October 13, 2021

Why Are Candidates Bailing On Jobs?

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Why are candidates leaving jobs after just a couple of months? Or even just a couple of weeks? From onboarding training (or lack thereof) to challenges engaging a remote community, we’re unpacking the reason why candidates are leaving jobs so soon.

Emily Goor, Director of Sales and Ryan Brown, Director of HR also discuss why candidates should give their new jobs a chance and what companies can do to get new employees to stay for the long haul.

Episode Transcript

Hey everyone! I’m Emily Goor, I am a director on our sales recruiting practice and this is Ryan Brown. I’m a director on our HR practice. Great to be here! I’m nervous. This is my first time doing something live, but very excited to share some market insights with everybody.

We have. We’ve been chatting. We’ve been seeing a trend recently and I have to be honest. It’s not a trend that I love. It’s not the best trend. It’s definitely not. If there were other trends that we can rate against it, I think this one may be close to the bottom.

Well, what we want to talk to you guys about today is candidates leaving their jobs. Why candidates should give jobs a chance rather than leaving a job within the first few weeks or even the first few months. Exactly. And I think we need to talk about like one, why do candidates do this? What are some of the reasons?

And then also discuss a little bit of why you should give it more of a chance and why you should stay. And then also it’s going to be important for employers that are watching this to know what they can do to retain folks early on. So Em, what are some of the top reasons that candidates are leaving jobs within either the first few weeks or first few months?

I would say a few things. They’re not happy with the training. The onboarding is not great, isn’t really getting them up to speed. I’d also say it’s just not what they expected in terms of job responsibilities, right? You go through an interview process, you learn what will the day look like in this job?

What are the things that I’m going to be responsible for? And it just doesn’t align with what a candidate heard in the interview process. Yeah, absolutely. Another thing I think honestly, we’re seeing a lot right now is people are accepting jobs just to get a job, but they’re actually still looking for jobs when they get that job.

I was just going to say, I think we’re seeing that more than ever in this market because it is so candidate driven. We’re seeing a lot of salary inflation. So I think a lot of folks in various positions are constantly being inundated by LinkedIn messages, by recruiters and getting hit up

and the next job may seem like it’s even better than the one they’re in currently because comp has potentially increased. But the end of the day, you have to really think about what that looks like as a job seeker if you start a new position and leave rather quickly, if that’s the driving factor for you.

Yeah. And I think compensation shouldn’t be like a weird thing. I think people get uncomfortable talking about compensation. I get it. It’s an important thing and a lot of people do leave jobs for compensation, but I think we have to go back to like that there are other reasons to accept a job.

And I think there’s kind of that aspect of dangling the carrot like you said, you accept a job but then you see in your LinkedIn inbox because the market is so crazy right now. I’m sure a lot of you candidates are getting hit up left and right on LinkedIn. You see this like shiny compensation on your inbox,

so even if you’ve just accepted a job, you’re still like, “Oh well, I’m open to hearing about this other job.” Exactly. I think one of the other major trends that we’re seeing with regards to candidates leaving really early on is this new fully remote world that a lot of people are existing in and I think fitting into an organization could seem a little bit more difficult for folks because it is all virtual.

Instead of having the opportunity to meet somebody in the office or grab a cup of coffee with them in person, people are kind of missing the fact that you can still do that in a virtual world. Like schedule some time to have coffee with someone or meet folks or you have to kind of get creative with how you’re doing that.

But I think that’s a really big thing that a lot of candidates are struggling with, just not feeling like they’re fitting in quickly into an organization because it’s all remote. Yeah. Just not feeling that connection to a company that maybe was easier to initially create when we were not in a remote setting.

Yeah, exactly. So, I mean, these are just some of the reasons why we think candidates are leaving jobs within the first few weeks. But I mean, we can also kind of get into why should candidates stay? I think this talent insights is interesting because I actually think that candidates should be watching this

and companies should also be watching this. So I just want to say that. That this is, we are creating this for a pretty wide audience. Yeah, exactly. So it’s really hard to determine what a job even is within the first few weeks or months because you’re doing all of your onboarding during that time, right?

You’re not really immersed into your responsibilities quite yet. So how can you actually decide whether or not you like someone in that amount of timeframe if you haven’t been fully integrated into your responsibilities? You can’t. 100- I’m like you. I mean, I’ve heard and I’ll be honest with you.

We’re creating this because we’ve experienced this recently. Candidates are leaving within the first, I mean, there recently it’s been like even a week at the job and they’re like, “I don’t like it.” How do you know you? Don’t you. I just, I think it’s really important to realize that what you are doing in a job in the first

two weeks, three weeks, even four or five, six weeks during onboarding and training that’s not going to be reflective of what the actual job is going to look like big picture down the line. And I think we forget sometimes, there’s a learning curve. Yep. Right? You just, you gotta give it some time, especially if this is a new industry, a career change.

I mean, honestly, any new job, even if you’re in the same industry in a similar role. There’s going to be some sort of learning curve and it’s just going to take time to get acclimated and to learn and get up to speed and be fully in the job operating on your own. Totally. And you don’t know what you don’t know yet, right?

So just like any new experience, you have to give it time to get all of the information and decide at that point if it’s the right fit or not, but you’re not going to have all of that insight early on. You’re just not. Let’s talk about the flip side now. What do we think employers can do to ensure that new employees

don’t leave within the first few weeks or months. Yeah and this is something I think is really, really key because it’s not just on the candidates. Of course there’s always exceptions to rules, but if a candidate is unhappy, there’s more than likely something that an employer can do to change that and keep them retained and make them a bit happier in their role.

So I think it’s vital for employers to do regular check-ins with new hires, especially during those really important first 90 days and then some. Making sure that you’re asking questions like are you happy? Do you feel like you have enough support? Or how is training and onboarding going? Are there any gaps in that where you still have questions?

Do you have any concerns so far? What are some of the areas that maybe we can do better? And then finally, is this role what you expected it to be? Because I think that piece is really important, how the role is portrayed during an interview process versus what it actually means. And if there’s a gap with that, then that’s on the employer to address not necessarily the candidate to fix.

And that’s going to go miles on both ends. You’re going to give the employer the information that hopefully they need to, if there are gaps improve and make it better. People want to be heard and people love giving feedback. So that’s also going to feel so great to a new employee to be asked for feedback, to be asked how they’re feeling, even if they aren’t happy that might like immediately turn it around for them in thinking “Wow, I wasn’t really happy but I love that

they want my opinion. I love that they want to make things better” that in itself already improved the situation. Just asking. The action of asking for feedback. I also think it goes back to what we were saying before is just kind of providing an inclusive environment whether it’s setting up lunches or coffees, maybe they are in person, maybe you’re in the same city and can get together, or it’s a zoom check-in or it’s a zoom rapid fire questions game.

But just so they’re not kind of tasked with reaching out to people on their own, because I can imagine if I were a new employee stepping into a remote setting, it would be a little bit daunting to reach out to people to set things up on my own. So don’t make new employees do that heavylift.

Yeah. Imagine how overwhelming that would be, especially because you don’t really know quite yet the structure of the organization, like who you should be meeting with and things like- it’s really overwhelming. So doing that on behalf of a new employee will go a really long way. But I think what’s vital about everything that we’ve talked about is the fact that

communication is key. There’s always going to be exceptions to these rules, of course. Of course there could be some scenarios where very early on it’s apparent to somebody that it’s not the right fit. And maybe those are things that we didn’t cover in today’s segment but it’s important to communicate whether that be with your employer, your manager, if you worked with a recruiter

like myself or Emily and very early on you’re not feeling happy, talk to us. We’re here to advocate on behalf of you and we have strong relationships with our clients so we can help to kind of be that medium and facilitate conversations on your behalf or at least get something started if necessary.

Can I give kind of a hot take here? Give the hot take. Let’s hear it. As a recruiter, it almost hurts sometimes when I hear a candidate has left without me knowing. Not only is this our job, but we do- I get emotionally invested in the interview process with my candidates.

I feel it with you, I’m excited when you get to the next round, I’m sad when you don’t, when you get the job, I’m ecstatic. So it’s almost like, I feel shunned or left out when I hear from a client, “Oh yeah, so-and-so left after two weeks or left after one month” communicate with us. We are so along for the ride.

And like you said, we are 100% here to advocate for you as the candidate and for the client as well. If things aren’t working out with a candidate in the first few weeks, like you said, communication is just key. A lot of the times it just needs to be worked out and things need to be just more open.

Totally. We want to hear it. We do. I think people get scared too, to reach out like, “Hey, you helped me get this job and I’m actually not loving it.” Don’t be scared. Trust me, we’d rather hear it than not. We’d rather hear that you’re maybe unhappy and thinking I don’t know, then hear that you’ve left like three weeks into the job.

Talk to us. We want to help you. We appreciate y’all listening from the company side, from the candidate side about just giving your job a chance and staying at your job. Give it some time.

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