Hiring and Longevity

What Would Keep You Here For Five Years?

When I talk with business owners, a major hiring concern that comes up is longevity. It is particularly focused on “younger people” who too often jump ship when a better offer shows up.

That better offer could be more pay, better hours, better perks.

How often this happens, I couldn’t say. But enough business owners have communicated this concern to me that I know it’s a problem out there.

And I’m not here to speak unkindly of the younger generation, but their skills in digital communications does make this an easier proposition for them.

We’ll use Cathy as an example.

Cathy still has her job posting up on Indeed and other hiring sites. She’s also made it known on her social media sites that she’s looking for a job despite having just started with a new company.

A great job offer comes.

I can see how this would be a dilemma for her.

She hasn’t made a contractual commitment of any length of time to her new company, and now she’s confronted with a job offer that could be considerably more valuable to her.

So, we can certainly understand that situation.

But we also can understand what Cathy’s new company is experiencing. They are spending X amount of time training her for the new position. They may be paying her during this initial training period. And they have hopes of Cathy fitting in and helping the company move forward.

Well, there’s no sure fire approach to handling this, but I do have one idea.

Before you hire Cathy, ask her:

“What would keep you here for five years?”

Of course you could modify that to “two years” or even “ten years.”

And let’s see what Cathy has to say.

She may simply say, “With all respect, there’s nothing really that would keep me here as I feel I should keep my options open.”

Or she may say, “well, if I had certainty on pay raises or other items of exchange, I’d consider committing to five years.”

That, in itself, is a pretty strong statement to get from someone in today’s work environment, but you could at least ask each applicant the question and see what you get.

You may get a flippant answer, like: “Well, honestly I need to keep my options open. Wouldn’t you in my position?” That kind of response is telling in and of itself.

You could also have a follow-up question ready:

“Once you get started with us, will you still be promoting yourself as available to other companies?”

That would be interesting to find out.

All in all, if you ask the question: “What Would Keep You Here For Five Years?” — and probe a bit with it, the worst that will happen is you’ll gain some additional insights into your applicant.

And that’s what it’s all about.

As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.

Our three minute video will help you hire the right people.

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