Don’t Become a Stepping Stone Employer

September 16th, 2011

In a difficult job market, hiring managers are likely to see a higher rate of resumes from overqualified applicants. Many of these candidates are just looking for a job that can hold them over and help them pay the bills until they find something more appealing. It’s always nice to see a highly qualified person across the interview desk, but it takes money and time to hire and train someone, and you don’t want to invest in a candidate who plans to leave as soon as she finds a higher paying position that’s better suited to her background. Here are a few considerations that can help you avoid becoming a stepping stone:

First, you can make things easier on yourself—and on your ambitious or overqualified applicants—if you understand each other from the beginning. Make sure you ask the right interview questions and find out all you can about a candidate’s long term plans. The more you know, the more likely you’ll avoid hiring someone who shows every sign of leaving soon. Ask her where she plans to be in three, five, and ten years. If your company offers a ladder to these destinations, tell her so. Be clear. Don’t try to spin or sell a path to advancement that you don’t have or won’t actually be able to offer later on.

Second, if you decide to hire her, be prepared to offer the salary and environment that will hold her interest and keep her talent within the company. The best way to get respect is to give respect. Invest in your employees and they will be more likely to invest in you.

And finally, if you realize after the fact that you’ve hired a stepping stone candidate, see if you can offer her the training and education that will help her ascend within the company. If you don’t have an immediate opportunity within her department, see if she might be willing to make a lateral move to broaden her skills. You can also alert her and help her prepare for positions that may open up a few months or a year in the future.

Let the Palmer Group help you become an employer that keeps their talent, contact us today.