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Candidate Priorities 2020

Sep 2020

Marcie Glenn

Career Growth, Company Mission, Culture, Contribution, and Challenge

We’re 141 searches and 984 interviews into 2020, and job seekers have made their priorities clear. And yes, it is a coincidence that the top 5 priorities all start with the letter C. Preparing to address each of these priorities in either your job postings or your interviews could set your role, department, and organization apart from other opportunities a candidate may be considering. Equally as important, the ability to have a transparent conversation about these priorities will allow you to identify those candidates that better fit with what your organization.
Let’s break them down!

Career Growth: In talking to candidates, the themes that stood out for this motivator are expanding skill sets, taking on more responsibilities, and/or increased financial earnings. While career growth can certainly look different for different people, it’s becoming more and more critical to take a minute to reflect on how career growth actually looks for positions you might be hiring for. Instead of responding to a candidate’s question, “What does career growth look like?”, think about being proactive and clearly stating this in a job description. Not only will that help to attract a demographic that is motivated by this function, but it will allow you to actively think about the answer this question even before you get the question.

Company Mission:  One of the most popular motivators we hear are candidates’ interests and commitments to organizations that align with their values and what they want to accomplish – whether that is specific to an industry, community, or cause. Think about how you can leverage your organization’s mission to align well with candidates who actually believe in the same thing. This will help to create a more dynamic pool with a deeper connection to a career vs. simply performing the functions of a job.

Culture:  Often we hear from candidates that they reflect back on that one organization that just had such a great culture and that is what they are looking to find in their next employer. This might sound ambiguous, and that is because it is. Culture can look like a number of different things for an organization, however, it is so important to capture what makes your culture unique in order to attract candidates that might align. Does your organization have diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that help to create a robust, open, and dynamic culture? Does your organization have weekly coffee or happy hours (even if on Zoom) to get to know one another better? Demonstrate that! Trust us, candidates are eager to know.

Contribution: A common theme we’ve heard from some folks lately is that just simply performing job duties isn’t enough to keep them fulfilled. Instead, they want to feel like they’re actively contributing – contributing to sales goals, to process improvement, to the financial stability of an organization. When asked why, this typical answer stems from a place of wanting to make an impact and for their work to feel like it means something. Before you write that next job description for an opening, take a step back and think about how your new hire will contribute – how will their work make a difference to the overall function of the role. That is the exciting element for folks that are motivated by this.

Challenge: Lastly, who doesn’t love a good challenge? One of our top 5 motivators revolves around our candidates feeling like they’re being stretched and wanting to prove themselves. For those who answered challenge as a top motivator, the conversation typically revolved around having the opportunity to think about a problem differently, not being afraid to try something new for the sake of improving something, and/or simply wanting to challenge themselves to perform a task better or faster. Our advice for this is to think strategically around the elements of a job description where folks have the opportunity to step up to the challenge and take on something new and different – how can you paint that in an exciting and enticing way? Doing this should land well with this group.

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