Attrition has always been expensive for companies, but in many industries the cost of losing good workers is rising, owing to tight labor markets and the increasingly collaborative nature of jobs. (As work becomes more team-focused, seamlessly plugging in new players is more challenging.) Thus companies are intensifying their efforts to predict which workers are at high risk of leaving so that managers can try to stop them.* External factors definitely influence attrition rates, but what about one’s psychological moorings?
Every hiring manager has encountered job hoppers. Many loathe hiring them—and rightly so—because it makes the process time-consuming and expensive for the company. Such job-jumping candidates are often perceived to be selfish, disloyal, and impatient.
But what is it that makes one candidate more prone to switching jobs than the next? Is there any way to predict whether a person is more likely to stick to a job than flee after a short tenure? Is the job-hopping tendency a trait that one is born with, or a product of the environment? In other words: nature or nurture?