Friday, January 21, 2011

The Five Chalices of Your Career

I believe that as headhunters / recruiters / HR folk and the like, we can all pretty much agree that in the process of interviewing and hiring candidates, a strong, open form of communication between the company and the candidate is one of the main keys to a happy and successful hire - a hire that, 12 months down the line, the company can still be very glad they made.  Concurrently, bad communication can routinely lead to frustration when hiring new candidates - from the beginning of the process, all the way to the very end, when a candidate suddenly drops out (or worse - is hired, and then quits two weeks in!).

In this regard, and in trying to be a little different from my peers - I make sure that when interviewing candidates (and clients to gain these ideas), I focus on what I call the Five Chalices of Your Career.

This is essentially the five factors that govern how satisfied you are with your career - and the happiest people are at very least extremely happy with at least 2/3 of those factors.  The happiest are usually well-rounded on all five.

Those five factors are Duties, People, Advancement, Proximity, and Money.

Duties: The job you do - on and off your job description.  How satisfied are you with the work you do?  Does it challenge you sufficiently?  Does it serve a purpose higher than yourself?  Do you feel good about it?

People: Do you enjoy working with your colleagues on a daily basis?  Is there a strong level of trust and appreciation between you and the rest of the people in your team / department / company?

Advancement: How quickly can you advance to higher / more senior positions within your company?  Have you been given a specific timeframe, or been told in specific what you have to do and how long you have to do it in order to advance?

Proximity: How close is this position to your house, and how easy / short is your commute?

Money: Ultimately, with the base salary, commission, bonuses, perks and stocks, do you feel that you are being paid what you are worth?

Now, many people believe that money is the most important factor on that list - and it is, but only to a point.  I've seen many candidates slash thirty, forty, or fifty thousand dollars from their salary, just to be employed with a company that is located five or ten minutes from their house. 

Depending on what governs a person's lifestyle, any one of these factors, given the opportunity to be vastly improved, can stir a candidate to consider a new opportunity very heavily.  Even if it's just one.

So recruiters / headhunters and HR Folk: focus on all five of these areas when it comes to building job descriptions, interviewing candidates, and selecting candidates.  Following this model will ultimately lead to better communication, as you're covering all aspects of the candidate's career - and can lead to saving time, attracting a small group of the strongest candidates, and ensuring that the candidates you do find are extremely pleased with the interviewing process and the company post-hire.

Happy Hunting everyone!