Today’s work environment is certainly different than a few decades ago. Back in “those days,” when someone started with a company, there was a strong likelihood of being with the company for many years. Helping the company grow, enjoying raises in salary, and overall being a coveted contributor.
Today, not so much.
How long someone stays with one company could be a few years, a few months, even a few weeks. The days of a new employee being with the company for 20, 30 years are, to a marked degree, behind us.
Now, I do know of quite a few companies with employees that have been with them for 20 and 30 years and more. But these were “new” employees 20-30 years ago.
Despite this turn of events, longevity IS a factor for many of us. We would like a new employee to hang in there. We’d like to invest in them — with training, salary increases, and other ways of acknowledging our people — and we’d like to see them invest in us: with their time and their skills.
So, how would we determine how long someone will be with us?
Is that even possible to determine?
Well, I don’t have a magic bullet for you here, but I would recommend a few things.
Of course, first and foremost, look over their résumé and how long have they been with each company?
And with each company, you could ask:
“Robert, with Acme Enterprises, why did you leave?”
“Okay, thanks. With Allen Industries, why did you leave?”
And so on.
Probably a good idea to take notes with each answer.
Now, you have an idea of why Robert left each company. Is there a pattern? Did it sound like the company was always the reason for his departure or did you get a sense of accountability from Robert?
You could also ask:
“Robert, thinking back on the four companies you have on your résumé, what would’ve kept you there longer?”
“Robert, looking forward to possibly working with us, how long do you think you’ll be with us?”
When you get an answer, follow with:
“What would we need to do to accomplish some kind of longevity with you?”
Longevity is a subject that may be difficult to get a good read on in the hiring interview. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t approach it.
The above steps and some creative ones I’m sure you’ll think of will help you get an idea of what longevity means to your applicant.