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Upward Mobility: The GAP between Employers and Candidates

Katie Trippe | 07/31/2015

We know that there is a GAP that exists in the marketplace between employers and candidates. The low unemployment rate along with the shrinking candidate pool are causing major stress in filling open positions. All of the factors above mean that a majority of the work force are considered passive candidates. Hiring Managers know it, Human Resources knows it and the C-Suite and Board know it. Countless positions will go unfilled this year and many people will cite a skills gap as the reason but no one is truly addressing the issue.

Imagine for a moment that you are a passive job candidate, which means that until you were contacted by someone with a potential career opportunity you were not looking to make a career change. Now that someone has reached out to you what do you think is going to be motivation for you to make a change? Is it money, location, security, the people or culture, challenge or advancement? For most people it is a combination of all of those things and each one is important in its own way. Everyone’s list is different but generally contains all six motivational factors.

Now that you have an idea of what a potential candidate might be thinking let’s switch to the other side of the equation and think about what the hiring manager is thinking. The position is open for a reason and it is causing some kind of pain in the organization which is why the company is searching for someone to relieve that pain. The hiring manager has identified a particular set of skills that either the incumbent possessed that they would like to have in the new hire or if it is a new position what they feel would be necessary to be successful in that role.

There is always a consideration of the factors that concern candidates but it is generally an afterthought to the hiring manager because they just want a solution to the current pain the company is experiencing. This is where the problem lies in our current hiring situation. Most often the all too well known SKILLS GAP is cited as a major reason that positions are going unfilled. I think we need to have a major shift in the conversation to focusing on the MOTIVATION GAP.

The Motivation Gap is what exists between the candidate with the identified skill set and their desire to make a lateral move into a role that is not challenging them to grow. In a candidate’s mind they have already successfully displayed the skill set desired for the new position and that takes a lot of the challenge out of the role. So why are companies looking for people to make a lateral move? Because as a society we are lacking imagination and the desire to invest in our workforce. This is the same reason that your current employees may consider new opportunities.

So as a hiring manager you should always ask yourself these three questions: 

  1. If I were considering this role where would I be in my career at this point? 
  2. How can we address the six key factors that are weighing on a candidate’s decision? 
  3. How is this opportunity different than what the candidate is currently doing? 

Once you have taken the time to consider all of those things you will have a better idea of the person who would have the right motivation to move into the role. This will accelerate your hiring process and help you to find candidates that are excited to come and work for you.

As Executive Recruiters we have a front row seat to the ever developing conversation about motivation and skills in any given hiring situation and we here at The Q Works Group work hard to identify the whole picture for our clients. Each situation is different and each company is different but that is why a customized recruiting solution can be beneficial in sourcing the RIGHT candidate to fit your needs.

For more information, please contact us directly.

By Katie Trippe  – The Q Works Group