Monday, July 29, 2019

Millennial ‘Job Jumpers’ Can Strengthen Your Modular Home Factory

In most industries the idea of hiring a job jumper is considered standard operating procedure for HR. However for the modular construction industry that idea has seen management reluctant to adopt that philosophy.


Like some other older established industries, management looks at the job jumper as unsuccessful at their former employer and was either forced out or fired.

There are usually only three employment areas when it comes to ‘job jumpers’ in the modular home industry. Sales Reps, Management, both upper and middle, and in the engineering department.

Today’s Millennial can fill any of those positions but don’t expect them to stay until they retire like their parents did.


Top performers move up frequently and average performers do not. The mere fact that a job jumper can move frequently between jobs probably means that they are exceptional performers.

And their only real “fault” may be that they are ambitious and they have the initiative to seek out better opportunities (two traits that most managers would normally want in an employee).

Job Jumpers usually look for another job when they feel their contributions have become stagnate.


When you hire a job jumper, you get the accumulated knowledge, best practices, benchmark information, their many contacts, and their experience from a number of your modular competitors.

You get insight into your competitor(s) that your current employees can’t match.

Because each time they were a new hire, “jumpers” were forced to rapidly learn new information, new skills, and best practices. Just being able to learn what they learned at your competitors is extremely valuable but it means you have to realize what is useful information that can be incorporated into your factory and what can be set aside.

Many shortsighted managers and recruiters automatically reject job jumpers. So, if you don’t care about their job jumping, the reduced competition may mean that they are much easier to recruit and their salary expectations will be lower than most top performers.

If you don’t harp on their job jumping throughout the hiring process, they will likely be pleasantly surprised and then be more likely to say yes. Always remember that one man’s trash is another’s treasure.

When you hire a superstar ‘job jumper’ who may well leave within 18-24 months, you still have a great opportunity to use their skills and learn from them.

Superstars frequently move on, but the tremendous short-term gain and “push forward” that they provide makes hiring them worthwhile. Having an average employee for as little as two more years simply won’t likely produce the same business results.

Job jumpers are not rookies who need lots of training. Having had multiple jobs may have also made them into individuals who don’t require a lot of management attention and some might even be ready to become leaders within your company.

Job Jumpers are usually the first ones to spot the signs of a sinking ship and the first ones to begin sending out resumes.

Smart people are loyal to a point, but if the “job jumper” left a struggling or failing firm before it crashed, you should give them credit, not blame.

Being loyal and staying on at Sears until the very end is a trait you might not want in an employee.

Don’t be disappointed if your new hire isn’t an innovator. Our industry really isn’t big on that in the first place but even if they did have an innovative idea at their previous employer it doesn’t mean they have more.

Even some of the best minds in any industry only have one innovative idea.

The next time a Millennial ‘job jumper’ looks to you for a job, you have a better than average shot at getting all the things mentioned above but probably for less than 3 years. So make the most of it.

Gary Fleisher (the Modcoach) is a housing veteran, editor/writer of Modular Home Builder blog and industry speaker/consultant. modcoach@gmail.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What I've seen in today's labor pool is that NO ONE sticks around anymore. If you are looking for potential applicants that demonstrate longevity on their resume, you probably need to give it up. It just isn't there anymore and hasn't been for a long time.