From Interest to Commitment: How We Measure Candidate Motivation?

Table of content

  1. Understanding Motivation
  2. Scientific Perspective on Motivation
  3. RSB Approach
  4. Case Studies
  5. Exploring Candidate Motivation
  6. Data Analysis
  7. What Drives Professionals to Change Jobs?
  8. Conclusion: Fostering Motivation for Growth

Understanding Motivation

Motivation permeates every aspect of our lives – from daily activities and responsibilities to social relationships. It shapes our actions and gives them direction. In the context of a professional career, motivation becomes a key factor determining our development, engagement, and effectiveness. Understanding its role and skillfully measuring it are thus crucial at every stage of the recruitment process. Ignoring a candidate’s motivation can lead to serious negative consequences for both the employee and the employer. So, how can we properly assess and understand candidates’ motivation? This is the question we aim to answer in this article, showcasing the methods and tools that have proven most effective at RSB Automotive Consulting.

Scientific Perspective on Motivation

But before we move on to practice, let’s take a look at what science tells us about motivation. According to psychological research, motivation is a key element that drives us to act and achieve goals. The Self-Determination Theory by Deci and Ryan emphasizes that intrinsic motivation, which comes from within us, is stronger and more enduring than extrinsic motivation, which is dictated by rewards or punishments. This theory posits three basic, innate psychological needs: competence, autonomy, and relatedness. When these needs are satisfied, increased self-motivation and mental well-being are observed.


RSB Approach

Understanding the importance of work motivators, at RSB Automotive Consulting, we aim to approach this topic both qualitatively and quantitatively. We analyze candidates’ motivation through open conversations and external assessments of their approach and engagement in the process. Therefore, don’t be surprised if during sourcing or interviews you hear questions like:

  • Considering the perspective of change, there might be certain things that are important to you, what are they?
  • What prompted you to respond to my message?
  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • What do you expect from a new employer that your current one lacks?
  • What makes you feel most motivated at work?

Although these questions may seem trivial at first glance, they often turn out to be the most crucial ones asked during the interview.

Case Studies

We combine our candidates’ motivations with knowledge about our clients, allowing us to propose projects that are almost perfectly tailored to their expectations and preferences. This translates into a mutually beneficial collaboration. After all, a satisfied employee is the best employee. To illustrate this, consider the following examples:

  • ☺︎ Case Study 1: A candidate who emphasizes the importance of teamwork and social integration will be assigned to a client where organizational culture and advanced employee socialization are top priorities.
  • ☺︎ Case Study 2: Someone who shows strong interest in self-development, learning, and knowledge exchange will likely value a hybrid position more, where they work in a project team, rather than an independent role as an individual expert.
  • ☺︎ Case Study 3: When a candidate’s primary motivation is financial aspects, with other elements taking a back seat, they may be more interested in opportunities related to assignments or relocation to international clients.

Exploring Candidate Motivation

During hundreds of conversations with candidates at various stages of the recruitment process, our HR team extensively deliberated on what drives candidate motivation, with particular focus on those from the automotive industry. Do any elements stand out prominently? Are there significant motivational differences among representatives of different positions? To answer these questions, we conducted a detailed data analysis that enabled us to draw conclusions.

source: personal research

Data Analysis

The analysis we conducted provided an opportunity to create three key categories: working conditions, new experiences, and professional development. Each of these main elements was further divided into detailed subcategories, allowing for a thorough assessment and understanding of both similarities and differences in candidates’ motivations. This approach not only facilitates the identification of key motivational factors but also provides deeper insight into what drives candidates’ engagement. Interestingly, representatives of different professional roles, though initially appearing only slightly different from each other, upon closer inspection, exhibit significant diversity in terms of motivation. The visual analysis of the results is presented below.

What Drives Professionals to Change Jobs?

Let’s now take a closer look at individual groups of candidates and try to understand what specifically moves them from initial interest to full engagement in the recruitment process. Each role, each position is like a unique mosaic of motivations that shapes their choices and level of commitment in pursuing the job. Enjoy reading!

  • System Engineers: Thriving on challenges and ambitious projects, System Engineers not only seek comprehensive professional growth but also meticulously assess working conditions. From scrutinizing contracts to advocating for flexible hours and remote work options, they are architects of their professional environments.
  • Cybersecurity Experts: Within this domain, dissatisfaction with current employers often stems from a desire for technical advancement—especially in mastering new tools and programming languages. Interestingly, the allure of the automotive industry beckons many, recognizing the critical need for robust network security in modern vehicles.|
  • Functional Safety Engineers: Bearing similarities to their counterparts, these specialists share a commitment to technical excellence but often grapple with dissatisfaction in their current roles. Such discontent may spotlight organizational deficiencies in functional safety culture. Yet, their focus transcends industry allure to prioritize safeguarding growth and integrity.
  • Software Testers: Advancement is the name of the game. Software Test Engineers are driven by the prospect of professional growth, particularly in honing their expertise within a specific domain or technology. But what truly motivates them? It’s not just about the paycheck; it’s about the opportunity for personal and technical development. These engineers are on the lookout for avenues to enhance their skills and envisioning a future with diverse opportunities, be it through contracts, flexible schedules, or the flexibility of remote work.
  • Software Engineers: They follow a slightly different trajectory. While they share the desire for development like their testing counterparts, their job switch catalysts are often driven internally. Surprisingly, factors like challenging projects and autonomy in decision-making hold more sway than mere financial incentives. Moreover, the allure of working within an autonomous sector cannot be overstated for these engineers.
  • Software Autosar Engineers: The urge to switch jobs often stems from a deep-seated dissatisfaction with their current roles. Yet, amidst the frustration lies a silver lining. Besides the promise of a better paycheck, professional growth and industry contribution play pivotal roles in reigniting their motivation and job satisfaction. After all, a fulfilling career isn’t just about the money—it’s about the opportunity to thrive in an environment that nurtures both professional and personal growth.
  • Quality Engineers: In the dynamic landscape of quality engineering, professionals are increasingly drawn to roles that offer customized work setups, such as flexible contracts, adaptable hours, or the freedom to choose between on-site and remote work options. These tailored arrangements not only cater to the diverse needs of Quality Engineers but also serve as a catalyst for their ambitious pursuits. With a keen eye for engaging projects, Quality Engineers thrive in environments that prioritize their job satisfaction, ultimately boosting their motivation and productivity.
  • Test Engineers: For them, the quest for self-improvement reigns supreme, often accompanied by a strong desire for financial rewards. Intriguingly, this pursuit of personal growth frequently leads Test Engineers to seek new employment opportunities, driven by a sense of dissatisfaction with their current roles or projects. This constant drive for advancement propels them to explore fresh avenues where they believe they can realize their full potential and achieve greater fulfillment.
  • Hardware/Electronics Engineers: professionals exhibit a similar penchant for tailored work arrangements akin to Quality Engineers. Despite facing internal project conflicts, they remain undeterred in their pursuit of career advancement within the automotive industry. Fuelled by their unwavering ambition, Hardware/Electronics Engineers navigate challenges with resilience, striving to excel in their field and make significant contributions to the success of the automotive sector.
  • Managers: Juggle personal advancement with fostering team cohesion, leveraging conflicts as opportunities for growth and leadership development within their teams. They see themselves not just as leaders but as facilitators of professional development, constantly striving to empower their team members and create an environment conducive to growth.
  • IT specialists: driven by their love for technology, constantly seek new challenges and higher pay, propelled by a relentless pursuit of innovation and the desire for financial recognition in their field. They are the architects of digital transformation, constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible and driving technological progress forward in their organizations and beyond.
  • Engineers: Are at the forefront of technological advancement while striving for a harmonious work-life balance. Dissatisfaction with current roles motivates them to seek environments that offer not only better compensation but also flexibility and supportive team dynamics, enabling them to thrive both personally and professionally.

Conclusion: Fostering Motivation for Growth

At RSB Automotive Consulting, our approach to understanding and harnessing candidate motivation goes beyond ordinary recruitment. By combining scientific knowledge with practical methodologies, we ensure that every interaction — from initial inquiry to final hiring — is enriched with clarity and purpose. Our commitment to identifying and nurturing internal motivators such as skills, autonomy, and alignment not only enhances candidate satisfaction but also fosters enduring partnerships with our clients.

Collaborating with us means benefiting from a personalized approach that values personal aspirations and professional growth. We take pride in creating synergistic connections that ensure success for all involved parties. At RSB, it’s not just about finding a candidate — it’s about finding the right motivation for shared achievements. Join us and discover the satisfaction of working with a team that understands and prioritizes what truly motivates you.