What are some of the first questions that go through a recruiter or hiring manager’s mind when they notice a gap in employment on a resume? How long has this person been out of the workforce? What has the candidate been doing since they left their last role? And maybe the biggest question of all, why did they leave their last place of employment, or what happened in their last role?
It is normal to question a gap in employment, but if you are quick to make assumptions and move to conclusions without giving your candidate a fair chance to explain, it’s time to re-think and change those practices. In today’s tough candidate market, it is important to keep in mind that gaps in employment are not always negative.
What if the candidate took a year off to travel the world? Just think of the different cultures that they have been exposed to, the life experience that they gained that they will bring to the role and your organization, and their ability to be inclusive and work well with others. Although they may have been out of the workforce for a year, the other skillsets that they have grown will bring tremendous benefits to their next role.
What if you have a candidate who has taken a year off to care for a family member? They have improved their ability to master time management and multitasking by managing multiple appointments, follow-ups, all while managing their own personal circumstances. Being able to multitask and prioritize are all very important organizational skills that are valuable to any workplace.
During the pandemic, some employees lost their job completely or were laid off. Some candidates in industries that have been harder hit have been struggling to secure a new position. Some employees decided to step away completely due to burn out and have taken the last year to recharge and focus on their mental health.
All these examples listed are valid reasons for a gap of employment and the candidate just needs an opportunity to advocate for themselves and talk through it with a recruiter or a hiring manager. Many gaps in employment will ultimately help employees in the long run and assist them in their next role and help lead to their success.
The same stigma that exists for gaps on resumes is the same for candidates that have done a short stint at a position or held multiple positions over a period of a few years. Often, like employment gaps, hiring managers and recruiters are quick to overlook candidates who have held multiple jobs in a short period of time. Long tenure in a role does not always equate to loyalty or better results. The impact on the business and the results accomplished while they were in that role should be the focus. You may have an employee who joins your organization and only stays for a year before moving on but what they have been able to accomplish within that timeframe is more then what has been accomplished by others who have been in the role for years. Focus on results rather then tenure. It is also important to realize that tenure for younger employees entering the workforce has changed. People once went into a role and stayed in that same role with the same organization for 25+ years. That is just not the case anymore. In a recent article by Recruiter.com, 25-to-34-year old’s spend an average of 2.8 years in a position, while 18-to-24 year old’s average between 8 months and 1.3 years in the same position. The candidate market is evolving and changing.
If there are concerns with bringing on an employee that has moved around in their career and the team is concerned about how long they will stay with the organization, there are some things employers can do. Check-ins with your team are so crucial for all employees. Many organizations are incorporating “stay interviews” with their team rather then waiting until they leave to conduct an exit interview. Why do you stay with the organization? What do you enjoy about working here? Where do you see yourself within the organization and what can we do to support you?
Most of us have read the data that most employees stay when they are:
- Paid well
- On a Mission
In today’s competitive job market all these things are so important to keep top of mind when recruiting and retaining strong talent. For those employees who do move on quickly, appreciate the value that they have brought to the organization during their tenure, wish them luck, and keep that relationship open – because who knows, their path may lead them back to your company.
Logic Executive Search offers recruitment and human resources expertise to successfully help organizations find exceptional talent and strategies to help those candidates positively contribute to the organization. Contact us today at 226-683-0033 to learn more about our recruitment and human resources services.