Why Candidates See Their Jobs As So Much More Than a Paycheck

   |    3 minutes read

Modern Hire

Recruiters live in the world of requisitions, time-to-fill, source quality, etc. – none of which matters much to the average job candidate. If we hit pause for a moment to look through the candidate’s eyes, we see that a job represents more than a paycheck for meeting daily living expenses. And, how important it is to candidates that they win not just any job, but the right job. Recruiters know all of this intuitively. With daily workloads being what they are though, it’s easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees.

What a Job Means to Your Candidates

“When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” This well-known quote by Betty Bender, library science leader and workplace diversity champion, reminds us that:

  • People want to be engaged in their job
  • What engages employees in their job is often as unique as individual employees are themselves
  • As a recruiter, you can’t know what aspects of your open job or your employment experience will engage a certain candidate until you get to know that person at least a little bit.
Some of the common ways candidates look at jobs as more than a paycheck:

An opportunity to build experience. Whether it’s gaining experience with a specific skill or technology, or the chance to grow as a leader or collaborator, some candidates will see your job as their bridge to future goals. You can share some of the distinctive experiences your organization can offer to engage their interest.

An opportunity to make an impact. For some candidates, the idea of working with skilled colleagues to advance something they really believe in is what makes a job their ideal opportunity. These candidates will want to learn more about your organization’s mission and values, how collaboration takes place, and how they could contribute.

An opportunity to be a provider. Earning a paycheck enables people to support loved ones, and as charitable givers, to support the things they believe in. It’s about more than a paycheck for these employees and candidates. Being a provider can be closely tied to feelings of self-respect and accomplishment. Talk with candidates who take a provider role about the direction your organization is headed, and possible career pathing opportunities. Help them see the potential for a secure financial future.

An opportunity to take on a challenge. Being bored at work is a top reason people become active job seekers, according to a Korn Ferry study. It’s not so surprising given recent low levels of employee engagement in the U.S, coupled with the classic American drive to get things done. A job for these candidates represents an opportunity to innovate, to problem-solve and to earn the appreciation of others. It can also assuage fears of becoming obsolete. Talk with these candidates to see how their vision of a challenge aligns with opportunities in your organization.

5 Ways to Show Candidates You Get It

Letting candidates know you understand where they’re coming from with their job search can help you engage them on a more personal level. Try these strategies:

  1. Offer candidates access to employees willing to talk authentically about their experience working for your organization. Add employee videos to your on-demand interviews and virtual foyers. Set up employee chats for candidates during virtual career fairs and hiring events.
  2. Post images and content about non-work activities, like company social events and volunteer activities on social media and your careers site.
  3. If you offer a mentoring program or training and professional development opportunities, make that part of your recruitment marketing content. Be able to describe these opportunities and discuss them in detail when you’re talking with candidates.
  4. Approach recruiting from the mindset that you’re going beyond filling positions to help candidates identify and win their dream job in your organization.
  5. Consider using an advanced interviewing platform like Modern Hire. Our solution is designed to help you create the ideal candidate experience because we believe that’s the starting point for meaningful job relationships. With multiple types of highly configurable interview styles, integrated hiring assessments, and recruitment automation that streamlines the process, we facilitate the connection and employer brand insights that candidates, recruiters and hiring managers need to evaluate fit and make smart decisions for the long term.

Learn more about facilitating meaningful connections with your candidates using a digital hiring process by downloading our article, The Truth About What’s Hurting Your Candidate Experience.