Too much hopping hurts chance of landing a new position, expert says.
The weeks after the Spring Festival holiday were expected to see a job-hopping frenzy among young white-collar workers, especially those in their 20s, according to a recent survey.
About 65 percent of respondents born in the 1990s said they wanted to change jobs in the first quarter of this year, while less than one-third of those born in the 1960s wanted to do so, implying that older people become more prudent about changing employment.
Zhaopin.com, a leading online recruitment agency, released the findings on Wednesday. The survey polled more than 12,000 white-collar workers in 28 major cities in China including Beijing and Shanghai.
About 10 percent of respondents said they have already handed in resignation letters, and some 21 percent have refreshed their resumes to hook opportunities in the labor market.
Leo Cui, an accountant in Shenzhen, plans to quit in early March.
The 24-year-old said he encountered a "development bottleneck" in his current company, with limited space for promotion and a pay raise after working there for two years.
"Our year-end bonus in 2013 remained the same as the previous year. That's disappointing, but the other benefits were less attractive, too, compared with my friends and schoolmates," he said.
Cui said he would find a new job in Tianjin, where he was born and where the salary may fall behind Shenzhen but the living cost is lower.
Cui was not an isolated case.
Sun Bo, 29, is a visual designer with a United States fashion brand in Beijing.
"I don't get any opportunity for promotion in my current company, and I've been thinking about leaving for a while," she said. "Now the New Year vacation is finished and I got my bonus."
Sun is currently taking her annual leave in Yunnan province.
"I was inspired by my friend who encouraged me to try to find a new job in Shanghai, which is more fashionable than Beijing," Sun said.
Sun said she would resign after her vacation.
The survey also showed that dissatisfaction with pay, poor promotion opportunities and unhappiness with work are the top three reasons for employee resignations.
Angel Chen, a communication official from 51job.com, another major online recruitment website, said her company's research found that young college graduates change jobs more frequently than experienced workers, as many rookies are confused about what job they want.
"Many young students in China studied majors in universities that their parents chose for them and they took the first jobs recommended by relatives and friends," she said. "So when they step into the labor market, they get disappointed easily."
Peter Hao, executive director with UOutlook Education International, a Shanghai internship service company, said he usually sees more rookies quitting after Spring Festival and in October as employees' contracts usually end at those periods and they decide not to renew.
"Young employees in their 20s are more self-centered and keen on trying new jobs," he said.
However, frequent job hopping records on resumes will damage a job-seeker's image in potential employers' eyes, he said. "I never hire those who change jobs too often."
About 2.89 million job vacancies were advertised on 51job.com from Feb 8 to 14, a year-on-year rise of 28 percent, according to company statistics released on Wednesday.
The banking and financial industry alone posted 170,000 jobs in the week, double the number of vacancies during the same period in 2013.
More than 85 percent of employers in China planned to recruit more workers in the first quarter of 2014, according to another survey by 51job.com that was made public in January.
Employers from educational training and financial industries showed the most enthusiasm for hiring more talent, it said.
The report added that companies from the catering, agency service, garment and beauty industries typically suffer high turnover rates after Spring Festival.
About one in four employers said the recruitment hike is due to a high turnover rate before and after Lunar New Year.
Meanwhile, half of the 25,700 polled employers said that they expect to have more job vacancies thanks to their business growth.