Why aren’t you happy?

As a recruiter, I deal day in and day out with the prospect of placing qualified candidates with clients. In the business of being an agency recruiter, the candidates are not flowing in for me to push to the hiring manager. I’m outbound. Mining and researching, trying to not only find the best talent for the role but, to also make sure the role is right for the talent.

Why do you want to leave your current company? What are you looking for at the next company? In an infographic produced by LinkedIn they address these questions. Now, whether your a Millenial or not, the reasons you come up with for what’s important to you drive you to change companies or stay. Is it money? Well, it can be. But, for example, right now you’re making $45,000 right out of school. Not bad right? Well 1 year later a recruiter calls you, they’re offerring $80,000. If money is THE most important thing and a part of your list, then it seems like this would be the next step, right?

The recruiter then tells you the job is in Montana as a zoo keeper and no prior experience is necessary. I use Montana because Ohio, my home state, gets a lot of facetime in movies and so forth for being a place a not so destined destination. So if you’re from Montana, don’t take it personally – I’m used to it as well. Anyway back to the root of the story… if money  is a primary motivator for you then the rest shouldn’t matter. Ah yes, but here’s the conundrum. If the candidate hesistates on location or industry now, then money really truly wasn’t THE motivating force. This is an extreme example but, you get the idea.

As the infographic addresses, passive candidates – individuals not actively wanting to make a job change – are motivated by wanting to make an impact, corporate culture to fit personality, and challenging work. As I’m on the other end of the phone listening to my “perfect candidate” telling me these 3 pieces, I check the box and say, “Ok great, I will find that for you.” But, that’s not quite how it actually goes. You’ve only collected 50% of the information.

While these do seem to be imporant for the passive candidate as LinkedIn has pointed out – the important piece as a recruiter is to understand why that’s important to the candidate. What does challenging mean to you? What is your personality? If you don’t dig deeper, you begin to assume what the candidate is looking for. Don’t assume. Ask. Get details. This is the most important step in the recruiting process. These pieces will determine whether or not the job is right for the individual. You can begin to manage expectations, will this person take the job if this, this, and this are there?

If you’re currently employed, fairly happy, ask youself this – what are the 3 – 4 things that are the most important to me? Rank them. Does a job need all of them for you to consider it? Does number 1 weigh heavy enough to discount the rest? Using these measures will allow you to decipher through what jobs are worth your time and what isn’t. If your recruiter, agency or corporate, isn’t asking you these questions – they aren’t really doing their primary job.

Make sure you know – Why I am happy here? Why am I not happy here? What would make it better?


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