3 Steps to Hiring Motivated Employees

Hiring motivated employees requires building a platform for success and acquiring premium talent who align with the role.

You cannot motivate people – you can only create a motivating or demotivating environment and then allow them to respond. So one of the biggest challenges for companies is pairing candidates with the right role with tasks that align with the person’s personal drive. Even the most capable person will fail when they are placed in an ill-fitting role, yet companies make this mistake everyday.

You can avoid this common misstep and have success hiring motivated employees by following these three steps when hiring.

Step 1: Define Success
Many companies understand the importance of this initial step, but articulating it sometimes gets clouded. Communicate specifically what success in the position should look like. Ambiguity will only lead to unfulfilled objectives, so it’s important that employees aren’t forced to guess at what you really want from them.

For example, when hiring a salesperson, many sales leaders define success as: “To make quota”.

Sadly, this is unclear – especially when other factors are critical to “making quota”.

A better example to help clarify the definition of success might be: “To consistently achieve sales quota each month and maintain a 12-15% gross margin.”

By defining success more clearly, you eliminate surprises and allow the new hire to understand their goals using your terms. You may want to collaborate with your peers in management to determine what success looks like for each role reporting to you to ensure success for qualified candidates.

Step 2: Define Expectations
A list of job activities is common in most job descriptions. However, job expectations bring detail to job descriptions with greater clarity.

For example, a job description for a particular sales role might state under its duties: “prospect for new customers”. A job expectation would further clarify that by stating:

  • make 50 cold calls each day to our target audience
  • attend two networking functions each month
  • visit three satisfied customers each week to ask for referrals

Defining expectations, again, removes ambiguity and brings clarity to the role for the new recruit. An employee reviewing their job description and job expectations has fewer questions about their activities and greater probability for success. This is the second step to hiring motivated employees.

Step 3: Define Motivation
Once the success and expectations are clearly defined, it becomes easier to determine which type of person is best suited for the role. The more precisely you define personal traits needed, the more likely you are to select the right person for the role.

Determine what motivators this job rewards. If you’re hiring for outbound sales with a commissionable pay plan, then you’ll want someone motivated by financial gain. In a customer services position, an altruistic motivation to help others would be more important since that would be the primary function of their job.

On the other side, be aware that the personal motivators a candidate possesses that conflict with the rewards of the position can lead to an unmotivated employee. For example, an economically motivated sales rep whose compensation plan is a flat salary or has been changed to a smaller commission may become unmotivated because the role no longer satisfies their desires.

Following these three steps will help you bring greater clarity and efficiency to your hiring process and will improve your probability hiring motivated employees. A good, in-depth sales assessment can help you identify candidates whose attributes align well with the sales role.