For most part of my career while hiring I had this bias that people who had stable tenures had a positive tick against their name. It was maybe influenced by my own career or the kind of organisations I worked for where people had long tenures. I still stumble every time I interview somebody who has had frequent job changes, my mind poses some questions around
People tell me stability is dead and talent is everything, nowadays nobody believes in tenure/loyalty, shorter tenures don’t matter as long as the employee is productive, the argument that in the world of temps, Freelancers, Consultants, why wouldn’t you consider shorter tenures? If you can bring ‘this’ context it sort of makes sense, but you wouldn’t have an organisation which has a significant population of this interim cocktail of freelancers/temps/consultants unless you are making a Bollywood movieJ.
So what does stability really mean?
Does that mean we recruit people who are on skaters who keep moving even though they have only months against their average tenure against years that most have? Depends as to what’s your philosophy on work tenure and the stories people spin for their skating marathon.
“Horses for courses,” said one of my bosses when I queried him for recruiting a frequent mover. He needed somebody to accept a role which no one internally or externally were willing to take on, so he did the next best thing – hired someone who was a “rolling stone” but one who had gathered “enough moss” to get the job done well. In that case it worked.
I have seen people who have had frequent changes also hit the ground running faster, as they are used to job changes and the expectations which come with new employers. People who change jobs after long tenures with previous employers are high maintenance for their new hiring managers, they expect longer runway for take-off, higher pampering during on-boarding and are less adaptable to new situations.
Predictive analysis suggests that what you have done before is something you are likely to repeat again. By that theory we can’t hire skaters. On one hand we say we hire for Potential, in reality, we have a separate measuring lens when it comes to stability and tenure; Yes it stems from our social ecosystem where stability is valued higher whether its relationships or the employment tenures of our previous generations.
Whether a skater has more chances of securing that leadership job or a loyalist we can’t deny that stability is still a treasured trait of most traditional Interviewers. In my view stable tenure is one filter which is fading slowly if not already out of many Interviewers mind.
I end by asking you, if there is a CV for a leadership role which has 8 job changes in 15 years vs 3 changes in the same period whom would you select, you might say it depends on the person, but most often the CVs of the former kind don’t even land in the interviewer’s inbox unless it’s of his friend or former colleague 🙂
I used to fear skaters as I was always a fan of driving long rides with broader wheels, Time to change my thinking?