Candidate Emotions to Consider when Making a Hire

July 13, 2016

By Matthew Cohen, Energy & Sustainability Practice Leader

When a hiring manager makes an offer to a candidate, they think about a number of factors such as salary, benefits, start date, counteroffers and a multitude of statistical information to put an offer together for a prospective employee.  In many cases, hiring managers get lost in the numbers when making an offer to a candidate and don’t focus on the emotional side of a job change. Most of us think of a candidate making a job change as simply changing a line item on their resume when in reality any time a candidate makes a job change they are also making a significant life change as well.  This life change brings with it a number of emotions and thoughts to consider when hiring a new employee.

Below are three emotional changes that hiring managers need to consider before making an offer to a candidate:

  1. Relationship with their current employer- It is important to understand their emotional connection with their current company and boss when making an offer to a candidate. Does the candidate have a personal relationship outside of work with their boss or fellow employees? This can be a key factor when a company makes a counteroffer to a candidate.  Often times, the counteroffer can be purely emotional which can be difficult to overcome.
  1. Candidate’s family thoughts- When making a life changing decision, we often look to our families and/or spouses for support and guidance. Asking a candidate what their family thinks about their decision to make a job change is crucial, especially if they respond by saying they have not told their family yet.  This can be a red flag and it should be encouraged to ask a candidate to tell their family of their decision, they may not always be on board.
  1. Revisiting the “Why”- Understanding why a candidate is making a job change is crucial when making an offer to said candidate.  We have established that making a job change is an emotional decision, therefore it is important to understand and underscore what has caused that person to make a change beyond just dollars and cents.  This can help in a counteroffer situation when you can revisit the emotions of why they were interviewing in the first place.

So while candidates express that changing jobs is exciting and challenging all at the same time, it can also be right up there with life’s highest stress factors such as moving, the birth of a child, new marriage, divorce, etc. Understanding the emotions your new hire is going through and helping them make a successful transition will pay off in spades.