Four years ago, I would never have presented a candidate whose resume had a distinct pattern of changing jobs before the two year mark. Everyone got a pass on the blustery days of the bubble, ’98-01 but that was it.
That policy is now under review. While I still think the serial 18 month stints does, more often than not, represent a problem (six months to come up to speed on a job, six months to do it—by the one year mark managers are generally ‘on to’ people who aren’t cutting it, six months of performance management and bingo, we’re at the 18 month point), things today not as cut and dry.
A lot of people have a very high tolerance to risk — perhaps they aren’t driven by a steady paycheck, maybe they are in search of the next Facebook, Box or Yelp. Those folks roll the dice on riskier companies that don’t always make it.
More people are consulting — test driving opportunities or just raking in higher compensation, particularly in some disciplines more than others. Their resume can look very choppy.
So as I evaluate the resume, the conversation becomes more direct—when did you leave and why? Was it performance related? How long do you like to be at one company?
As a candidate, anticipating those questions and being honest about the situation is the only way to go. The questions will come up, and the right answers will move you forward.