I recently wrote about how to create a positive candidate experience and the relationship between the recruitment process and your brand.

I believe candidate experience is the most memorable aspect of your employer brand during the recruitment process.

But we all know the story doesn’t end there.

If you’re a leader or someone responsible for people and culture in your organisation, a successful recruitment process is just the beginning.

If the recruitment process is like a courtship, the first few months of a new job is like the honeymoon.

Your ‘newbie’ is in love with their new gig, now you need to navigate through the honeymoon period and make sure that when it’s over (and they’ve sailed through their probation), they’re still in love (or better still, more in love than ever before).

Understanding people’s motivations during
 the recruitment process helps us identify the person who will best fit with the role, your team and your culture.

Now that you have the best person in your team, understanding what makes them tick will help you keep them happy and engaged.

No matter what your employee retention strategy is, understanding motivations should be part of its foundation.

I take pride in finding the best fit – for my clients and candidates.

While most of this matchmaking happens before a job offer is made, I keep in close contact with candidates and clients in those pivotal first months. What we hear during this time is quite enlightening.

Through these all-important conversations about how the new job (or new team member) is going, I gain invaluable insights into what makes people happy at work.

What they love, what they don’t love and how their new job, manager and employer organisation stacks up against what they were hoping for when they accepted the job.

With more than 10 years’ experience finding the best talent for marketing and communication teams, I have a bucket load of anecdotes about people’s motivations.

Anecdotally, we know that people leave jobs because they aren’t learning or growing, there is “no where to go” (ie no career progression), they want more autonomy, they’re not sure about a new manager or leader, they want better work-life balance and, of course, they’re looking for a higher salary.

Beyond anecdotes, this month I will share the most interesting and thought-provoking perspectives I’ve read on employee retention, motivation and job satisfaction.

The first perspective is one I quoted in my pre-Christmas post Your grown-up letter to Santa:

The top 3 things contributing to job happiness are work-life balance, management and culture.

This is according to Workplace Happiness Worldwide, the Job Happiness Index compiled by worldwide employment search engine Indeed in 2016.

Indeed ranked the elements of job happiness across 35 countries and the results, in order of importance, were:

  • work-life balance

  • management

  • culture

  • job security and advancement

  • compensation and benefits.

It may (or may not) be surprising that salary is at the bottom of this list.

There’s no doubt that money is an important motivator when people are looking for a new job. However, according to this research, once people have made a move, their focus turns to the quality of their experience and striking a balance between the pressures of their personal and professional lives.

What motivates people is usually as complex as it is individual.

But at the risk of contradicting myself, it can also be pretty simple.

Find out more in part two of this post: After the honeymoon.