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Rarely do you see someone being with the same company for 30 years any longer.  As a recruiter, would you rather see long tenure with one organization, or a varied background with multiple experiences from multiple companies?

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Wow. A lot of variables here.... if we're talking 30 + years with the SAME organization... well, how adaptable is the person? Furthermore, how much longer do they even want to be in the workforce? I know someone's going to yell at me for that one, but it's something to consider. What sort of career progression have they had? Perhaps moved departments, has the company been bought/sold in that time, new management, new direction.... and the big one - why leave NOW?

Personally, I'm more comfortable with varied background, but not a job hopper. It seems that 5-7 years each with a couple of companies is almost the sweet spot for many mid-level or management roles.

Thought provoking question for sure. I've never personally placed someone with that much tenure with one company Would love to hear from recruiters who have, and how that worked. I am not opposed to it at all, just never a scenario I've faced.

As a recruiter, it strictly depends on which client I am sending them to. I have a few that would love this, and some that would have some of Amy's questions. I'm not sure that the 30 years has actually come up, but I have placed people that have 15+ at the same company. Now, the clients that like that do have some other things they expect: candidate progressed within the organization, etc. 

From a hiring manager perspective, whenever I had a resume in front of me with lengthy experience at the same employer my main question was why they were leaving and also tried to get a feel for their personality and how that might affect their transition to another company.

The varied background thing really depends on how varied and why so varied - excluding "job hoppers" the only question is do they have qualifications to do the job I'm filling. 

It would depend on the reference i got from the long term employer.  If the candidate is a slug who was happy to get his butt to work do his job and check out at five for 30 years, i am not excited about him.  If he woke up after 30 years and got mad and left i have a hard time placing Rip Van Winkle.

If i ask the candidate why now and why not before now and he says , "I was happy until my job was eliminated, he has had upward mobility during his tenure and good references, i can sell that all day long.

I'd rather see a varied background with multiple experiences - but I would look to see how long they stayed at those companies. When someone stays at a company for 30 years, it says to me that they are afraid to take a risk and that they might have a harder time integrating into a new corporate culture.   It's a fine line though... if you change jobs every 6-9 months - that also looks like you aren't giving your current company a chance to teach you something.  The sweet spot for me is around 2 years. I recruit in the technology sector where things change constantly and if someone hasn't learned new tools by moving around they won't be able to make a big impact in their new job for a long time.

This is such an interesting topic.  I really should have presented the question as 10-15 years rather than 30.  Rarely do you see anyone with that much experience any longer.  I like all of your responses.  Amy- like you said, there are so many variables.  I agree with Sandra also.  If someone has been with the company for a long time, they are too comfortable and they are an 8 to 5 person.  I believe in today's market, knowlege trumps tenure.  It is so interesting.  A 180 from 10 years ago.  With a lot of the Gen Y candidates, I think short term stints with increased knowledge base will be preferred.  Still, I am old school and 5-7 years is where an Ideal candidate would be for me.  Malia- IT is where 2 years would be preferred the most- I 100% agree with you also. 

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