The single biggest job hunting paradox - why candidates have it all wrong

job hunting candidates - money

I've been perusing the LinkedIn 2015 report on talent and it makes for some interesting-ish reading. They state some key trends like;

  • 70% of the global workforce is passively seeking a new role.
  • 60% of people find new opportunities through online job boards, 56% through social professional networks and 50% through word of mouth.
  • 49% (making it #1) of people state better compensation package as a top 3 factor when considering a new job.

As a recruiter who is personally (and through 20+ people) in the market every day, these trends merely put statistics around the movements that we've observed in the last few years. Namely; talent is now markedly skewed to the passive rather than active. To qualify this, active talent are those people that are trawling job boards, social media and LinkedIn who are putting their hand up saying “pick me”. These folk now make up only 30% of the total number of people who would take the ideal role - should it be offered to them.

But it’s only when you drill down on the numbers and look at motivations or drivers that things become interesting. As you've seen above, the pervading factor of consideration for people is not job description, location, colleagues or company mission. No their main consideration is money. Makes sense on the surface right? Money, bling n’all that, ‘I got to get paid’ in the words of Biggie.

No friends, this is where things all start to go wrong. Why? Clearly while money is the number one factor when looking at a role - it’s actually well down the list when determining the all-important job satisfaction factor.

In other words, someone may be compelled to apply for a role based primarily on money, but it will be the number 4, 5 or 6 thing that they consider when assessing whether this work makes them happy.

So what provides people job satisfaction? I’d suggest to you that people don't actually know, which is why they think money is so important when looking at a job for the first time. This is a not uncommon scenario - people knowing more of the things that turn them off rather than those that turn them on. I ranted about BAGGAGE, in this blog a while ago.

So I'm going to propose we turn this on its head and look at a better question: why do people quit their job? Well let me tell you, in order, consistently the list looks like this:

  1. I don't like my boss (always number one)
  2. I don't feel aligned with the company (mission/vision/purpose)
  3. I don't get along with my colleague(s) - I’m just not one of “these people”
  4. I am not challenged by my role (numbers 2-4 will interchange)
  5. I’m not happy with the remuneration

So herein lies the paradox. Why if pay is the number 5 reason people leave a job, is it number 1 when considering a new position? This topic justifies another 400 words so I will tackle it next time!