New research has shown that the average tenure for a Canadian worker is under two years. Workopolis mined data from over 7 million work history records, comparing job tenures from 1990-2000 and 2000-Present.


From 1990 through 2000 the number of people staying at their jobs for less than two years doubled from 16 percent to 33 per cent of employees. That trend has only accelerated into the 2000s, almost doubling again from 33 per cent to 51 per cent. Shorter stints at jobs have now become the majority.

Now just 30 per cent of people hold any one job for over four years.


Traditionally, too many short work stints was a red flag for employers; but with over half the working population now staying at their jobs for less than two years, ‘job hopping’ is the new normal.


So, what does this mean for hiring managers? Firstly, only hiring people with histories of long tenures is a thing of the past. You would be severely limiting your pool of candidates in an already competitive skills shortage. Secondly, just how important is tenure anyway?


Consider this – Would you rather have a high performer elevating your team for 2 years or a mediocre performer warming a seat for 7?


Having a history of high performance and achievements should pull rank over tenure any day. That’s not to say that the two don’t often come hand in hand naturally. The point is to not to assume that long tenures = valuable experience. When reviewing resumes and conducting interviews, try to zero in on quantifiable achievements accomplished during a candidate’s work history (short OR long).


With this growing trend towards shorter work stays, an efficient onboarding process is even more important to get new hires up and running as quick as possible. For more advice on hiring and onboarding, or to receive a free copy of our Employer’s Guide to Onboarding, email