Can Acceptable Reasons For Leaving Affect Marketability?

Can Acceptable Reasons For Leaving Affect Marketability?

At what point should a hiring manager move past a candidates short duration of employment and focus in on their skills and ability to get the job done?  When is an excuse acceptable or not?

Here are some questions that we’re always asked about regarding candidates and previous employment:


quit-jobThis is a touchy subject to a recruiter, since most of our candidates are not actively seeking a new job. Instead, we use our connections and tools to find quality candidates and reach out, feel out if there could be interest, and try to shed the opportunities that fit in the best light.  So, sometimes they don’t exactly have a reason for leaving their current job if this new opportunity were offered to them.

Ultimately, there is a reason why they answered the recruiter’s call/email or applied for the position.  Salary, broken promises, vacation, benefits, work/life balance, continuing education, remote work–there are many reasons people could give. Almost all are acceptable.  We’re mainly looking to see if there is discord, negative vibes, leaving on a sour note, conflict and anything that could lead us to believe this will occur again at a future company.  


Similar to what reasons they give for leaving their current job, an insight into how they have handled their professional exits from prior employers is viewed under a microscope. Having one short stay with a company is typically fine, but many in a row will need real explanations. A recurring theme will present the hiring manager with an arsenal of why this will happen again and again.  If a candidate always picks bad companies, what does that say about your company if they pick you?

More or less, hiring managers feel like they need to hire someone that will be at their company for the next ten years.  If you have a history of leaving every place in less than two years you’re already on the radar to be removed from the running even before a first interview.  Today, maybe more than ever, people are moving around more frequently so there is an acceptance of a move or two.  If you are a candidate reading this, I would emphasise to select your next company wisely and do everything in your power to stay for more than two years to remove one additional layer of doubt from the prospective hiring manager’s denial arsenal.


Hiring managers always look at employment duration and usually allow for a couple job hops.  However, they will look closely at the reasons and try to read between the lines to determine if there is a clear and present danger of history repeating itself if they hire a particular candidate.  Reasonable explanations go a long way towards a positive outcome, but too many short stops will definitely put the brakes on a candidate’s ability to go further in the process.


The Marks Group is a technical recruiter that is hired by businesses to deliver precise technology candidates.  We are a recruiting leader in Salesforce. We deliver exceptional candidates in software such as Salesforce, Marketo, Adobe Marketing Cloud, HubSpot, Pardot, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Microsoft and more.


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