I'm deciding among several candidates for an individual contributor position. I keep thinking about how likely they are to stay a while, but am I right to consider that?

There are some whose experience is in the creative end of the spectrum (whereas our publications are quite pedestrian) and I wonder if they wouldn't start looking for something more creative once the "new" wears off and the economy gets better.

And one who has a great background in the same line of work, but at a much larger company, and I'm afraid she will find our operation primitive by comparison. (And this will be a pay cut for her, but she was told the pay by HR when they arranged the interview, and it's been 6 months since she was laid off from her previous position.) I fear she will continue looking for something at a bigger company, especially after she completes her BS in Management next year.

[Everyone I've interviewed is out of work or only working part time because of having been laid off...]

ashdenver's picture

A.) The Company Perspective: if you can get a CEO for a janitor's salary, the odds are that he'll ditch the company at the first opportunity.  The question then becomes: what's the ROI?  Is the CEO going to give CEO efforts for the janitor's salary?  Will the company gain valuable insight, expertise, suggestions, etc. during the tenure of this CEO?  (Some folks, like my husband, won't give away the store for free.) 

B.) The Cost Perspective: there's always a cost associated with turnover which is why companies try to avoid it.  Does or will the benefit of having the CEO for the janitor's salary compensate for the possibility of double-recruiting costs? 

C.) The Employee Perspective: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  If your company can offer her the opportunity to be a big fish in a little pond and have the opportunity for practicaly applications of her BS in Mgmt, she may be inclined to stay - especially if the company offers rewards for contributions. If she can help the company or even the department move to the next level and gets recognized for it, she may just end up sticking around.  (I would love to return to being a big fish in a little pond instead of a little fish in a big pond like I have been for the last six years.) Maybe her creativity can be utlized in other ways - it might not end up being publications but maybe learning new tools or techniques & becoming an expert / trainer or later transferring to another group within the company that would allow the creativity (like HR?)

D.) The Team Perspective: assuming the new person doesn't walk in with a sense of entitlement, the team probably won't care what her previous title or salary was. You know your team best - would they be more upset at having to "break in a new person" if this one leaves or would they rather have a less competent person filling the role, possibly causing more work for them overall? 

E.) The Crystal Ball Perspective: I don't know about you but my crystal ball is in the shop for repairs because it's not known for 100% accuracy.  When human beings are involved, they tend to do wacky things with that "free will" thing and it can turn the playing field upside down.  You can't predict the future and you can't plan for ever possibility.  All you can do is weigh the factors, apply your judgment and make the best decision given the circumstances at hand.

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terrih's picture

Ash, thanks for the thorough answer!! I do know that I can't KNOW what people will do in the future, hence my question!

I think really the salary is commensurate with the position and she recognizes that... the previous company had shifted her to Marketing Communications, no surprise that paid better.

On the other hand, I think the team perspective would be they'd rather someone stuck around... it takes a long time to get anyone trained to our myriad procedures.

On the other hand (channeling Tevye), the bird in the hand is huge in this economy, and I just heard on the Wall Street Journal podcast one opinion that the job market won't recover for four years.

I was in HR after I posted my question and we discussed the issue... they pointed out that the rock star might even turn down the position. So true!