Finding a Career Mentor

Not all job hoppers are alike. When you first glance at the resume of a candidate who has changed jobs frequently in recent years, it may send up an automatic red flag that makes you want to toss it immediately into the “reject” pile.

Not so fast. Be careful not to miss out on a great business opportunity, until you dig a little further.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota and Bowling Green University recently collaborated and concluded there are two distinct categories of job hoppers:

  • Escape driven: These candidates tend to be impulsive and lack persistence. They often are fixated on negative emotions and experiences. So, the red flag label definitely applies here.
  • Advancement driven: These individuals actively seek out a variety of responsibilities and work experiences. They could be just the new hires you’re looking for.

The best way to tell the difference between the two is to ask the right interview questions.

Take a Closer Look

Resumes don’t tell the whole story. Dig below the surface and ask:

  • “Why did you leave XYZ position?” Start with the oldest job on a candidate’s resume and move up to the most recent one. Conclude by asking:
  • “What are you looking for in your next role?” Listen for patterns. For instance, is a candidate consistently negative about their previous jobs and employers? Do they change jobs frequently simply to make more money? Once you understand their reasons, ask yourself, “What does this behavior pattern mean for me and my team?”
  • A pattern of negativity is a bad sign. This is true whether or not a person is a chronic job hopper.
  • In the case of a candidate seeking more money or responsibility, your decision depends on the specific job you’re filling. If you are able to keep rewarding or promoting the person, you may have found the right hire. Otherwise, probably not.

If you’re really excited about a prospective hire, let them know. Ask something like:

  • “You are one of the top candidates for this position. But looking at your work history, I am concerned by the number of jobs you’ve had in the last few years. We’re looking for someone who can make a commitment to our company. Do you think you can do that?” Include a reasonable time frame. If the person seems hesitant, give them a day or so to think it over before making a decision.

You might also ask a candidate:

  • “Give me an example of how you persevered in a difficult situation and accomplished your goal in spite of it.” An advancement-driven individual will come up with several instances, while an escape-driven candidate may be hard pressed to think of even one.

Hiring is hard – and hiring mistakes are painful and costly. As you fine-tune your industry-leading recruitment strategy, consider partnering with the experts at PrideStaff Modesto. Read our related posts or contact us today so we can tell you more.

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