What Motivates Your Candidates to Say Yes

BY THE TALENTDASH TEAM | February 21, 2017

Whether it’s financial gain, long-term stability, or their passion for the job, there are many factors that candidates will take into account before accepting a position. But when no two candidates are the same, how can we be sure that an offer isn’t counterproductive?

To best answer this question, you’ll need to do a little homework and research your candidates’ backgrounds and being the charitable folk that we are, we’ve gone ahead and finished some of it for you.

The Generation Gap

There’s no doubt that the vast majority of hires these days fall into two distinct groups with very different needs and wants.

1. Generation X (Born 1965 to 1976)
2. Generation Y – Millennials (Born 1977 to 1995)

In general terms, we can surmise what candidates from both of these groups desire from a new position based on their lifestyle and certain characteristics. So let’s take a closer look at each in turn, but remember, the information outlined is merely the accepted norm for the average professional in each generation.

Generation X

As professionals now in their forties, Generation X candidates will often have some or all of the following social, financial, and personal characteristics. 

• Mortgage payments
• Settled down with partners
• A clearly defined career path
• Family members to support
• Less inclined to take risks

Taking each of these into account we can assume that candidates born in this generation are motivated by

Job security – With kids and a mortgage involved, these candidates need to know that they have a job for the foreseeable future.
Healthcare benefits – They are also concerned with their health and that of their family members.
Work/Life balance – While they may not feel the need to travel the world, they will want to spend quality time with their loved ones at the weekend and on public holidays.
Pension/equity – Again, these candidates are playing the long game and want to ensure that their retirement is well covered.

And while, like many professionals, they will no doubt enjoy a challenge, this may not be a deciding factor in their acceptance of a role.

Generation Y – Millennials

The millennials are a difficult group to speak of in general terms as the age range can differ greatly from one person to the next. For example, a Millennial born in 1977 will hit 40 this year and may have a set of ideals and characteristics more in tune with the preceding Generation X. 

On the other hand, millennials born in 1995 have just entered their twenties taking their first steps on the career ladder. 


What millennials grew up watching (though let’s all agree on could there be any better sitcom than Friends.)

So for the purpose of this article, we will assume that our millennials are in the younger age bracket and have the following characteristics.

• Single
• Little or no financial responsibilities (aside from Student debt)
• No defined career path as of yet
• Open to change
• Success oriented

While these are the basic characteristics of younger millennials, there are many studies which offer deeper analyses of what millennials want from work and life pointing to the following traits in this enigmatic demographic.

Unattached to their job – They are less likely to feel loyalty towards a brand or employer.
Less familial responsibilities – Their parents may still be in employment, and there are often no children involved at this early stage in their life.
Have high personal values – They feel strongly about morals and values and are more likely to question brands and their employers’ practices.
They embrace change – In fact, they crave it and constantly push against the ‘But it’s always been done this way’ mindset.

So bearing all of the above in mind, a millennial candidate is likely to consider the following factors extremely important when offered a position.

Company or brand reputation – As a generation with high values, they want to take pride in their place of employ and know that their role within that company is both socially and morally acceptable.
Challenging roles – They aren’t happy to rest on their laurels and need to know that they will feel challenged in their new role.
Development – They feel that stagnancy is slightly embarrassing and therefore want to develop their skills and expertise. However, this does not necessarily mean that they desire promotion above all else.
Freedom – Not in the general sense but freedom to work on projects the way they see fit. They want trust from their employers.
Flexibility – The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Generation Y with many millennials having side projects and freelancing gigs outside their full-time job. This is something that they want their employers to know and understand.
Credit – Rather than the company taking all the credit, millennials are keen to have their work recognized in order to promote themselves to other prospective employers further down the road.

Of course, there are more factors that are equally as important such as money and benefits, but those listed above are the aspects that set millennials apart from other generations with regards to job considerations.

Oh and there’s one more generation that we’ll see a lot more of in the not too distant future.

Generation Z – Centennials or iGen (Born after 1996)


No one is quite sure what these guys will bring to the table as the oldest are only now coming of age. Some maintain that the difference between this new generation and millennials will be negligible, but we’re of the opinion that they will bring with them a whole new set of ideals and skills. Even before we take into account their education, it’s worth noting that to a high percentage of this generation, dealing with technology will be second nature. 

One thing we are sure of though is that millennials, the lovers of change that they are, will welcome them with open arms.

So armed with this information, recruiters should be able to tailor their offers to the specific needs of their candidate’s generation. Of course, as we mentioned earlier, this is by no means an exact science but it does offer a good starting point in the quest to create the ideal package that motivates your candidates to say that all important word… Yes.

Regardless Gen X or Y or Z, TalentDash has got it hands down in finding someone from any of those generations.  to get a preview of 8 candidates from those era!


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