It is not always the best thing to hire employees with the intention of keeping them forever.

In the first part of this two-part series, we reviewed the valuable role for now employees can play at key points in an organization's life cycle. This article explains how to embrace the differences between for now and forever employees and tailor the hiring process to bring in the most appropriate candidate.

Where are we?

To most effectively hire the most appropriate candidate, it is best to determine before posting the position whether the role at this moment is ideally for now or forever.

The easiest way to do this is to ask one simple question: Must this exact position exist to ensure the company succeeds forever or just for right now? In other words, will the skills of the ideal candidate help the organization get through this phase or are these skills necessary regardless of the phase?

Do you take this man?

Most recruiting advice focuses on hiring employees for the long term. Common interview questions tend to address this:

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What are your career goals, and how does this position fit in?

Answers to these questions can help the interviewer determine the candidate's mindset and how that fits into the organization's goals.

In addition, postings for forever jobs often focus on keywords like commitment, loyalty, development and an overall "grow with us" theme. The ideal resume of a forever job-seeker often reflects a few long-term positions or many promotions within the same company. And the ideal candidate and her resume may also include a professional objective to grow within the organization or a desire to understand the career path and professional development options the company provides.

What are you doing Friday night?

On the flip side, when trying to find a for now specialist, it is critical to keep the differences between the two types of candidates in mind when screening and interviewing. For example, the resume of a specialist may show several short-term roles. While this may send up a yellow flag in a forever employee search, it is a can be a positive indication that the specialist truly understands the nature of her role and moves on once she has accomplished it.

The key is to be clear when creating and posting the role whether the organization is looking for an employee with experience in a specific area that is ready to help the company succeed in this phase or an employee who understands the role and is looking for a place to grow her career.

Next steps

The best way to hire the most appropriate employee for the current phase of the organization is to understand and accept the fact that not every employee should or will stay forever. By embracing this, each role can be categorized up front as phase-specific or long-term.

And while it is great to find a specialist who can become a long-term employee, it is not necessary. Keeping that in mind during the screening and hiring process can make losing or letting the employee go at the end of the phase a lot easier.