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I Have A Confession To Make...

Posted by on 12/04/2018


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My name is Del Connolly. I am a recruiter and I am not motivated by money.

There it is… I’ve finally said it! I’m a recruiter who is not motivated by money! It feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders!

Don’t get me wrong; I like money and I also have a family to feed who I like to provide with the best lifestyle possible. But, money is a by-product for me.

As a Director with a growing business, I interview so many people on a daily basis who feel they have to state that they are motivated by money. They tell me how they would graft and graft for so many hours to get that commission cheque.

I’m sure this is true… to some extent.

As an industry, Recruitment / Sales, there is still a massive emphasis on money as a driver behind performance.

I had a graduate interview with me recently who, during a great chat, said (unprompted) he was really money motivated. He had been on a number of recruitment interviews that week and I could sense he was a little tired of it all. In short, I sensed he was telling me what I wanted to hear rather than how he really felt.

I tried to reassure him that it’s fine to be completely honest and I challenged him on his omission. It seemed a weight was lifted of his shoulders. He completely opened up and said it wasn’t money that motivated him at all. It was all about values. Culture, progression and learning. Feeling respected and challenged in a hard-working and professional environment. I loved this.

He even admitted that his previous interview experiences that week had put him on the brink of cancelling our meeting. Recruitment wasn’t the right industry for him, or so he thought.

So, basically somebody with all the behaviours that most recruitment leaders would want from somebody within their business had almost been alienated by talking too much about that money motivation. It was all a bit old-school. No focus had been given towards his values.

No person is the same but when I left university, money was important because I was hungry. Literally! University was financially tough for me and I just got stressed and tired of being eternally skint.

But, even so, earning loads of cash wasn’t really on my mind. I don’t believe anybody comes out of university and goes in to recruitment earning insane amounts of money. Maslow’s hierarchy was certainly relevant to me; It’s a long and hard road. At that point, the £13,500 basic salary I started on felt like heaven. Back then, I was trying to find a business who I could enjoy working for, with people who I bought in to and who I sensed would develop me. Like this graduate in front of me, I was hugely values driven.

When I interview I steer clear of this whole money motivation side. I want to understand what their values are and how strongly they feel about them. If people are in front of me purely for money, I know I’ve probably got the wrong person. If people like money and want to get on the property ladder for example, then that’s a different story. But, getting money at any cost leads to far wider ethical and behavioural problems, both internally with colleagues and externally with clients and candidates, in my opinion.

Did you know a recent survey showed that 74% of millennials wanted a ‘sense of purpose’ over paycheck.

I would be interested in hearing how other businesses recruit on values and behaviours as opposed to ‘sales attributes’ such as money motivation?