With today’s record-low unemployment, hiring managers want to be sure a new hire stays with their company for a while. Not only is it a pain to have to refill a position within a year, it is also very costly. So, how do hiring managers gauge how long a candidate will stick around?
The Resume: A Useful Bit of Insight, But Sometimes Misleading
A candidate’s resume says a lot about their drive, ambition and character. However, a resume doesn’t tell the whole story. If a hiring manager encounters a candidate with a resume that is littered with employment changes every year, there may be a valid reason. Also, it is important to note that, in some industries, job hopping is the norm. For example, most tech workers stay in their roles on average 1.5 to 2 years.
If a hiring manager has a resume cross their desk that is full of short-term employment, the candidate shouldn’t be rejected outright based on the resume alone. However, further investigation is required. A hiring manager should ask the candidate a few strategic questions to get a better understanding of the reasons behind their job hopping.
The Necessary Interview Questions to Ask a Serial Job Hopper
Question 1: Why do you want to leave your current role after (insert current duration)?
This critical question provides some insight into what is occurring in their current situation. Do they want a higher salary? If so, this may be a sign that their job hopping has been salary driven, which could be problematic down the road. If they cite grievances with their current employer, this may also be a red flag.
Question 2: Why did you leave your last job for your current job?
Asking about their last job change can provide valuable insight into their job hopping. Do they talk about greater opportunity or new skills? Answers like these can mean previous positions either a) didn’t challenge them, or b) didn’t provide much room to grow. However, if they state their last job change was due to issues with their former co-workers or management, that may be a sign of a negative attitude on their part and a possible future problem.
Question 3: What are your career goals?
In many cases, when a worker leaves a role it is because they see it as a “dead end,” a position without opportunity. If a candidate expresses a desire to grow and learn, maybe even acquire more education or training, this could be a good sign for the future. Just be sure the position you are filling can provide the candidate growth opportunities, or chances are their tenure with your organization will be short.
Question 4: What about this job interests you?
Asking a candidate what they like about the job you are offering allows a hiring manager to investigate two issues. First, have they read the position description closely? If not, this could be a sign they aren’t engaged. Secondly, this question evaluates if they have envisioned themselves at your company. Are they planning for a future with your firm? If so, this could be a sign of greater commitment on their part.
Question 5: How important is advancement and mobility to you?
This question gets to their career motivations. If a candidate says the ability to advance is essential to them and you are offering a job that doesn’t provide such opportunities, this could be a problem. Placing a candidate who wants to advance in a role that doesn’t allow for this means you will be re-staffing the position sooner than you hoped.
For hiring managers, a resume littered with multiple positions with short tenures can be a red flag. However, a candidate’s resume doesn’t tell the whole story, and in many cases, job hopping can be an industry norm in certain professions. If a hiring manager decides to interview a job hopper, they should ask specific questions to identify the real reasons behind a candidate’s job hopping. The answers a candidate provides to these interview questions can aid the hiring manager in making an informed hiring decision when dealing with a job hopper.
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