Win Them Over By Presenting the Career and the Challenge

Money is important, but if you’re pitching a candidate pitch the opportunity.

Far truer than that old maxim about people leaving managers not companies, LinkedIn’s survey of 10,532 job changers worldwide found career advancement and opportunities influenced both their decision to quit and their decision to accept an offer.

In North America, 48% of the 5,344 respondents explaining what contributed to their decision to quit said, “I was concerned about the lack of opportunities for advancement.” Globally, 45% said the same.

If you’re thinking money is next, you’re wrong. Dissatisfaction with comp and benefits trailed unhappiness with senior management and the work environment. Money and benefits was cited by 40% as influencing their decision to leave.

Globally, money was even less of an influencer, ranking fifth, just behind the 36% who wanted more challenging work.

LI Why joinedOnce they started looking — and 30% of the global survey participants look at least a few times a week — the comp package took on a more powerful role. After an improved career path (cited by 63% in North America; 59% globally), money and benefits was the second most cited reason for accepting a new job, mentioned by 60% of the US and Canadian respondents and by 54% globally. Three-quarters of all job changers got a salary increase in their new job.

How are they finding their new job? For workers in Canada and the US, referrals from an inside connection was the most commonly cited way of discovering their new job. Not as surprising as you might think, the second most common method was online, including job boards.

Worldwide, referrals still ranked at the top of the list, the likely effect of having more than half the respondents in the survey coming from North America. But headhunters and staffing agencies were the next most common method of getting a new job.

Small employers (under 500 workers) were more popular than those over 5,000 employees. To discover that interesting fact, LinkedIn looked at 7 million of its members who changed companies last year. More left big companies for small ones than vice versa.

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The biggest gainers were the tech and software, healthcare and pharma, and oil & energy industries. Only in energy was money a leading contributor to the decision to accept an offer. The nature of the work and belief in the company were cited more often as influencers for the other two major industry sectors.LI Survey why join industries

The survey results — presented in two “Why & How People Change Jobs” reports; one global and one for North America — can be seen as a roadmap for sourcing candidates and presenting opportunities. Money nearly always counts, but it is far from a primary motivator. Career advancement opportunities, challenging work, the ability to have an impact, and the strength of a company’s brand, even one not widely known, all play important parts in attracting candidates.

If you can give them a sense of what it’s really like to work at your client’s company, you’ll have a much better chance of convincing an otherwise interested candidate to accept an offer. Worldwide, LinkedIn found not knowing to be the most often cited obstacle to a job change.

Inform candidates, LinkedIn suggests in the reports. “Share content about what it’s really like to be an employee – perks, warts, and all,” the company recommends.

And when an offer is going to be made, emphasize the work. “Close candidates on career opportunity not compensation,” LinkedIn says. “Describe the work and expected results, not the background requirements and personality traits to be checked off.”

Find the reports here: Global;  North America (U.S. and Canada);  Europe:  AsiaAustralia and New Zealand;  Hispanic Latin America

John Zappe was the editor of and contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.