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Finding work gets more difficult for China's job hoppers

Amid a slowdown in China's economic growth, the good times for job hoppers might also be coming to an end.

Job hoppers are those who frequently change jobs in a two-year span, according to global recruitment consultancy Robert Walters.

In 2005 and 2006, when China was expanding its market and a large number of multinational companies were moving their regional headquarters to first-tier Chinese cities like Shanghai and were in need of talent, job hoppers could easily find new jobs.

But the good old days are gone, said Angel Lam, associate director of commerce and finance, human resources, supply chain and operation businesses of Robert Walters.

Employers started to shun the job hoppers in 2012, and the trend became more apparent in 2013 and this year.

"About 90 percent of our clients will simply reject the candidate if they find traces indicating job hopping in the resumes. They wouldn't even give an interview," she said.

There are basically three major reasons for people to change their jobs. The first one is for higher salaries. Candidates could easily see their salary increase by 50 percent back in 2005, but that time has also passed.

Meanwhile, a salary increase is no longer the top reason for candidates to switch jobs, according to a survey by recruitment service provider BRecruit, as only 5.19 percent of the 36,600 candidates surveyed said higher pay was the top reason for changing jobs.

The second reason is for a better title. The third one, according to Lam, is that the candidate was unhappy about the organization he or she worked for. For example, the candidate was unhappy with a boss or peers, or was unable to complete the job as assigned, finding it too difficult.

"The last reason was the most noticeable after 2009, when the global financial crisis also hit China. Companies started to find in 2011 that the job hoppers they had hired could not solve the problems because they left their previous post for this reason. Over time, companies have learned the lesson and come to know what exactly they want," she said.

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