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Don’t Become a Stepping Stone Employer

December 23rd, 2011

Hiring a new employee can be an expensive process, and once a candidate comes on board, the time and cost required to train her can put a serious dent in your budget. Factor in a temporary slowdown in productivity while she learns the ropes, and the dent becomes even more significant. After about six months with you, a new employee can represent a considerable financial investment. If she leaves at that point, your investment goes with her and you’re back to square one.

Candidates are likely to take a position with a “stepping stone” employer if they need a temporary paycheck but are ultimately looking for a more rewarding position elsewhere. They may also treat a company like a stepping stone if the company simply can’t keep up with their ambitions or offer them sufficient compensation in a competitive market.

This scenario can be frustrating, but it’s a very common part of the employment process, and it’s more likely to take place when hiring managers fail to ask the right questions during the screening process or fail to retain new hires who are too overqualified or ambitious to make a long term commitment.

When you decide to interview a candidate who seems overqualified, make sure you ask about her long term plans. Find out where she wants to be three, five and ten years from now. If you don’t have the resources to help her get there, tell her so upfront. And protect yourself. Even if she’s very talented, her talent won’t help you if she leaves in three months.

If you recognize a stepping stone candidate after the fact and realize that an expensive new hire is about to jump ship, find out what you can do to keep her in the fold. If you can’t raise her salary, try to find ways to offer the education and incentives that will help you make the best use of her skills and encourage her to grow within the firm.

If you’re having trouble with stepping stone candidates, contact a temp staffing agency in CT at Merrit Staffing.

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