Emerald Technology

We’ve noticed that most surveys regarding job search motivations are conducted using active candidates, and the nature of our business means that this intelligence holds little accuracy or relevance for us. So, we wanted to gather some information from the very candidates that we talk to on a daily basis – the passive job hunters.

We ran a survey of over 50 passive senior sales candidates, to establish the ‘pushes’ and ‘pulls’ that could lead to them becoming open to new opportunities.

Initially, we had an fairly exhaustive list of drivers, which we managed to filter down to the ten factors that our passive candidates considered most important. Upon completion, we averaged the total, and have presented the most significant ‘pushes’ and ‘pulls’ in the chart below.

Findings & Conclusion

Stock options featured in the ‘pulls’ list, as they put the icing on the cake for most passive candidates. Interestingly, however, many respondents additionally felt that their decision on a prospective company would be considerably influenced by that organisation’s position on a relevant Gartner quadrant.

Basic salary & commission are evidently going to feature fairly clearly on the ‘pull’ list, as our respondents were all senior sales professionals, and if they weren’t driven by revenue, they probably wouldn’t be in sales!

Poor processes and policies, along with the feeling of being micro-managed, have an understandably negative and frustrating effect on people. It is also no surprise, then, that these factors appear as prominent ‘push’ factors. Conversely, flexibility / agility is highlighted as being incredibly important for passive candidates under the ‘pulls’ section.

Although important overall, general happiness within current role, and competitive salary, were not as significant as we expected in terms of driving candidates to seek new opportunities. In actuality, it seems that people may tolerate being unhappy at work, as long as they are receiving something in return – such as the opportunity to work remotely, or an engaging and structured career progression path.

Clearly, it is incredibly important to provide your employees with a visible line of progression. Nearly all of our respondents stated that the biggest ‘push’ for them in their current role was a ‘glass ceiling’ syndrome. This is balanced by the biggest ‘pull’: 80% of those surveyed stated that they would consider opportunities if they were presented with a more attractive route of progression, or a role at a more senior level.