How Committed Are They?

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This is always an interesting subject to discuss with an applicant. Are they looking for a short term job while keeping their eye out for something better, or are they serious about staying with you for a good period of time?

And what is a good period of time? These days, that might mean six months. In your mind, it might mean several years.

How do you determine if your candidate is just shopping or could be relied upon to hang in there with you? After all, you’re willing to invest a fair amount of time and money training this new employee.

There are fewer things less satisfying in the personnel arena than seeing someone quit after you’ve put a month into their training and apprenticing.

Well, there are actually a couple of things less satisfying: the employee that disrupted your workplace day in and day out; the employee that ran off with your customer list to one of your competitors; the employee that…well, you get the idea.

If I had a dollar for every time an employer was frustrated by an employee who left soon after the company had invested in their training, I would have my own island in the South Pacific.

So how do we find out ahead of time? Is it possible to really know if someone will stick it out with you?

Here are some direct questions you could ask your candidate:

  1. Is this job something you intend to stay with for awhile or is it a stepping stone to another job offer? (You might also ask your candidate to define “awhile.”)
  2. Are you looking for a short or long term position with us?
  3. We value commitment and loyalty here. How do you feel about these two qualities in relation to this job offer?

Of course, you should carefully review their résumé to see how long they stayed at each of their former jobs. If they have a history of “short stays” that’s certainly an indicator.

But they may not have found THE job they’re looking for and yours might be it. If there’s a real shot at advancement with your company and your applicant feels that working for you really works for them, then you may have a great candidate on your hands.

All in all, dig around and see what kind of responses you get on this subject. It’ll help you make your final decision.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


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