Today we live in a word where blunt instruments rarely work and yet many companies continue to use them in their hiring practices. I’m often on the phone with a client or meeting in person and they look at a resume I’ve submitted. They scan the resume and say “They’ve moved around a lot.”
Yet I have met with agency principals that talk about how they have turned over more than half their entire staff in the last year because they wanted to shake things up. They create the problem that they criticize but wisdom doesn’t come easily to many in the New Normal.
Longevity doesn’t predict career success in many ways although many companies and their employees swear by it. That theory over indexes with people that haven’t lost their job in a while.
Why do so many companies still love the hiring road plan of the past? Did they not experience the Great Recession?
Yes, we all grew up with the longevity measure in the Old Normal but those measures don’t work today. The world has changed dramatically. When AOL was launched in 1985 the average person used the Internet an hour a week. Today, Wi-Fi flows through our blood.
I grew up with the same drill. A long career track is the way to go. But that is the way the world was then.
The longest tenure I have had with a company was the 10 years I worked for J Walter Thompson. I worked in three different offices in two countries during those 10 years. I moved around a lot.
JWT Chicago office was founded in 1891 and when I worked there they had over 700 employees. That was quite the ride. That office created some of the greatest advertising lines in the world when people actually watched advertising.
That office closed a few years ago in the Great Recession. Many long term employees met the New Normal instantly.
The longest tenure I have ever had with one company is working for myself. Even longer than the ten years I spent at JWT. During this time of working for myself I have moved around a lot because I have changed what I do often as technology and the economy changes us all daily. The iPhone is younger than many of your children.
Yet many people haven’t changed. They think employment patterns follow the past. The best way for them to learn the New Normal is get fired but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
The security of sitting in a chair with a paycheck deposited every two weeks can distance some hiring managers from the way the world works today and remove them from the way successful companies hire today.
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