How to Use Psychology to Recruit Top Performers

What is the primary motivation of potential hires?

Once you dig down into this question, you can begin to base your recruiting process on psychological principles that will help you land that perfect candidate.

While there are a lot of factors that can motivate employees to leave or remain at their current job, the key driver we need to focus on is job satisfaction. When we determine the precise reasons that a candidate is satisfied or unsatisfied with their job, we can then tailor our recruiting strategy to appeal to their specific needs.

The value of strategic hiring is undeniable. When you can attract, and retain high performers for a business, you reduce costs and increase morale and productivity. This article will explore how to use psychology to support this process with a few simple steps.

The Basics of Job Satisfaction

As you are analyzing the factors behind job satisfaction, you will likely notice some trends and patterns.

Compensation is often a principle deciding factor when it comes to taking a new position. However, it is not necessarily the best way to attract new candidates. Fair and competitive pay is important but you need to go deeper than that. When salary is the main motivation, it may not be the best fit for the company and your new hire will probably leave as soon as they receive a better offer.

So, what other reasons trigger a job change?

A few examples include a company culture mismatch, a lack of growth opportunities, better work/life balance, and the list goes on. As you are researching potential recruits through your applicant tracking system, examine the companies they have worked for and see if you can find some common motivators for change.

If you can tap into their key motivators, you will have that much more influence during the recruiting process.

How Well Do You Score?

If you were to score your current recruiting strategy, what score would you receive for appealing to a prospect’s needs?

While everyone is different, there are some common needs that need to be satisfied to attract and hold their interest. They include:

  • Safety: If any part of your pitch threatens the candidate’s feelings of security then you are probably going to fail in your efforts. For example, if you’re offering a lower than average salary or vague contract length the odds for success are not in your favor.
  • Value: Other than a paycheck, what does a prospect stand to gain from accepting a job with your company? How do you show employee appreciation and reward and recognize employees? A sense of purpose and value are critical here.
  • Potential: Once you’ve satisfied a candidate’s need for security and value, it’s time to show them how their aspirations and abilities align with the job role and company. This requires moving beyond their current situation and looking toward the future. Let candidates know what they can expect in the long-term if they accept your offer. What experiences and benefits can you offer that will allow them to develop and grow as individuals?

If you can tap into what job satisfaction means to a specific candidate, and offer them safety, value and potential, you’ll have a much more successful recruiting process.

How else have you used psychology to attract top performers?

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