By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
Naturally, you want to know why candidates would leave where they work so you make sure you have something to offer. Unfortunately, “why do you want to leave?” won’t get you an answer you can use.
Even though they are interviewing, many (most?) candidates haven’t made a conscious decision to change. As a result, “why do you want to leave?” will leave them grasping for an answer. Try these instead:
- What do you do now that you’d like to do less of? What would you like to do that you’re not getting to do? Listen for whether your opportunity can fix either of these problems, then use that as ammunition at the offer stage.
- What is the next rung on the career ladder where you are, and what have you been told about what it takes to get there? Listen for how strongly your candidate is focused on career advancement. Do you hear reasonable expectations, or will your candidate be just as frustrated at your practice?
- What would you miss the most if you left your practice? The answers (and the length of the list) will give you clues on how to position your opportunity.
- What will your employer say when you announce you’ve accepted another offer? The answer (definitive? fuzzy?) helps you know whether you’re talking to a serious candidate or a tire-kicker. You can also get an early-warning about the potential for counter-offer.
It’s easy to default to “why are you leaving?” A little extra effort, however, will get you a lot more to work with.