How to identify the needs and motivation of candidates?

Successful recruitment is not only about finding the right specialist. Very important in the process is the candidate, his needs, as well as his motivation. The employee must be sufficiently motivated to change jobs. What if the offer does not match his goals and requirements? In such a situation, neither party will be sufficiently satisfied. Recruitment will not achieve the intended purpose. So how best to study the needs and motivations of candidates? How to create motivation-based interviewing? We answer!

What are the types of needs?

Every candidate has different needs and motivations for work. To begin with, let’s remind ourselves what needs are in general.

A need is a current state of a person or his organism, characterized by the unfulfillment of certain important conditions. – This is the most commonly used definition

Need as a subjectively felt discrepancy between the status quo and the desired state – a definition from economics

Maslow’s Pyramid is associated with this topic. It starts with the most basic physiological needs, such as food, drink and sleep. Then we have those related to security, among which we find: job stability, health, and absence of danger. Next are the needs for belonging – having relationships with other people, friendships, etc. Later there is room for needs related to recognition, prestige, self-esteem, and promotions. At the top of the pyramid are needs related to self-actualization, which includes personal development, fulfilment of dreams, and self-improvement.

We all have needs included in the pyramid, they are just specific to each of us. A candidate looking for a job in marketing, an IT candidate, a non-IT recruiter or an IT recruiter – each will have different career goals they would like to pursue and knowledge they would like to acquire.

How to research the applicant’s needs?

First, and most importantly – ask them directly! Motivation-based interviewing require finding out some important points. Here you have sample of interview questions about motivation:

  1. What do you look for when choosing a new job? (You can ask about seeking stability or travel and secondments)
  2. What kind of working method do you prefer? (Does the candidate work as part of a team or independently?)
  3. How do you envision the ideal workplace?
  4. What makes you feel fulfilled?
  5. What do you consider important in the team you would work in?

(Possibly the candidate is looking for day-to-day support from, for example, a manager or other co-workers?)

How to examine candidate’s motivation?

Motivation is the willingness to take a certain action, it is divided into intrinsic, extrinsic, positive and negative. Intrinsic motivation comes out of ourselves, from inside us, it is conditioned only because of us. External is built-in reward and punishment systems. Positive is raises, bonuses, bonuses that encourage further work. Negative, on the other hand, is a demotion from positions, reduction in salary, etc., in such a situation we feel demotivated to continue. To investigate whether an IT candidate is motivated to, for example, change his job or position to one offered to him, it is worth listening and asking pertinent style questions:

  1. What career goals have you set for this year?
  2. What behaviours and actions of your superiors make you eager to approach your assigned activities?
  3. What influences you to willingly complete tasks?
  4. What causes you to be satisfied with your work?
  5. How do you deal with failure?
  6. How have you dealt with a situation where an event or the actions of co-workers have negatively affected your intrinsic motivation?
  7. How do you handle stressful situations and how do they affect your motivation?

Understanding a candidate’s motivation makes it easier to put yourself in his place, to feel in his situation. Find out how he endures failures and how they affect him. Think about it, verify whether he will find himself in our client’s company? With help here will come persona, a kind of tool for designing solutions, and experiences of the end result. This is, for example, to create for yourself a “typical” mid-front-end developer, assume what skills he has, what salary ranges he can expect, etc… By doing this, you can develop a strategy for specific types of applicants, for example, an IT candidate, a candidate specializing in marketing or hr. Good associations with the company, and its recruitment process is the key to getting a new, satisfied employee.

The recruitment process is also a verification of the applicant’s interest in the company. Is the candidate prepared for an interview with a recruiter? What is his knowledge of the company? Has he found a quiet place for the interview, or is he doing it on the run? Has he completed the recruitment task? Occasionally, there are also late arrivals. If it happens that the candidate is late, doesn’t answer the phone, or doesn’t inform you that he needs to reschedule the interview, it may mean that he is not interested in the offer.

Wanting to explore applicant’s motivation, it is a good idea to use the so-called feed-forward (another form of an interview) in the interview. Instead of standard questions whose answers can be learned, use questions that help identify the moment in life when a person felt he or she had his or her greatest professional success, and the factors that helped motivate him or her to realize his or her full potential. Where to find that golden means to verify the learned answers? Questions! The more open-ended and in-depth the questions, the greater the likelihood of honest answers. E.g.:

  1. What was your greatest professional success?
  2. What influenced the goal achieved? (Was it a bonus, an award or maybe something else).
  3. What do you expect from your new employer?
  4. What would have to happen for you to have such good results again?
  5. What attitude translated into this result?

What will knowing the candidate’s needs and motivation give us?

By determining the motivation and needs of candidates, it will be easier to offer them suitable jobs. An IT recruiter needs to present the offer in a way that meets expectations and encourages conversation. When you tell the interested party about the details – show yourself and relate to the needs already known. Present yourself as a conversation partner, an intermediary between the candidate and the employer.
Remember that the recruiter also needs to be prepared. Listening, understanding and empathy will help in asking questions accurately. It is also important to carefully read the resume and the candidate’s profile. This has a positive effect on the atmosphere during the interview, as no one will feel judged. Knowing the motivations and needs will also have a positive effect on the relationship with the client. Having knowledge of the candidate will make them better presented to the employer. Which will simplify the management of the recruitment process.

Read also about feeling of low self-esteem during recruitment process!

Anna Jaskowska

needs and motivations of candidates

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