LinkedIn TwitterFacebook
2x startup Founder & CEO who has gone to the Dark Side of VC. His first company, BuildOnline was sold in 2005, his second, Koral was acquired by Salesforce.com and became known as Salesforce Content, while Mark served as VP Product Management. In 2007 Mark joined GRP Partners in 2007 as a General Partner.  He focuses on early-stage technology companies, usually looking at Series A investment, and blogs at the aptly titled Both Sides of the Table.

6 responses to “Never Hire Job Hoppers. Never. They Make Terrible Employees”

  1. leadershipthought

    Mark, You have highlighted a very important topic and I agree with your thoughts. On the positive side of Gen Y you might be interested to see this video post. http://www.vineetnayar.com/jack-in-the-box/

  2. moneypit

    So I guess I’m a job hopper. Here’s the real deal though – I only use LinkedIn for my resume (http://www.linkedin.com/in/brianrobinson). As such, I only have so many characters to describe my efforts in any role / company, and in some cases, the experience I’ve gained in different roles at the same company warrants expression in my opinion (my current company is a great example of that, moving from post-sales to pre-sales). Not to mention that I worked for two small software companies that were both acquired (4+ years at each in truth, but show on my LinkedIn profile as less than three years in each of four jobs). Oh, and my six month stint – I was the 8th employee at a startup that failed. Probably some pretty valuable experience there, especially for a startup looking to hire someone, right?

    Perhaps I’m an exception to the rule. Or perhaps I just flat out suck and don’t realize it. ;)

    -Brian

    p.s. Great post by the way – definitely entertaining!

  3. philip142au

    You need to look at it from the other side as well, the truth is there are bad bosses, some would like to push a programmer for late nights and weekends until they burn out.

    Some people get the wrong jobs and need to hop to find the right one.

  4. gzoller

    Mark, interesting and understandable viewpoint but a bit one-sided. I’m mid-40s now but had a period in my life where I was attracted to very risky start-ups. Had one a year for a while–all went belly-up and closed doors while I was there. That was the risk level I wanted. While I have worked beside mercenary types you describe there is another class who are certainly money-driven but that drive translates into unequaled work ethic–the kind where people regularly put in (willingly) 80-hr weeks. Your stable non-hopper, “I want a solid job” types aren’t going to do that. Perhaps this is a generalization but I’ll go out on a limb to suggest your more “flighty” people are also the type who may be more likely to create something from nothing (invention vs. construction)–attributes a start-up desperately needs.

    I’m not discounting your perspective–I’ve seen that too–but there’s also something to be said for leadership. If you’re out taking a risk and that risk gets bumpy, you need leadership to keep people on-board or maybe the idea just didn’t work and people shouldn’t remain loyal to a failed plan. True you’re left holding the bag but you’re also the guy who’ll make many (many) millions if it works.

  5. jbaisden

    I can completely understand this perspective.

    Granted, I wonder what you would think of my situation. I’m not pity partying here; I’ve just had some interesting situations. The first 2 companies I worked for went bankrupt. I was at one for 8 months straight out of college; the 2nd I was at for about 2+ years. My third job let me go as soon as my part on the project was finished (this was not a contract position. I was a full time employee constantly being reassured there was plenty of work, which turned out to be a blatant lie.). I’ve been at my current job for nearly 2 years. The company seems stable and I like the work. That’s me in a nutshell.

    Now, what I’m wondering is what you think. Would you think my code is so lousy that I somehow sabotaged the companies I worked with? The truth is, there were some bad decisions made by people much higher up the food chain than myself and that I had absolutely zero input on those decisions. Now that I’ve said that, am I being disrespectful to my employer in your eyes?

    From my perspective, your way of thinking has me in a ‘damned if I do, damned if I don’t’ situation. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that I agree with what you wrote. I am a loyal employee and I’ve finally found a company that returns the favor.

  6. gocubz51

    I am a “Job Hopper” and I don’t regret my decisions.

    Sure I have made some bad career moves that didn’t work out, but each place I have been has brough new experiences to the table.

    The downside of employing a job hopper is very well laid out by you. How you choose your business is your decision, but there are some other things you should consider.

    Someone who has jumped from job to job may have a lot more experience in a much broader range of technologies. Sure, you can hire someone for less with less experience, and pay them to learn while on the job. You can also interview someone who may not only be versed in the technologies you are using, but also has experience outside of that, and can provide a different perspective, or different approach.

    The two longest jobs I have had were both about 4 years. One was dues to a 4 year contract in the Marines, the second was a company where I reached as high as I could go without waiting for my boss to leave. It was a company slow to adapt new technologies, so I wasn’t growing anymore. A lot of people who have been at companies for 6-8-10 years without being an executive, don’t have much ambition. I know this last statement will irk some people, but think about it. If you aren’t growing you’re missing out.

    The people I have worked with that have been at companies for a long time are not the cream of the crop employees. They have become complacent and they don’t work on professional growth.

    Just my own personal opinion. As a job hopper, I understand some companies may frown at my resume, and I may not make the interview. However, I haven’t had much of a problem getting in the door.