Job hopping within HR and Asia Pacific

In Part Two of our special job-hopping feature, we explore whether this act is prevalent within HR circles and the Asia-Pacific region in particular.

Job hopping within HR?

Although HR professionals find job hopping a major nuisance to their staffing plans, even they can be guilty of jumping ship.

“The HR profession is not immune to job hopping,” says Finian Toh, Associate Director – HR Practice, of recruitment firm Kerry Consulting.

Toh attributes this occurrence to three major factors.

“Firstly, HR professionals can see the writing when it is on the wall. If the company is financially unstable, HR is one of the few departments which can detect this early on. Hence, many would choose to leave for job-stability reasons,” he says.

Another reason for a faster-than-expected departure could be due to changes in job scope once the candidate has been appointed to the role.

“For example, one of our candidates accepted an offer to work as a learning and development professional but ended up doing administrative work which was not related to training,” says Toh.

Thirdly, unethical company practices can also result in a significant turnover of HR professionals.


Feeling the pulse of Asia-Pacific

HRM Magazine canvassed the views of senior HR professionals around Asia-Pacific to gauge whether job-hopping is rife in their respective markets. Here’s their take on the situation:


“I won’t say there is a culture of job hopping, because there isn’t. However, we do see a trend of people changing jobs faster due to reasons such as the economic cycle and changes in perception of new-generation employees.”

– Norman Nicholas Abdullah, Head of Talent Acquisition and Manpower Planning, RHB Banking Group


“The country has seen an increasing trend of frequent job changes but it is difficult to generalise. There are companies in the same industry which have witnessed an attrition rate of 10%, but we have also seen companies with a rate as high as 40%.”

– Narendra Singh Chandel, Regional Head - Talent Acquisition, North India, Tata Consultancy Services        


“There is not necessarily a culture of job-hopping in China, but with the rapid growth over the last 20 years, we see many candidates who have enjoyed a boom market that brought large wage and title inflations with job movements. In the current climate however, this is something that is on the relative decline.”

– Alex Martin, Manager, Commerce Finance - Shanghai, Robert Walters China


“I don’t believe there’s a job-hopping culture and apart from a few exceptions, I think job hopping can be easier tagged to generations, rather than countries.”

– David Cherry, Head of Talent Acquisition Asia-Pacific , Fire Eye


“Employees do not merely take up a job at a company, but join almost as if it were a family. There is a social contract that the company will take care of you as long as you are a loyal and dedicated employee. For this reason, job hopping is a sign of disloyalty and a character flaw.”

– Stephane Michaud, Senior Director – Consulting, Human Link Asia


“Taiwan is a relatively conservative hiring market and therefore, companies are not overly enthusiastic about candidates who do not have much of a track record of commitment to a company.”

– John Winter, Country Manager, Robert Walters Taiwan


“There is a job-hopping culture here. Companies do not necessarily approve of it, but at times, they have no choice but to accept the trend. Hiring managers are now more flexible when they see candidates who have been changing jobs every two years.”

– Tiffany Wong, Associate Director, HR and Transactional Services, Robert Walters Hong Kong

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