There’s a common stigma of instability among candidates who have a history of short tenure at a company. While this isn’t always justified, there are times when a recruiter or company would be best to shy away from these candidates. Understanding the nature of short-term jobs is the key in distinguishing between the two. Here are a few tricks to understanding the implications of an irregular history, and how to approach them.

  • Determine why the candidate left the other jobs. If there’s a consistent reason, such as “poor fit,” be wary about proceeding. For contract work or a specific skill, on the other hand, 6-12 months (and sometimes less) in a single job before moving on isn’t unusual.
  • Ascertain the nature of the work. Some jobs are temporary by nature. Many manufacturing positions and tax professionals, for example, may only work during the “busy season.”
  • Find out if the jobs are similar in nature. If a candidate continues in the same career field, but switches jobs every few months, it may be that their skills either aren’t suitable or that entire field simply isn’t a good match.
  • Level of experience also plays a major factor. The higher the expertise, the longer employment should last. Conventional wisdom is 3 years for the average job, while 5-7 is more common among management. A little less than these isn’t a bad thing, but much less can be an indicator of a problematic candidate.
  • Recognize the end result. There are two reasons for an interview: First, to determine if the candidate has the skills necessary to perform; secondly, to see if they are a good cultural fit. Ultimately, it is the job of a recruiter to determine if the candidate meets these two. Previous history only says so much – especially if it was in a different industry.

It takes time with a candidate and careful analysis to judge whether they will be a good fit. A universal approach will pass by some candidates with very legitimate skills, but hiring the wrong person can cost your company a considerable amount of money.

Regardless of your hiring needs, we can help. At RPC, we work with a wide variety of businesses in recruiting talent. We know how to properly screen and vet candidates to find the top talent in Dallas-Fort Worth Area. Contact us today to see how we can help you!

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