There are plenty of factors that come into play when Kevin O’Leary is assessing a potential hire, but there’s one “red flag” that he looks for before anything else: Candidates that are “bouncing all over the place.”
If an applicant’s resume shows them holding multiple jobs over the past two years, “I simply put it into the garbage, because we’re not going to look at that person,” the “Money Court” judge and O’Shares ETFs chairman tells CNBC Make It.
“Companies don’t like it because they invest in you,” he says, naming financial commitments that range from the onboarding and training process to sending equipment to remote workers. “If you’re going to leave them after a few months, that’s a total waste of money for them.”
O’Leary stresses that when you apply to a new job, you should be prepared to invest your time.
“Have a mental commitment, whether you like [the job] or you don’t, to stay there for at least two years,” he says. “If you’re asking to become part of a team as an employee and represent that company, you’ve got to have a minimum of a 24-month commitment.”
O’Leary’s advice lines up with a 2018 survey by job site TalentWorks, which analyzed a random sample of nearly 7,000 job applications in different industries all over the U.S. and found that employees who held their previous job for less than 15 months were 43% less likely to be hired when applying for new jobs.
Having a short stint at your previous job is equivalent to wiping out nearly five years of experience from your resume, the survey found.
That’s because hiring managers routinely spend less than one minute reviewing resumes, and aren’t likely to give an applicant the benefit of the doubt or think “deeply” about why they left their previous role, TalentWorks says.
But the rule isn’t set in stone, according to bestselling management author Suzy Welch, who previously told CNBC Make It that you can be a little more flexible with the guidelines if you’ve stuck around longer in previous jobs. For example, if you have a five-year stint at one company, then you have the ability to have one or two six-month or eight-month job entries on your resume, Welch said.
The Harvard Business Review, meanwhile, previously reported that “it’s become a part of life” for employees to jump between jobs often, and that employers are less likely to hold it against you now than they were in the past.