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Understanding & Addressing Candidate Motivation

rw-admin | 07/16/2018

Actively searching for a new job, or considering an out of the blue opportunity, can be a very stressful (exciting, emotional) time in one’s life. The factors that surround deciding whether to accept a new position, or even consider looking for one, vary profoundly based on a candidates’ circumstances and motivation. To be a successful recruiting professional and truly make “good fit” placements, it is important to understand and value each candidate’s motives during the interview process.

It would be impossible to identify every single reason a person may choose to make a career move. However, it is possible to pinpoint the top 6 motivators that nearly 99% fall into. Usually it is a combination of these factors that push people to change jobs/ employers. Many times, candidates aren’t even acutely aware of their own motivators, but rather driven subconsciously due to a general sense of dissatisfaction in their current position. It is our job as recruiters to “pull-out” that information through pointed, strategic questions and conversations.

Ultimately, career change motivating factors fall into the following categories. Keep in mind, they rarely stand alone, although they could, depending on individual circumstances.

• Challenge: If an individual does not feel at least somewhat challenged in their position, it is easy to become bored and lose interest. Over time, stagnation sets in and personal development comes to a standstill. The phrase “I just don’t feel challenged anymore,” is a very common response recruiters hear.
• Location: This is a more tangible reason why someone may need to change jobs; such as moving (different city/ state/ country). However, location can also come into play when a candidate realizes that the one hour commute each way may have worked 5 years ago, but things have changed, and they are no longer willing or able to spend 2 hours/day commuting.
• Advancement: As nearly 10,000 Baby Boomers continue to retire each day, many Gen Xers and Millennials are itching for the opportunity to step into those management level positions. And it’s not just that. If a younger employee does not feel that they have a clear career path laid out in front of them, they may feel unable to reach their true potential at their current company. This is another attributing factor to the likelihood of job dissatisfaction. Read more on career pathing: Attract and Retain Millennials with Solid Career Pathing
• Money (and benefits): This may appear to be the number one reason why someone would choose to make a career move. And honestly in the current employment climate when there does not seem to be enough skilled talent to go around, it very well could be. We know that genuine job satisfaction cannot be obtained by salary alone, however we also know that dissatisfaction can quickly occur if someone feels undervalued and underpaid in today’s market.
• People: Never underestimate the importance of company culture and the quality of coworker personalities in the workplace. Most people spend more time with coworkers than they do with their families, so if they find them utterly unbearable; guess what? It makes for a miserable existence and can virtually ruin an otherwise perfectly good job. Luckily more and more employers are beginning to realize this and are placing a greater focus on this area. A good recruiter can help identify and align personalities to fit a company’s profile leading to greater success and higher retention overall.
• Stability: Also known as “job security,” it can be an obvious driving factor for some, or a subconscious desire for others. At the end of the day, no one wants to feel insecure in their position or company. Constant worry of a re-organization or possible merger or company closing is enough to make most people consider employment options elsewhere.

The key to finding the right candidate for a particular job is not an easy task. As a recruiter it is important to tap into our ability to listen and effectively communicate to make sure we thoughtfully consider the “why” behind an individual’s needs. Understanding what makes a candidate tick, will better help formulate true and honest career objectives and aspirations. Applying this knowledge to our client company’s profile, company culture, position requirements and desired attributes will lead to greater placement and retention success.

Written By: Angie Barnes, The Q Works Group