Candidate Motivation: Pushed or Pulled?


As a recruiter, your candidates are either being pushed out of their current company or they’re being pulled into your client’s company. The big idea is, “What is their motivation?” Is it to join your client’s company? Is it that they have overstayed their welcome in their current company? Is it that they are “on the bubble” and feel that their days are numbered? Is it that they can’t stand their new boss? Or is it that the opportunity within your client company is so compelling that they are excited about what they can bring to the new company and what the opportunity holds for them in their future? Is one motivation better than the other? By no means does being “pushed out” of a company make someone a bad hire. Sometimes, it is as simple as a matter of “fit.” But that is a separate issue.

Who do you think will have the greater impact and staying power in the new company? The one who saw this position as a “safe landing” or the individual who saw it as the next great opportunity in their career? Either candidate can look attractive to the company. In fact, as I discussed in a previous blog, candidates who are being “pushed” out of their company can be very compelling interviewers primarily due to their intensified motivation.

Recruiter Motivation: If you are thinking like a Contingency Recruiter, then you’re likely to care more about getting paid than what might be the best long-term outcome for your customer. Recruiters are a sensitive bunch so I am sure that some will take offense to this statement. Once again, I need to clarify what I am NOT saying. I am not saying that if you’re a Contingency Recruiter then you don’t care about the long-term outcome. I don’t believe that is true. I do believe that the long-term outcome is secondary to the ever-present priority of obtaining your fee. Every single Contingency Recruiter I ask, eventually comes around to agree with this statement.

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, given the choice between finding the best possible outcome for a client and being able to meet one’s own financial obligations, is going to force a person to choose to influence the outcome that suits their own needs. So how does a company know that their recruiter is committed to their long-term success and not merely getting paid? It starts by engaging them in a fashion that gives them the confidence to have the same objective and priority as their clients. More on how to select the right recruiter later.

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