Common Reasons People Stay at a Company

Feb 26, 2015

Video Transcript

Welcome to Inside Kimmel. I’m Charlie Kimmel. Today, we’re going to discuss the common reasons why people stay with their current employers. As recruiters, we talk to 1,500 to 2,000 professionals every single day. And in doing that for the past 34 years, we’ve gained a wealth of knowledge into why people are perfectly happy where they are. So in this episode, I’m going to share with you four of those points that we see most commonly.

It’s Not The Money

The first point to make is it’s not the money. People don’t stay at a company because of the money. Money’s important. Companies need to be competitive. And people will make the mistake of making a change for money. But that is not one of the four most common reasons why we see people making a change. I discussed this in the previous episode. So, if you should have an interest, take a look at that one for more detail.

Challenging Work

The first most common reason we hear for people staying at their current employer is they’re challenged by the work. People that are productive, employees that are productive, professionals who want to continue to grow and benefit a company, always want to be challenged. And so we know when we hear in the process of a recruiting call, if somebody says, “Oh, I really love it here. I love the work. It’s such a challenge.” Whether it be the size of a project or the scope or learning something new, developing something for the company, if the person is challenged and they feel engaged and excited to come to work every day, because of that challenge, they’re generally not going to make a change, through our experience.


The second most common reason that people stay with their current employer that we hear is friends. They have friends at the company. They enjoy the people that they work with. There is a culture of fellowship with the company. It’s very hard to leave your friends. It’s not so hard to leave a job. It’s not so hard to leave a particular project. But when you’re faced with the idea of losing good friends, going to another company and not being in contact with them every day, that’s tough to do. It’s tough to pull the trigger on. So we hear that quite often.

There was an experience of a candidate that when asked if they’d be interested in another position, they said, “I can’t leave. I can’t leave these people. When I was going through a divorce, these were the only people that were here for me. And every day, they supported me through that tough time in my life.” And we know that person’s never going to make a change. So, think of it as friends, but enjoying the people you work for, having a culture of fellowship, coming in every day, and interacting with people you enjoy.


The third reason is family. You have to remember that in making a job change, 51% of the decision is going to be held by the spouse. I like to kid around that you threw the kids in there, then you have a super majority. So if the family doesn’t want to make a change, the person isn’t going to make a change. And we know that to be a fact.

I’ve had an actual candidate say this, that they won’t be interested in speaking with me about any position. And when I said, “Why?” he said, “Well, my wife would kill me. She loves this company. She has friends at this company. And our kids are involved in the company as well.” So, when the family’s engaged in a company, the person is entrenched in that company. Because it’s real difficult to go home and tell your family, your kids, that you’re taking something away from them. So, we find that those people are going to be with their company for quite a long time.


The fourth reason, and we believe the most important reason, is people stay with companies where they feel safe, where they trust the employer. A simple story about that that I think will make it ring true is talking to a candidate and asked them would you be interested in making a change. He said, “No, I’m never going to leave this company.” And I said, “Well, why?” He said, “Well, during my first week of employment here, I had to relocate. It’s my wife’s hometown, so I’m not familiar with the town. But it was a good job, so I decided to take it. Driving home on the freeway and I get a flat tire. Torrential downpour, really uncomfortable, I’m on the side of the road. I’ve got this rental car, and I’m trying to change the tire. I noticed somebody’s pulled up next to me, and they get out of the car in a business suit and help me change the tire. It takes about 10 or 15 minutes. And it’s awkward. We laugh, and we have a good time, and I go on my merry way.

Well, that person was the president of the company. He thought enough about me to stop and help me, somebody he doesn’t even really know, has met one time on a busy Friday afternoon, and helped me change the tire. That was ten years ago. And I couldn’t even have a conversation about some of the positions that I was looking for.”

The reason why? He trusted that person. He trusted that company. And that’s just an example of what we’re talking about. If the people trust their employer and they feel safe there that they’re going to be there for an extended period of time, they’re not going to leave.

So those are the most common reasons we found in our 34 years of doing this that people stay with their current employers. Thank you for watching. We hope you learned something.

About the Author

Charlie Kimmel

As President and CEO, Charlie has dedicated his 25+ year career to executive search at Kimmel & Associates. Charlie joined Kimmel & Associates in 1990 as a Recruiter. In 1993, he graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where he received a BA in History.

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