Being and Hiring a Quitter
At every single recruiting industry event I’ve attended in the last five years, there has been a speaker or breakout session about personal branding. Personal branding or “CEO of Me”, in one form or another, is also the topic of probably 25% of all recruiting articles I’ve read during the same period. Something about this topic always made me bristle, though I could never really put a finger on why. I knew the right question, what are the unintended consequences of everyone being a brand or “CEO of Me?” but I didn’t understand the historical social and economic philosophies that got us here. I was nowhere near an actual answer. The other day I think I found an article to scratch that itch. Titled, “The Quitting Economy,” https://aeon.co/essays/how-work-changed-to-make-us-all-passionate-quitters
Ilana Gershon associate professor of anthropology at Indiana University, Bloomington, looks at the consequences caused by employers treating employees as short-term assets, employees, “reinvent themselves as marketable goods, always ready to quit.”
The relationship between employees and employers has become transactional. The employer takes the production and employee takes the experience. This attitude could partially explain the job switching trends in an article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/08/15/is-linkedin-trying-to-protect-your-data-or-hoard-it/?utm_term=.4e2e16702057) from the August 18th Washington Post. Author Brian Fung references a, “Gallup survey last year found that 93 percent of job-switchers left their old company for a new one; just 7 percent took a new job within the same organization.” That’s an enormous and meaningful gap. It looks like people are using a “hit and run” career model rather than traditional linear career trajectory. As Gershon suggests, “In the quitting economy, you have to work for passion, and working for passion means focusing on the task, not the company.”
What does that mean for recruiters? How will this change how you might approach a passively seeking candidate? Should your hiring managers change their pitch to accommodate the knowledge that this person will and arguably should quit within the next 2-5 years? When everyone is a quitter, how does that change your responsibility to your colleagues? These are just some of the questions raised by the arguments in this article.
John Rice is the Director of Business Development at NSS RPO, a consulting firm that provides on-site and virtual recruiting professionals. Contact NSS RPO to learn about how we can help your organization meet and exceed it’s hiring goals.