Hiring is a special equation. First is deciding what a candidate needs to make an impact and be successful in a role. Then it is the challenge of locating a candidate with the right skill set. Once those two things have been done, the hiring team needs to determine the candidate’s motivation and commitment to making a change.

Every candidate has their motivations for thinking about making a career change. Even passive candidates can have motivations that would pique their interest in making a change. These motivations can look like the following:

  • Cannot move up in their current organization- no room for growth
  • Moving closer to family
  • Opportunity to take the next step in their career
  • Searching for a new challenge
  • Getting back into a role that aligns with their interests or expertise

As chemical recruiters, the one motivation we caution is money. Of course, usually, a pay increase is to be expected when changing jobs. However, if that is the only motivation, it can be concerning. When the only motivation is money, candidates are more likely to accept a counteroffer and present a concern about staying long-term in the organization.

So how do we determine motivation? The key is in the conversations; Continuing to discuss the topic in the interviews. Sometimes, this can help candidates realize their true motivations and if they are committed to making a change. There are three steps in determining motivation: Ask open-ended questions, actively listen, and observe nonverbal communication.

Ask questions that require a detailed response. Something that requires more than a simple yes or no. This will let the candidates express their thoughts and explain their motivations. These questions can be about their goals, interests, and values. Examples of questions can be:

  • What piqued your interest in this role?
  • What interests you in this company?
  • How does this opportunity align with your career goals?
  • What do you look for in a company/ workplace?
  • Where do you find motivation in the workplace?
  • Where do you see your career in the next 5 years?
  • What would be your 60-90 day and 1-year plan if you were in this position?

The key is then to listen. Actively listen to the answers to each question they give you. Try to understand what makes them motivated. What excites them? Listen for excitement in their answers. Actively listening will allow you to get a sense of the candidate’s thoughts and feelings, which will help understand their motivations.

Nonverbal communication speaks as loud, if not louder than verbal communication. This can be their body language while they are answering questions. It can also be actions. For example, does it take days to get a call or email response back? These are nonverbal signs that can communicate how the candidate is truly feeling. The same can be said of the opposite. If a candidate sends thank you notes immediately after the interviews, or responds quickly to schedule next steps, those nonverbal cues can show that they are motivated.

Finding a candidate with the right skillsets can be tough. Discovering true motivation can be even tougher. However, it is worth the discussions, in the long run, to make sure it is the right career move for the candidate and to increase the chances of a longevity pairing with the organization.

Are you looking for top talent in the Specialty Chemical, Advanced Materials, or Animal Health industry?

Contact us to discuss how we can bring top leadership talent to your team. Boaz Partners is a premier executive search firm focused on the direct recruitment of executives and professionals for specialty chemicals, advanced materials, and animal health spaces. We are your partner, and our focus is on custom recruiting solutions. Follow the link to learn more about how our specialty chemical recruiters can help you.