During lunch with a client last week he was lamenting that a “perfectly good” member of his sales team had up and left to join another company for no apparent reason.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth about the guy.
A key reason why candidates leave roles in which they are currently succeeding is because after several years of consistent success they realise they haven’t grown in any way or form.
At the start of every hiring and recruitment process, there is an initially idealised view of the future. The client hopes and dreams that the candidate will join his company and succeed for many years to come, successfully grow with the company catapulting his own career further forward.
The candidate’s hopes and dreams are pretty similar. People simply don’t like moving jobs regularly and so he hopes that he will join the company who will with his continued success provide new, inspiring and increasingly lucrative challenges that will be accompanied by stretching personal growth. The reality is that in 90% of sales job roles it’s markedly different.
It is not uncommon to speak to a candidate who has been in a job a long time and who’s done the same job year in and year out for many years. They usually have a host of top quality P60’s, payslips and club trip awards together with that year in year out success but wake up one morning to realise that they have developmental equity in their own career in the last 4 of 7 years due to the fact that they have learned little and received little personal development and growth in the role.
Everybody has a friend who has been through this. Every candidate has a friend who was in the same job for many years and not grown. Salespeople (who ultimately, in this case, end up as candidates) do not want that.
When preparing your employer value proposition take the time to try and collate some career success stories from within your business. Put them together in the form of case studies. If you are working closely with your marketing team or your PR agency, then try and have them put together an informative video as part of your employer value proposition website or section of your website.
To be able to confidently and competently pitch a career with your organisation rather than just a job is enormously powerful. Never underestimate the innate human need for long-term stability. My experience is that while a job for life is very much a dogeared chapter in the annals of corporate history, candidates are still innately preprogrammed to want one.
Change is painful, and if you can demonstrate that with performance and success consistent long-term change of positions and companies may not be necessary, then you have a very powerful value proposition. It is no coincidence that whilst IBM no longer sit truly top of the IT sales tree they do not struggle to recruit good quality candidates as they have so many long-term 20 year plus career stories that they can leverage to prospective candidates.
Again within senior level positions, I find this is often the area where this particular criterion was most forgotten presenting a role to a prospective candidate. There is an unwritten expectation that senior level candidates must make a classical Faustian pact in exchange for the sizeable salary and that they should expect little else.
The truth couldn’t be further from this. Senior level candidates, particularly those who enjoyed long-term successful careers and have earned handsomely tend to develop a very different set of values in the job market. Often by their late 40s or early 50s they are what marketeers refer to as “ empty nesters” and tend to move into a period of their career when money is not quite as important but were classical Maslow style self-actualisation becomes a high priority.
It’s pretty obvious if you think about it more clearly. Many candidates in the 20s and 30s and early 40s whilst raising families focus on one thing and one thing alone which is to maximise their earnings and provide for their families. As the families leave home and become more self-sufficient career becomes more about the candidate, and the candidate becomes more selfish in terms of what they want.
Personal self-development tends to reach the zenith at the very earliest and later stages of candidate careers, and smart employers will typically lock onto the fact when designing value propositions for senior roles.
For more information on designing your Employer value proposition feel free to give me a call personally on 07908 573450.