For an awfully long time now, I’ve been a proponent of the idea that obtaining clarity regarding a job prospect’s core motivators is one of the most important aspects of an effective recruiting process. As recruiters, we must have the ability to quickly acquire and triage exactly what is motivating a candidate to consider making a job change in the first place. Then, of course, we must determine whether the individual’s goals and objectives can be realized by affiliating with our company (or client company).

Most of the time, the process of identifying an individual’s motivators is very straightforward. Issues of consequence are readily identifiable and make sense – maybe the individual is maxed out in his or her current role – there’s little or no growth available – or maybe there’s organizational dysfunction driving them to want to leave their current firm – or maybe a quality of life issue is the key driver – too much travel or too much commuting or too much overtime. Or, maybe it’s an issue that’s grounded in the candidate’s perception that they are under compensated.

While acquiring a candidate’s motivators is typically a straightforward proposition, there are times when we inevitably encounter specific objections to one or more aspects of our opportunity. In essence, we find ourselves dealing with Pulls and Pushes – aspects of our opportunity and environment that might draw or pull a candidate into wanting to affiliate with our organization, versus other qualities and attributes that are pushing an individual away from our opportunity and environment. In short, recruiting can be fraught with ambiguity which can undermine our efforts to steward a candidate forward in our process.

To illustrate what I’m talking about, you will need to watch the above video so that you can complete a short visual exercise (You will see a series of images that appear on the screen – you will be able to view each image for just a few seconds. After viewing each image, you will want to write down what you see before you).

If you completed the exercise, you recognize that you were viewing a series of illusions – some people immediately see one specific image, while other people see something entirely different.

So, what’s my point? Well, it’s relatively simple: As recruiters our day is comprised of a series of fast-paced candidate interactions and other activities. What’s most important is that we see people with clarity – that we see them in totality. This means that we need to always be focused on asking the right questions – this means that we need to make certain that we not only strive to understand a candidate’s motivators, but also that we understand potential issues/concerns, or hesitations that could conceivably surface. This means that we must have an effective qualifying process that goes into a reasonable degree of depth so that we don’t encounter surprises deep into the recruitment lifecycle.

I’ll close with this thought: Effective recruiting relies on our ability to utilize a thoughtful and thorough qualifying process, one that assures that we are seeing individuals accurately and completely. By taking the time to appropriately assess a candidate’s motivators and hesitations, we are far more likely to steward a candidate across the finish line, while eliminating potential illusions along the way!

Wishing you ongoing success –

Paul Siker

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