Question of the day: Do you think working for the same employer, in the same position for a long period of time is negative?

Today an interesting question for the recruiting community in follow up to the RBC Daily.....

 

Question of the day: Do you think working for the same employer, in the same position for a long period of time is negative?

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This one is always a tough one, doctors, lawyers and other professional services providers aren't disadvantaged for longevity and are actually sought after. The corporate world it seems to be different, my experience with those with more than 12 years experience are hard to transition over to a new organization because their "worth" was actually their in-corporation network and processes. I worked with a corporation who flipped roles every 2.5 years because it kept everyone on their toes. It was seen to have a top/bottomline advantage. They typically saw a 17% line up-lift when the people were changed. Being a keeper of corporate history can also be a bonus... unless the need is to change the culture.  But long-standing employees typically haven't kept up with industry certifications. Their salary is higher than other industry comparables. So I think it works for some but if the corporation is run by professional managers and not the innovators who created the company, longevity and ambition don’t fit typically into their models of getting ahead, yet having the passion and the persistence for the business is key to the creators. I found people still tend hire to their own image.

100% Yes.. Why? Complacency... In contrast, same company/different jobs/promotions, different story.... Best to ALL....

In my opinion, this question cannot be answered out of context. The answer depends on the job requirements, the individual candidate, and the circumstances - and also if the candidate is currently employed or unemployed (which would raise the other question of why). It also depends on the employer - what if it's a family business or the only major employer in a small town & the candidate has worked the same job since high school and while in college pursuing a Masters degree or PhD or MBA -- wouldn't a recruiter want to talk to that person?

Any recruiter that has a pat answer to this question without considering the context is likely not the kind of recruiter I would want to work with - too quick to pass judgement without understanding the full story.

Too long in a position isn’t a loyalty objection, it is an objection that they are likely too set in their ways.

I came across such case for a manufacturing client few months ago. The candidate had a perfect resume with 8 years experience at his current employment . My client's reason for rejection was "culture fit" and that having worked in different companies, candidate would have had more exposure to different system and working style. Also each industry is different for FMCG its normal to hire someone who jumps for Asst Brand to Product Manager and triple in salary in less than 2 years..

 

Not sure where the trend will head to ...??????

I believe this can be a yes and no answer.  No, because having loyalty should be priority to a company that is spending money and time on you as an employee.  I always say to give an employer a year of your time; a year gives you the chance to get into a routine, know what is expected of you on a daily and basis and (hopefully) have a meeting with your supervisor to know what is expected of you in the future.  Always have the vision of your resume in the back of your mind when you're thinking of leaving somewhere before a year's time is up! This minimum could be longer for others of course.

Yes, because I find that when someone starts in a new position (brand new or promotion) they have a fresh, upbeat and excited outlook.  Being in the same exact role with the same everyday can also cause some people to lose focus and forget that things can change for the better.  

 

So, in the end, yes and no!  

Just ask anyone let go from an auto company or auto supplier that had 25 to 30 years of loyal service and are now out of work. As companies start hiring they want younger people that aren't going to retire in 2 to 10 years. Blame the companies? Or the 30+ year candidate that stayed in the same position doing the same job for 30+ years?

If your candidate went to college then worked for 30+ years they are at least in their 50's now. If they went on for advanced degrees before starting to work for the company they are even older. If they haven't shown career growth throughout their time with that one company their chances of getting hired by another company are slim.

This is not age discrimination, but when the client wants someone that can come in and accomplish this, then move on to do that and then grow into an additional role; the candidate with 30+ years - being content with the same position and level they were at - will lose. If he is very qualified and very happy doing the one thing he's been doing for 30+ years then the candidate isn’t looking to grow into the next position – they’re waiting to retire. Or maybe they have retired at work and are waiting for social security to kick in to make it official.

I know I sound harsh but I have seen that those who stayed in the safe (I loved what I did and was so comfortable in my position) for 30+ years aren't getting hired now and those that kept moving through the company gaining new and different experiences and learning different aspects of the business are happy in their new smaller companies playing a much larger role.

I have placed 'seasoned' people with clients and yes they have 30+ years with one company. They also have weathered more than one recession and had more than one position in their previous company.  Some companies are looking for a more seasoned candidate with multiple roles in their career - haven't found any clients looking for a candidate with 30+ years at the same position. 

It comes down to what they did in their 30+ years.

Glenna, Sorry I have to disagree with you. Loyalty should not be a priority to any company because that company is spending money and time on you as an employee. They are paying you to do your job. If they offer benefits that go along with it that's real nice; but bottom line the "contract" an employee has with a company is that they will work and the company will pay.

I think before 2008 there are many people that showed a lot of loyalty to their employers and then got NOTHING when their location/facility closed.  Companies are in business to make a profit - for the owners and/or the investors. PERIOD.

Employees? Anyone can be replaced and companies have no loyalty when it comes time to reduce staff or close locations. Ask the millions that are currently unemployed or underemployed across the world.


Glenna Halligan said:

I believe this can be a yes and no answer.  No, because having loyalty should be priority to a company that is spending money and time on you as an employee.  I always say to give an employer a year of your time; a year gives you the chance to get into a routine, know what is expected of you on a daily and basis and (hopefully) have a meeting with your supervisor to know what is expected of you in the future.  Always have the vision of your resume in the back of your mind when you're thinking of leaving somewhere before a year's time is up! This minimum could be longer for others of course.

Yes, because I find that when someone starts in a new position (brand new or promotion) they have a fresh, upbeat and excited outlook.  Being in the same exact role with the same everyday can also cause some people to lose focus and forget that things can change for the better.  

 

So, in the end, yes and no!  

Recruiters are hilarious.  We scream for stability, hammer candidates about reasons for job changes, question that being recruited  or making a move for more money is a good reason then turn around and mouth about how a stable candidate who liked their job and the company they worked for might be too set in their ways or not have enough variety in their career or haven't seen enough different things.  I agree with Sylvia in that this is on a case by case deal and industry by industry.  But, i have never had a stable candidate turned down because they were too stable.

 

Honk...my clients value stability, loyalty and dedication to their job and the company they work for as well as being willing to hang in there through the ups and downs of the business cycle.  Maybe those are all those "passive" candidates that everybody is always looking for who don't change jobs because they are happy and like what they do.

 

All those union employees with 25 to 30 years expr. who were finally cut loose are probably having a hard time because of expectations fostered by the unions who almost destroyed multiple industries.

I agree with you John. It does depend on the client and candidate. Personally, I would hope that everyone, no matter how long they work at one company - 3 or 13 years-  are always working on their professional development and staying up to date on many aspects of the industry they are in. Clients like to see loyalty but I think they are more interested in qualifications, skills and drive. 

John Kreiss said:

I once placed someone who worked 30 years for one company.  It was the only place he ever worked.  It's harder to get people who've been employed with one firm for a long period of time to jump ship, but that might also be a plus.  They will do a lot of soul searching to make sure that the new position is right for them, and will likely stay longer than someone with a track record of job hopping every two or three years.  

 

There are, however, disadvantages to people who've been in the same place over long periods of time.  They don't typically get to see how other companies do things, and their skills might be less transferable to a different company.  

 

It really depends on the candidate, and the client.  In some cases, loyalty would be a plus, but in others, it might be a negative.  

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