hiring here, and for me at least, here’s what I’ve learned:

#1. If they haven’t stayed anywhere even a year, they will leave you within a year, too.  It just happens again and again.

#2 If they never stay anywhere much more than about 20-24 months (pretty common), they think they know how to do it … but they really don’t. They didn’t stay long enough to truly run the playbook. That can be dangerous.

#3. You never really get great at anything until about Year 3. That’s when you see the big promotions. That’s when the team you built either flourishes, or wilts. That’s when you’ve made the mistakes — and learned from them. And executed the fixes. And it’s Year 4 when the best folks just run the place. No matter what level they started at.

#4. But, almost everyone good has one at least “hop” in their background, often two. They made a mistake, and moved on quickly. It happens.  So in my experience at least, a hop or two is not a bad thing — if they have at least a longer stint (or two, if senior) as well.

It’s the #1 thing folks, especially new managers, want to give on. They want to ignore all the job hopping.

And I get it’s just more of a thing now.

I just see hoppers continue to hop. And folks that stay just less than 2 years do it again and again. Because they think they’ve done it all.

(hopper image from here)

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