What REALLY Motivates Candidates?


Natalie Wild

What REALLY Motivates Candidates?

A simple Google search on “motivating candidates” will throw up thousands of articles and blog posts that talk loosely about ‘how to spot’ an allegedly motivated candidate, but little on what candidates actually find motivating when it comes to searching for their next opportunity, and that doesn’t seem right.  

How can you expect to spot or hire a genuinely ‘motivated’ candidate from your stack of applications if you don’t really understand what their motivation is for the role?

Novate IT strongly believe understanding the needs and motivations of today’s candidates is crucial to the success of any and every business. We believe in taking the time to relationship build with candidates so that their motivations are understood and applied when it comes to representing them and their aspirations to clients – it is SO important. Candidates are people, not commodities.

We know that different people are motivated by different things in this ever changing social and economic climate. We know that employers still functioning on rigid, ‘one box for all’ clunky hiring models implemented in the late 90’s are going to struggle to attract talented individuals within our current climate. 

So, what really motivates candidates to apply for a role? Here are a few of the very basics.            

A Seductive Job Advert

We see thousands of job adverts on a weekly basis, and probably 90% of them are the job description word for word or mildly modified version of it – this is a big turn off for applicants.

The top candidates don’t want to know solely about what you want, they want to know about your company values, direction, and how you’re going to work together to make great things happen. What are you going to do to support them to have an impact and develop as a person? A job spec alone doesn’t tell them that.

A job advert is your one chance to entice a candidate, don’t blow it – posting job descriptions as adverts is not only going to cost you time and money in the long run. it’s going to disappoint and repulse quality candidates to your company and brand when they realise you don’t care about them as a person enough to write an actual advert.

Adverts with Salary Information

There is an increasing trend amongst employers to not post salary information on adverts - we understand why this is - however it is unrealistic to expect serious applicants to apply when there is no transparency on this key element of the basis employment. 

The best applicants don’t apply for a job with a mystery salary, they want to know how they will be rewarded for their time and input even if its just a ballpark figure. Salary also indicates the level of skills you are seeking, which is helpful if you aren’t’ wanting to have applications from anyone and everyone.

Would you be seriously motivated to apply for a job with no salary or benefits information? I personally wouldn’t bother, I don’t have the time to play guessing games when it comes to my career.

Positive Candidate Experience

This is quite self-explanatory. Provide a pleasant and meaningful experience overall to candidates (and current employees) and people will likely want to work with you. Provide a consistently bad one and your Glassdoor reviews might take a tumble - word spreads fast when it comes to being unimpressed.  

For a candidate, it’s a make or break situation. If they have a poor experience from the outset of applying, they’re probably not going to want to work with you, and will maybe tell everyone they know in the job market not to bother too, and why.

Our experience confirms this – we have had candidates flat out reject to be put forward for ‘dream job’ roles at certain companies because of the poor reputation of how they treat candidates.

Be honest with candidates about what the role entails and expectations, don’t sell it as something its not. Most of us have felt tricked into a role at some point, it’s an experience that sucks – so don’t do it. Be transparent on your recruitment process so candidates are not stumbling in the dark.

If nothing else at least provide feedback to interviewees, candidates do not want to be made to feel worthless. 

If you’re not striving to provide these three basic principles, then you should be. For help or guidance with your recruiting matters, contact Novate IT today!

We specialise in recruiting for permanent and contract roles across the UK and Europe within the IT and Digital Media Sectors.

All of our current live vacancies can be viewed here: https://www.novate-it.co.uk/job-search

Follow our crusade against poor recruitment practices here: https://www.novate-it.co.uk/blog​