Three Reasons Companies Need to Define a Clear Career Path Before Interviewing.

By: Matt Gainsford


Your company’s at a place where it’s a little uncomfortable.  You’re busting at the seams and don’t have enough people to keep up.  You need to hire top performers to meet all your demands, but the candidate market is tight.  You’ve lost some top talent to that disruptive start-up that’s looking more attractive than you.

You’ve got your shortlist of candidates, and you’re about to start your first round of interviews. Before you get to that standard question, “Where do you see yourself in five years,” let’s stop and ask a few questions:

  1. Does this question communicate innovation to top talent?
  2. Does this question show the candidate the hiring team was prepared for the interview before the interview?
  3. Is this question conveying your company has a clear vision for the future?

If you answered no to the above, then this blog is for you!  Read further and discover three reasons why the hiring team needs to take responsibility for creating a clear career path for each candidate before the interview process begins.  Your company, not the candidate, needs to answer the question, where do you see the candidate in five years?  Here’s why:

Value. That age-old question of “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, is almost unanswerable for a candidate in an interview. Mapping out a career path for the candidate before the interview puts the onus on the hiring team and shows the candidate that career development is important to your organization.

A recent article illustrates that the lack of career development is one of the main reasons for declining retention. If you have a career path ready to go for your candidate, you automatically show them you’re proactive and interested in their personal growth.

Mapping out career progression also shows your company is growth-minded.  Your company has clear goals and objectives and believes the candidate is going to be a key component in helping your organization achieve these goals. In short, the candidate has value and is not just a commodity. Remember, candidates are not a part of your story, you are a part of theirs…

Investment – Every journey starts with a single step. Candidates are looking for the next step.  Your challenge is to show them that next step, and you can do this by showing them a clear career path during the interview process. Don’t give them a reason to come, give them a reason to stay. If you are going to have this person invest in you, make sure you know where you are going to invest in them.

Future-proofing – You want this person to succeed, and if they are successful, you want them to stay. You aren’t hiring for an immediate need, you’re anticipating growth. Happy employees are the best advocates for your company, the most productive and the most loyal. By having a clearly defined career path and (where possible) promoting from within, you boost morale and culture. There is nothing that says that you trust your teams, your people, and hiring process more than the tangible promise of opportunity realized.

Make sure you have a career path clearly defined for your candidate before the interview.  This proactive behavior will pay dividends down the road.

If you’d like more information on how to use your hiring process to increase retention, connect with us.  We’d love to start a conversation.


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