Q: My company has experienced constant turnover since I started 10 months ago. I like the company and my position, but the constant turnover makes me nervous. Should I be looking around? It seems like everyone is leaving and “ringing the bell” (which means making more money than they ever thought). When should an employee start looking for a new job? I thought for sure I would be here for several years.
A: Great question. When others are running for the door, it certainly does seem like a reasonable time to re-assess your situation. Everyone’s situation though is a bit different. Some employees enjoy the work on their desk, while others are working for the employee benefits or perhaps a reasonable commute. Typically, there are several factors which influence an employee’s decision to remain with the company. Even “constant turnover” can be unnerving as sometimes it has a ripple effect and impacts other roles within a company. We all have different tolerance levels for turbulence though. Some of us are ok with some chaos, while others run in the opposite direction.
Most hiring managers question resumes when a candidate has remained with a job for less than one year. However, some employers, especially in the start-up world, are more forgiving with respect to shorter stints. Other employers, typically larger and more mature companies, will view a one-year stint as a yellow flag. However, if your resume indicates a pattern of short tenures, that is a red flag for most hiring managers.
You also raise the issue of increase compensation, with a new role. Often times a job change does yield an increase in compensation. However, candidates must evaluate the total compensation. If the candidate is losing a 401(k) match, is the increase in base pay truly an increase in total compensation? Does the new employer offer a comparable medical plan? If so, what is the employee’s contribution? Does the new role require the employee to purchase a monthly parking pass? Truthfully many exiting employees embellish and play up their new offer. The new offer, shared with colleagues, is not exactly the offer the employee has accepted.
I always recommend that all employees, regardless of their role and tenure, keep their resumes updated. I update my resume every January and I have had my own company for 18 years. It is an uncertain world.
Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.