The Role of Motivation in Winning the War for Talent

One of the most frustrating aspects of being a recruiter has to be getting to the offer stage only to have your candidate not make a move. We’re all familiar with the scenario where we’ve guided a candidate through every stage of the recruitment process and acted as their advisor only to have it go sideways once the client has extended an offer. We’re also aware of all the reasons a candidate gives us for not moving forward and accepting the offer.

I’d much rather know why a candidate won’t accept an offer up front than after the fact. In any sales environment, the reasons for a lost sale can often be isolated to mistakes made in the beginning of the process. So how can we fix this AND win the war for talent at the same time? The answer is a lot simpler than what you may think. In fact, if you consistently do the following three things as a recruiter, you’ll overcome recruiting challenges and consistently do better than your peers in getting candidates placed.

First, you need to understand your candidates’ operational reality.  Simply put, this means understand why they are looking to make a move. The best recruiters I’ve known were always able to understand every aspect of why their candidate wanted to leave their current role. Understanding the extrinsic and intrinsic motivational factors driving your candidate will be the difference between winning and losing the war for talent. One of the best recruiters I knew was able to create a mental list of external and internal factors driving her candidates and was almost prescient in her ability to predict which candidates were more likely to get “squirrely” during the offer stage. Any “real” candidate will have a good combination of factors driving their move and if you don’t understand those factors up front, you’re setting yourself up for a loss.

If you’ve done a good job in understanding why your candidate is making a move, the next step is to uncover all the other opportunities they are interviewing for. It’s a good idea to build a comprehensive list of all of the opportunities as you are interviewing the candidate, document it within your recruiting software, and use it later when you are trying to close them on your opportunity. While knowing the “other opportunities” is important in order to overcome recruiting challenges, you must also take time to understand why the candidate is interested in each opportunity. This step again ties back into the motivation component. You can gain tremendous insight when you pay particular attention to how the candidate ranks each opportunity and compare that to the reasons why they want to make the move.

Once you’ve successfully uncovered your candidates’ operational reality and the other opportunities they are considering, the rest of the process is just trial closing on your opportunity. At this point, you’re just getting confirmation that all of the factors your candidate mentioned as important are present in your current role. At this stage, it’s critical to learn what factors influence the candidate to consider alternatives or stop the search process.

As the job market heats up, the war for talent is just going to continue to get more intense. As that occurs, it becomes critical that recruiters and firms become adept at understanding recruiting challenges and their clients and candidates’ operational realities. Bond’s 40 years of experience in the staffing space delivering technology has uniquely positioned us as valuable partners in our staffing and recruiting clients’ success. Let us know how we can help you in winning the war for talent.

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