Attracting Candidates: What Motivates Candidates to Switch Jobs
According to CNBC, the “Great Resignation” is currently upon US labor markets with an estimated 55% of people saying they will be looking for a new job within the next 12 months. In such a competitive market, attracting and closing top talent will be more critical than ever before, especially for young companies. To succeed in closing and hiring talent it is important to understand what candidates consider when changing jobs. We will discuss some of the considerations and why they are important to recruiting top talent.
Company Specific Considerations
Where a company is in it’s development phase is an important consideration for many candidates. Some candidates may be interested in the upside potential and flexibility of scrappy seed funded startups, others may be interested in the de-risking and structure associated with large late stage companies on the verge of going public.
Company profitability or runway for unprofitable companies, reflects a company's financial prospects. Candidates do not want to go to companies that are going to run out of money.
Having product market fit, and demand for the product or service is integral for a company's existence. If there is no use-case or validation, that could be problematic for the company's prospects.
Is the company growing in terms of sales/revenue/profitability or is it stagnant to declining.
A company's brand and reputation is an important component of employment decisions, because work defines us. Is the company respected and well known, or is it controversial and disliked.
A company’s mission is an important consideration for many candidates, because our personal and professional lives are so intertwined. According to the balance careers: “Aligning Personal values and organizational priorities” is increasingly critical for job seekers. A candidate that is passionate about the environment might be particularly interested in a company that seeks to neutralize carbon emissions.
Are leading Venture Capital firms’s or notable backers involved, if so do they have experience in the industry. Notable investors and brands help drive awareness and inspire confidence from candidates.
Do the founders have prior experience starting companies or possible prior exits under their belts? How strong/high-performing is the founding team? These are the people who will push the company forward, so it is critical that they are solid.
Is the company in a sector that is positioned to expand or is it in a declining sector. Candidates want to join rocket ships, not sinking ships.
- E.G. According to Morgan Stanley research, they see the pet industry nearly tripling in size to $275 billion by 2030 in the US.
Have there been recent exit events that show public demand for the product or service. This builds confidence in the industry, and the opportunity at the company.
- “XYZ company’s recent blockbuster IPO is an encouraging sign for the space and for our company”
After one and a half years of remote work, office policy is top of mind for many candidates. Is working from the office mandatory? If so, is the office in an easily accessible location? Is there an office at all? Is it a flagship office meant to attract talent? Different candidates have different working preferences, being flexible allows your company to appeal to a diverse set of candidates.
Is it a fun collaborative culture, or more of an independent work culture. Does the culture encourage differing ideas? Do employees have input into the direction of the company? Different people work better in different environments, make sure your candidate is a good fit.
Is the company focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, what are the current DE&I statistics? What are the targets going forward?
Hiring candidates is a two sided process, involving the company and the candidate. If the interview process makes candidates feel disrespected or uncomfortable, they will not want to work at the company.
Does the company offer benefits including: Insurance, Dental, Vision, 401k, Retirement Planning, Parental Leave, Personal development, Gym membership, Vacation, Etc.
Role Specific Considerations
Is the work interesting and impactful or boring and mundane? Some candidates want to drive headline initiatives and have a large impact, while others are content with maintaining the status quo.
- E.G. Is the candidate going to be working on a brand new product vertical, or on maintaining an old backend that never sees the light of day.
Will the work involve solving new and cutting edge problems, or will the work be around known problems. Some candidates may want to be challenged, while others may not be interested in challenges.
Candidates may be swayed by the chance to work with new technologies. Engineering candidates may be excited by the prospect of going from a Java based tech stack to one built in Typescript.
Work life Balance
Does the company value and encourage work life balance. Is there an appropriate balance between too much and too little work.
Is the team structure flat or hierarchical, does the role involve people management or ownership?
What is the Base, Bonus, Equity Structure? What is the equity growth upside? Fair compensation is a key consideration for candidates.
Is the role remote, is a hybrid model optional? Can employees take time off as needed?
Does the role require travel? Is it mandatory? Candidates want and need to know about travel requirements to ensure they align with the candidates lifestyle, especially coming after Covid-19.
Will there be opportunities to grow and take risks at the company? Is there a defined growth path for employees or are they going to be stuck in the same role? What will the next step(s) be in the candidate's career after this role, does this role set them up for that?
- E.G. Software Engineer -> Senior Software Engineer -> Software Engineering Manager
The best recruiters make sure the role and company align with the candidates long term goals.
Certain candidates may want to leave the country that they are in, or need sponsorship in order to stay where they are. It is important to understand these requirements and be prepared to speak to them.
Company specific and Role specific factors are among the main considerations candidates have when selecting a new employer. As a recruiter, make sure you understand and can answer how the above considerations may apply to your company and your candidate. Consider leveraging the most relevant elements in your initial outreach as well as throughout your discussions with candidates. Be as transparent, and informative as possible in order to make sure the candidate is well positioned to choose your company.
Keep it personal, the best recruiters take note of what motivates/interests candidates and incorporate and stress that in their messaging.
- E.G. If someone will be working remotely, do not plug the office with free snacks, instead focus on the programs geared towards remote workers