Warning: Job hoppers in pharma

QUICK READ: Job hoppers within the pharma industry are pretty plentiful. Quitting 1–2 jobs early when you’re young is acceptable, but there are too many hoppers leaving one company for another because of title or money. They’ll bullshit their way into an interview and sell their personalities rather than their accomplishments.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates it can cost, on average, 30 percent of a new hire’s annual salary to replace them. Those costs, increase the higher up in the organization the turnover occurs. So pharma companies often turn to people within the industry who job hop like a game of checkers.

A job-hopper is someone who stays at a job for approximately one to two years, though some job-hoppers may stay as long as five years. This isn’t necessarily a long-term gig or temporary work, though job-hoppers may use either of these as part of their job-hopping.

If your candidate can’t provide a reasonable explanation as to why they changed jobs so often, or becomes evasive when you question them about their career path, consider yourself warned. If they have titles from VP to Director or Manager that should also set off alarm bells.

Another tactic job hoppers use is promoting things they have done without metrics. Things like social media followers or developing a personal website without any quality business metrics should be a huge warning.

Job hoppers also act more like salespeople than knowledgeable employees. They can tell you all about their industry contacts and being on trade show panels but you need to ask “what have you actually done to support a brands objectives?

I know “disruption”is an overused buzz word, but at a time when 90% of brands are unprepared for the future of healthcare because of the pandemic you need people who are going to ask “why are we doing this?” and “why can’t we do this?”.

Pharma companies have an opportunity now to review their processes and make them leaner. Online marketing expertise doesn’t come from a job hopper who doesn’t have any quantifiable accomplishments, it comes from people who are not afraid to be the change the industry needs.

If you’re in pharma and need to hire good people seek them out via their knowledge and accomplishments, not because they are a high profile industry person. The idea that pharma can’t hire people who have never worked in pharma is pure bullshit. Change is needed and it’s needed now.