This was an actual question that was posed to me by a hiring official who I’ve worked with at several companies, but in his most recent move he went to a company that I had never worked with to place candidates. Of course, there are a million reason why people quit jobs and move on down the road, but he hadn’t had these issues previously and unfortunately wasn’t sure why it was happening now.
He knew he had gone to work for a company that had (in business terms) been very successful, made good profits, had not been impacted by layoffs or made the decision to downsize or outsource any portion of IT so why the continued exodus?
I, of course, hesitated to give him the little amount of information that I had (not positive, but not damning either), but I told him that I would make some calls to both current and former employees and try to get him some further information (as much for myself as he had already expressed interest in using my agency to fill his needs). So over the course of the next week or so I spoke with upwards of a dozen people who helped to paint a picture of a good place to work and build your skills, but without any real training program (technical or managerial) employees had no real opportunity to grow into new roles. Additionally, management continued to hire from the outside if internal candidates weren’t “perfect” for the position. So by not training and/or showing employees the path for growth they, by default, became the trainer for the remaining local market as their employees left to take bigger & better roles elsewhere.
I feel certain that my manager, now armed with this information, can make changes in his group and champion his people to other managers when internal opportunities present themselves, but this is an example of the line of questioning that most candidates don’t touch upon when interviewing. So if you have aspirations beyond what you’ll be hired to do remember to discuss how a company promotes people and the regularity in which they move people internally versus bringing in “new blood” from the outside.