Hey, Employers... They All Leave. How To Deal With Overqualified or Potentially Bored Candidates

Occasionally I hear remarkably stupid things come from the mouths of otherwise highly intelligent employers, executives and hiring managers. 

Here is one such recent example. “Bradley, that candidate is great, but we are going to pass because I think that she will ultimately get bored and leave in a couple of years."

Which part of that do I tackle first? Hmmm… Like Tosh.O… let’s look at this week's breakdown. 

a.) “I think the candidate is great” 

Winner! Isn’t that what we are all after? Score! Keep reading though… the wheels are about to fly off. 

b.) “But we are going to pass because I think she will ultimately get bored” 

Fair, BUT that’s YOUR job to keep her engaged, challenged, properly rewarded, recognized and motivated to actually WANT to stay! 

Sure, the good ones might get bored, but don’t they say that about the really bright kids in school too? “Johnny just gets bored and isn’t challenged.” 

but wait for it… the train wreck is in the final statement. 

c.) “… and will leave in a couple of years.”


You’re scared of hiring a “great” employee who will contribute, kick butt and help the organization for at least two years or more (if you just make sure you manage correctly and treat her right), because she “MIGHT” leave in a couple of years? 

Here is the absurdity of that logic

You mean to tell me you would rather get someone mediocre but will stay with you or keep looking for an average person who will stick because they aren't good enough to leave; rather than have a crack at greatness where the worst case is you have a productive rock star for two years and the best case is you keep them?

Let me put this in personal terms and tell me if you would make this same choice.

That is equivalent to choosing a spouse, partner, boyfriend / girlfriend who IS NOT TOO good looking or TOO funny or TOO outgoing or successful etc. because at least you don’t have to worry about them MAYBE leaving you for someone else years down the road? 

Put another way... 

So you won’t go out with the gorgeous, interesting, successful person who you think would be a great fit…. because they MAY leave you YEARS down the road, but there is also the chance that you MAY have the love of your life or at least years of happiness? 

Hmm. Interesting… You’re confidence IS impressive. (Snarkiness is by design)

No one stays forever anymore. 

Tenure or how long someone stays with a company has changed dramatically in the past few years.

I still have employers who think someone is a “Job Hopper” if they haven’t stayed somewhere five years.

That used to be the case but now, if someone stays 3 years, that is solid. 

This is even more true for Millennials and people entering the workforce today who really expect to move up or on in a few years. 

Everything... including employees and companies have a shelf life

When you buy a car, do you plan on having that car forever? No. You hope to get 3-5 years out of it and then think about getting a new one. It has a shelf life.

You got great use out of it, but when it’s time to sell it or trade it in or when it gives up and needs repairs, there are no tears or disappointment.

You knew it going in and the car met your expectations, and in some cases you’re lucky and may get a few more thousand miles out of it. 

If you’re not going to hire the best candidate because you’re worried they might eventually leave you, remember the words musician, hair icon and amateur herbologist Bob Marley,  - “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”

Here is the big takeaway… They ALL leave eventually, but they leave sooner if you don’t treat them right. 

Go for the best, enjoy the ride while it last and work like hell everyday to make it last as long as you can every day.

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