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Why Loyal Employees Can Be Difficult to Hire

So you got that rare resume of someone with great tenure, and you want to move forward.  In fact, they’ve been at the same employer for over 10 years!

Before you bring them in for an interview, it will serve you well to understand the unique emotional challenges these long tenured candidates have when deciding to leave their employer.

These types of candidates are loyal, committed and conservative.  In fact, they’re so deeply committed to their employer, they have moments of great hesitation, even when they know it’s time to move. It’s not unusual for these candidates to go through an entire interview process, even though, deep down, they are unwilling to make a change.  They may even accept your offer, and then accept a counter offer, from their current employer.

Why? They don’t realize how scary change can be, until the offer becomes reality. Then they frequently become gripped with fear of the unknown, and any suggestion they may be making a bad decision can scare them away.  That’s why when a counter offer is extended, and it often is, it’s much easier to justify staying with their current employer than to make that move into the unknown.

Many studies have been conducted on counter offers, and they prove, it’s not good for the employer making them or the employee taking them.  Trust is broken between the employer and employee, and resentment builds with both parties as well as between the employee and their co-workers.  This is only one reason why over 90% of candidates of candidates who accept counter offers leave the company anyway within 12 months.

So if you’re excited about hiring someone with long tenure, it’s wise to ask them tough questions about their true motivations for changing roles.  Will more money change those things? In almost every case, the answer is no!  Most people leave jobs for reasons other than money, so it won’t hurt to remind them of the reasons they stated they wanted to leave.  Remind them how difficult it will be to resign, if you extend an offer.  Also, give them time to walk themselves through how they will give notice, and certainly ask them how they will handle the decision, if a counter offer is made.

There are very talented long-tenured people out there!  By asking tough questions, testing their vulnerability to a counter offer, and giving them time, you’ll have a better chance of getting them hired and keeping them hired.  For more information, contact Kathy Cole, President, at kcole@dkcole.com.