As a recruiter, I believe it is really important (actually somewhat imperative) that, when hiring, you to understand someone’s motivations. Without such an understanding, how can we make an accurate hiring decision? How will we know if they’re the best person for the job, or indeed how we should manage them, once in post, to get the best from them. It amazes me, when we don’t consider this.

The other thing is, I think, that generally we too often assume that people are motivated by money. We must do. How is it then that the job postings are littered with words such as “Attracting salary”, “OTE”, “plus Bonus”

Yet, when you look at this more closely, most people aren’t actually motivated by money.

Here’s the theory……Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It basic premise is that, once a certain level of financial – or as he puts it security – need is met then other “higher fulfilling” requirements are needed in our life to motivate us, such as belonging, self-esteem and purpose.

The theory is backed up by hard evidence. Kelly’s global Workforce Index, shows that “Compensation / Benefits” is only the third factor influencing Job Choice after “Personal Fulfilment” and “Personal Growth” (page 16).

Even when we think about it logically. People are motivated by different things – at a different stages in their life. Take a “not a care in the world” graduate looking to start their career with big dreams and big ambitions but wait until they’re married with a family to feed and possibly a mortgage or other large financial commitment; their motivations will change. The need for money will always be constant but the question we have to ask, is it the main motivator? Maslow and myself says “no”!

A better question to ask, may be, is “what actually motivates someone – a particular individual?”

I regularly talk to employers who confidently tell me they know what makes their staff tick. So, why do some of these then tell me, in their next breathe, about issues with staff leaving? The trouble is, they don’t really know and, the thing is, their staff probably don’t really know either. To articulate what motivates us is really difficult and to communicate it to our boss is even harder, because we probably want to tell them what they want to hear.

What if there was a quick effective tool that gave you this valuable information – a report so powerful and effective that it develops your management approach to ensure you are hiring the right people and pressing the right buttons with your staff?

To have highly effective teams you need to;

  • Learn about their motivation and dangle the right carrots
  • Know how to cultivate their motivation, it already exists within them

Knowing how to do this helps equip managers to elevate motivational factors and achieve higher levels of productivity. A lack of motivation decreases productivity, increases objection incurs high recruitment costs. From the beginning, it also helps you to hire the right person.


So, how do you do it?

Well, there a number of motivators which drive a person out of bed in the morning, these are broadly:

  • Relationships – these individuals are driven by working in teams, in collaboration, and having the feeling of belonging is critical to their well being at work
  • Achievements – these individuals seek power, money, knowledge and expertise, raise self-esteem and recognition, so a constant need to target, goals and financial reward is important
  • Growth – these individuals want to be creative, have a platform to be innovative, autonomy and meaning in what they do. Without this they will not……?

At Anderson Scott, we’re able to break this down even further. For example, for achievers….

Without feeding a constant flow of the right motivators will lead to a graduate decline in productivity, despondency and moral at work. Eventually this person will want to leave and find all these things elsewhere.

Knowing these will help employers decide which staff would be motivated more by being given autonomy, freedom to make decisions, flexible working hours and chance to spend quality time with family, new projects to work on, variety within their role, additional responsibility or the opportunity to share their knowledge by training. These can then be built into the recruitment process and also ongoing development which an employee will find rewarding and fulfilling.

Understanding the balance of these factors will help a manager to press the right motivational buttons, this will contribute to team morale and productivity.

Traditional thought processes put too much emphasis on money. At Anderson Scott we focus on increasing the percentage of successful hires by giving employers a detailed analysis of potential candidates, including what motivates them, in order to improve the accuracy of hiring.

Whatever you do, and whoever you use in your hiring, one thing to remember: don’t underestimate the power of motivation at work!