Finding Long-Term Employees: How to Spot Candidates Who Will Stay

By Kaitlin Hurtado on May 14, 2022

Any recruiter or hiring manager can attest to the fact that the process of finding, hiring, and onboarding new employees is difficult and time-consuming. Each step of the process seems like its own journey and comes with its own challenges. One way to avoid having to constantly find new talent is to keep the current employees you already have and to ensure that, you want to make sure the candidates you are hiring are individuals who are going to be long-term employees, not leave the position as soon as another company offers them a chance.

Spark Hire states that on average, it takes around 65 days for a hiring manager to fill an open position. That 65-day period is full of losses – loss of productivity, loss of revenue, and stress for you to fill up the role and stress for the team that covers the work of the open role.

A long-term employee is a treasured asset for any business as they boast experience and knowledge that is often difficult to come by. Just how can you spot candidates who can become long-term employees when there are so many potential new hires? Keep reading for what to look out for in order to spot candidates who are going to be willing to stay.

Photo: Pexels

Experience shouldn’t be your #1 priority among job candidates 

In a typical recruiting process, you might be prioritizing candidates that have years of experience under their belt and a stacked resume. These candidates may require less training as they already hold industry knowledge and the skill that comes with years of experience, but they may not have the mindset of wanting to settle at a company for very long.

While candidates with limited experience might be seen as a higher gamble, they are the type of candidates that your company can invest in when it comes to developing their talents so they stay on board as a long-term employee. Look for potential, not just experience.

If your job posting has a certain number of years as a requirement to apply, consider getting rid of it or making it optional. Limiting candidates to their years of experience can cut out a lot of potential employees that are bursting with potential before they even have the chance to land an interview. Reevaluate your current job postings, especially if you aren’t getting the type of candidates you expected.

Talk to candidates about their long-term goals 

During the recruiting process, the focus for you and the candidates is likely going to be limited to the short-term. You want to get the open position(s) successfully filled without further delay, and the candidates want to successfully land the job. However, what happens after that? During the recruiting process, ask about a candidate’s long-term goals and where they see themselves in different time frames – a year from now, three years from now, ten years from now.

Is the job candidate looking for a stable career opportunity with this position, or are they looking to gain experience in order to go get work somewhere else? For those looking to climb ranks quickly, they may become frustrated or disheartened with a long-term job that often comes with steady growth over a longer period of time, especially if promotions are harder to come by. Instead, they may want to shop around companies as soon as they get some experience to seek higher pay and better benefits in a shorter period of time.

Candidates that express how they look forward to staying with your company long-term to truly learn the ins and outs of the position show greater potential for becoming long-term employees.

As far as promotions and long-term opportunities that come with the position you are hiring for, it is extremely important to be upfront about what a candidate should expect long-term within the company. If a role has historically not come with promotions or much movement, make sure a candidate is aware that it’s something that might not come with the position.

Find a candidate that is choosing the position and company, not just settling 

When a candidate is choosing to sign on to the offered position, you don’t want a candidate that is simply settling “for now.” You’ll want a candidate that has expressed a genuine desire for choosing the offered position within your company – this desire can directly translate to them wanting to stay within the company rather than waiting around for the next offer that comes their way.

A candidate that has a personality and mindset that is a perfect fit for your company culture can settle into your company long-term. Even if they don’t necessarily have the same skills you would want from a typical candidate from the get-go, a candidate that wouldn’t clash with your company’s culture is more likely to stay long-term than a skilled employee that does not mesh well with your company’s culture.

Long-term employees bring many benefits to the company and you can alter your recruiting and hiring process to increase your chances of bringing long-term employees to your team.

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