When you’re seeking to hire a new legal support staff member, you don’t merely look for skills and education. You also look for someone who offers the right “fit” with your organization, so that you can continue to build the cohesive team your clients trust to provide them with quality legal representation.
Unfortunately, some legal support professionals “jump” from job to job without ever settling down with one firm or department. Here are three ways to tell whether a candidate’s job hopping should raise a red flag – and how your staffing partner can help:
The candidate chose to leave several jobs – several times.
Some jobs end due to circumstances outside the candidate’s control. This is particularly true of temp or contract work, which has a fixed end date.
When a candidate has accepted long-term positions in the past and then left them after a few months, however, a hiring manager would be wise to take note. Candidates who choose to stay in temp work may do so for the flexibility it affords, and it’s worth asking why these candidates are choosing more long-term work now. Candidates who have “chosen” long-term work in the past merely to give it up as if it were a temp position, however, may be subject to whim, rather than planning.
The candidate can’t really name a successful project or accomplishment.
Temporary or contract work, or employment that ended due to a law firm or department merger or restructure, should give good candidates the opportunity to succeed in their work. Any promising legal support candidate, regardless of resume, should be able to provide examples of professional accomplishments they’re proud of or projects they successfully completed. A candidate who appears to have been job hopping and who can’t name these accomplishments may not have stayed in any one job long enough to succeed – which should raise concerns.
No one can give a good explanation why the candidate left.
The candidate may not be able to explain why she left a particular role. Or the explanation may be full of bitterness, blame, or excuses. While anyone can fall into one or two bad positions, the longer this list is, the more worrisome a candidate becomes.
Likewise, if the candidate’s references can’t give a good explanation for the candidate’s leaving – such as “she went back to school” or “he felt he wasn’t being challenged here” – the candidate may be a job hopper with no real direction or passion for the work.
Your recruiter can help you check references and ask probing questions that will help you uncover job-hopping behavior. At Kent Legal, our clients rely on us to match them with the best legal support talent for their law firm’s or legal department’s goals, practice areas, and needs. Contact us today to learn more.