Are the years of service critical?

Do the years a candidate served at the previous workplaces matter to employ a good talent?



a year ago | 5 min read

In this country's labor market, there is an incomprehensible employment culture, at least, I want to insist.

My story about working overseas started just five years ago. As a foreign labor force that describes me, I have been working for about five years as a full-time employee in this country since I came here again in February 2018. I had prepared to work outside my home country for a year while knocking on tens of the doors of companies in Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. I came across the diverse cultures of these countries when I met interviewers and was in the process of employment. From then to now, I have had doubts about where the country I am currently working.

I picked up only part of my full stories in this story and want to discuss it briefly. This article is my first story at I want to introduce my other stories step by step, so please understand.

Regarding the working environment of countries, I have experienced up to now, I categorize them into two groups of their labor conditions. One group does not care how many years a candidate has worked at one previous company, and the other group focuses on the number of years, in other words, 'years of service.'

As much as I experienced, Singapore, one of the Southeast Asian countries, has accepted the Western employment culture. When I had several interviews in the country of hub island, I had chances to meet a recruiting agent and a person in charge of recruiting for a consulting firm I applied once. They did not care how many companies I had worked for in my career. I was a newbie in the labor market then and had only a few experiences with three internships. They did not care about the years I worked at each company. As a 28-year-old boy, I was a little late in trying to get my first regular job in the labor market. However, it does not matter since they did not emphasize those. What was essential was, at that time, what I contributed to doing at the companies I applied. I failed to get a new job in Merlion City, but it remains a valuable experience.

I have worked at four start-up companies in the country I live now. Respectively, I worked for (1) a year and two months, (2) eight months, (3) eleven months, and (4) I have been working at my current workplace for two years and three months. Is it bad? At all the interviews except two from the last autumn to find my fifth full-time job, the interviewers asked why I worked just a year and a year at different companies. After listening to my work experiences, they always asked me why I quit. Hey, dear interviewers, I don't come here to talk about the past, but rather, the future. They seemed uninterested in what I will have done to them in the future.

I have worked for about two and a half years at my current workplace. I could get a job here through some job interviews three years ago. At least, a person in charge of recruitment, my senior, and the CEO, the founder of the workplace, did not care what I did. So, I could make results with them. I proved that the past is optional to progress in the future. I raised about 80 million US dollars as the person in charge of finance and fundraising. I could achieve it thanks to my priceless experiences at my previous workplaces before coming to this company. I put my effort into sales, corporate planning, and fundraising. Especially corporate planning and fundraising became my primary competency. Throughout my career only for five years, I raised 10 billion JPY (about 80 million USD.) What other experience at only one company could achieve this?

This country's culture in terms of employment should be more effective. Companies in western countries, including the United States, Europe, and even Singapore, perform more than such companies in this country. Even a bunch of advanced and big companies follow the new employment culture. Last year, some announced they would apply more flexible employment conditions for potential employee candidates. Further, they will also apply to their whole company's four-day-a-week working system. Even so, would their productivity and performance at work decrease?

Every excuse they did not accept me as a potential employee through the employment process was that the years of service at each previous job needed longer. I understand what they want to say. An average company in western countries is more productive and performs well regardless of employees' years of service. For example, James B. Keller joined Intel, where he served as Senior Vice President in 2018 and quit there in 2020. He worked only for two years at Intel. Though he is not an average worker in the United States, according to Wikipedia, from 1998 to 2020, he served seven companies for each two to four years. In addition to him, I've heard from my friend, family, and industry insiders that more than half of workers in consulting firms, banks, or other IT companies quit or transfer their job within 2 to 5 years. For an employer or a recruiter of such companies, an employee's leaving is very natural, and they do not consider whether existing employers quit. Yet, they focus on making the system of management instead considering an individual employee's movement.

The quitting of an employee should be managed and prevented as much as possible. It is one of the most considerable problems regarding human resource management. There are two sides to employee retirement. The employee who is retiring and the employer who has managed them are responsible for the event. Nevertheless, the shock of employees quitting in the short term should not be a reason for being reluctant to employ.

The years of service a candidate has at previous jobs are unimportant and do not matter whether an employee decides to recruit a new member at their company. The important is what s/he has been doing.

The job market in this country considers working for one company for a long time as a virtue. What? This virtue makes this country unproductive, and it is also one of the reasons that it has stagnated the economy for more than 30 years. A flexible labor market can improve productivity and add value to the economy. A business should depend on something other than human resources but on the system. The old member of an organization makes it rigid and conservative. Innovation and the eureka moment are born in different conditions of management.


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An immigrant. A semi-amateur writer. Angel Investor. Researcher on Startups. Person in charge of Finance. Fundraising.







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