Top 4 questions to uncover job seekers’ key motivators

Abbey SaddlerTalent ExecutivePosted August 18, 2022

I discovered early in my professional career that I have a deep passion for helping others. It might have taken me a while to figure out what that looks like, but four years after graduating from college, I finally discovered that finding professionals their dream job really excites me. 

It all started while working at my previous job – a tech start-up – in Columbus. If you have ever worked at a start-up, you know that you constantly wear multiple hats. The company I worked for had a unique culture, one I wanted to help maintain as the company grew. Because of this, I asked to be more involved in the hiring process to ensure we were hiring candidates aligned with the core values. The more I got involved, I noticed I enjoyed this part of the job more than the duties I was hired to do. After nearly three years working for this company, I decided to pursue my passion for recruiting

The most important things I looked for in a company were culture, growth opportunities, and stability. When interviewing, I asked about these three pieces to everyone I spoke to. I was not willing to negotiate these topics because, after all, this is my career we are talking about! 

As a Talent Executive at Agility Partners, I think about this on every phone call with my candidates. It is crucial to understand their motivators, and it is my job to find a mutual benefit for both the candidate and the client. At Agility Partners, we pride ourselves on putting people first. After all, our co-founders started this company to create a more personal approach to the staffing industry. 

Here's how I uncover my candidate's key motivators: 

  • Why are you looking for something new? 

What motivated you to start looking at the market? I want to understand what even had you questioning; it might be time for a change. This question will help me better understand what they may lack in their current role. 

  • What do you enjoy most about your current position? 

Most people don't hate every aspect of their job; there has to be a reason they have been there as long as they have. I want to understand what they ARE enjoying. Some folks might love the duties of their job, but they don't have growth opportunities. They might love their job because it pays well but are unhappy with the company’s leadership. Who knows! Asking what they love about their role helps me to align them with opportunities that include those things, not just avoid the things they don’t like about work. 

  • What is most important to you while searching for your next job? 

Many candidates might tell me specific pieces of their current position that they enjoy, but I want to know more. If they have three offers on the table, I want to understand what made them accept one offer over the other. Was it compensation, remote work, or leadership opportunity? It is crucial to uncover specific examples and to confirm you understand exactly what defines a "dream job" for them.  

  • Who is involved in your decision-making? 

This might sound silly, but of course, the candidate will decide for themselves what career is best for them. However, what if the candidate has a family that depends on their benefits? Or if they are a caretaker for a family member and their job requires a flexible schedule? This question will uncover a few pieces of information that will be crucial when presenting and accepting an offer. 

It's been almost two years since I have connected with professionals to be a resource in their job search. One of the most important things I have learned in my experience is that it is essential to understand what excites your candidates. My job is to find a mutual match, and I can't do that without understanding what motivates someone to do what they do best.  

While I may find outstanding candidates that can do the job, it does not always mean that's what they WANT to do. Understanding each candidate’s key motivators will help you and your team bring the right people into consideration. And if you’re looking for a hiring partner to build out your IT team, I’d love to connect

Abbey Saddler As a Talent Executive with Agility Partners, Abbey's goal is to understand the needs and motivations of her candidates and provide a great experience for everyone involved.