When I speak with candidates, one of the first things I always ask is, “What are your priorities in a new role?” and “what would it take for you to move on from your current position?” The reason I ask this question is because as a recruiter, I need to understand what your drivers are, what makes you tick and if I have a client in mind that will fulfil your expectations and priorities. It’s also important that I translate what your priorities are through to my clients, so that should they decide to bring you on board, they are able to make an attractive offer that is not only in line with your expectations, but also matches your drivers. If your number one priority in a new role is a greater work/life balance and time flexibility, then a client who offers you long hours but great pay, isn’t going to do it for you is it?
All too often, companies assume a candidate’s sole priority is an increase in pay. While in many cases this proves to be true, if we probe a little deeper, there are often many other drivers ahead of salary that influence a candidate’s decision to accept or reject a role. As recruiters, it’s our job to effectively understand what motivates our candidates and to ensure our clients understand these driving factors. Matching requirements isn’t only going to be the difference in what makes a candidate accept a role, it is going to be what makes them stay within an organisation. It’s no secret that employees who are happy in their job are more likely to stay on within an organisation compared with those who aren’t and are not able to have their priorities fulfilled. Its crucial employers understand this, as all too often promises are made to candidates during interviews – promises that are never fulfilled, which inevitably results in a placement drop-off. Costly for an organisation, time consuming for a candidate, heart-breaking for a recruiter.
So as a candidate, how do you go about understanding what your priorities are in a new role? First things first, take stock of your life and understand where you are currently and if you are where you want to be. Self-assessment is never easy, but it’s crucial to understanding what it is that’s going to make you happy in the long run. For some, they may decide they want to spend more time with their family, others may want to focus on certain types of projects – some might even focus their attention on a greater salary. Make a list of your top 3 priorities and determine how a potential role might enable you to tick these off.
Finally, make sure you stick to your guns when it comes down to the offer stage with a potential employer. You have done the hard work by understanding exactly what you are looking for in a new position, so don’t be tempted by an offer that doesn’t meet the priorities you outlined. Doing so will only leave you in the same position you find yourself in now and it won’t be long before you are unhappy and looking for a change. Remember, it’s better for an organisation if you reject a role that’s not quite right for you, rather than accepting it, only to leave a few months later.
Understanding your priorities in a new role is essential in ensuring you move into something that is going to make you happy, motivated and good at your job. As recruiters, it’s our responsibility to ensure our candidates have a set of concrete priorities that are understood by our clients and can be fulfilled in a potential offer. Doing so not only increases the chances of a candidate accepting an offer, but also ensure they will stay in their new position for significant amount of time.