Using Analytics To Validate A Candidates Primary Motivation For Work

I am often asked how to better use analytics in recruitment. Besides the fairly obvious ways like analyzing your pipeline for trends or looking at candidate demographics, I sometimes suggest coming up with a way to correlate candidate answers to items in their resume.

For example, what motivates the candidate to work. The question can be asked a number of ways. Here in the Philippines, it is pretty standard to ask a candidate why do they want to work. This is a different question then the more universal why did you apply for this job question.

The rationale for the question is generally to learn more about the candidate as it applies to commitment and work ethic. Common answers are I need to help meet my family’s financial needs, support my children, pay for a younger sibling’s education. The problem I with this question is that it set’s up a situation where the interviewer can feel sympathetic to the candidate.

As a counter to this, I train my team to look for a few queues in the resume to help validate the genuineness of the candidate’s answer. In short to do some analysis, and record some data for future analysis.

Most resumes here have a biodata section that includes things like parent’s occupation. This is a good place to probe more if the reply to the what is your primary motivation to work is family financial needs. You should also notate this and start compiling data on each candidate response that can then be used down the road in looking at their success as an employee if hired. You can also get a sense for what types of people are being attracted to apply for open jobs. Both can be very valuable insights when building some predictive analytics into candidate screening.

You can also look for employment gaps. If they are working to serve an overarching financial hardship, then there should not be significant gaps in their work experience and/or job hopping. This is a great insight into dependability and work ethic. Make sure to capture this data as well.

You can also ask them specifically how working will meet their primary motivation. Do they have specific costs and amounts at hand, or is the answer more general or even vague? Have they really thought through the cost versus their compensation? Probe to see if they have done analysis themselves on their own needs.


SO you get the idea, one simple questions with a short reply can actually lead you to much deeper analysis both during the interview and when looking at trending over time.

Ideally, every question you ask is something you can use to generate data. Every answer they give should be validated against the data in their application or resume. And here you create and capture more data.

In the end you will amass a wealth of information on candidates that you can analyze to look for patterns showing you who to hire and who not too. It can also help you determine that if you do hire them, what kind of employee will they become. Adding some simple analytics at the front end opens things up to a whole new level of data-driven decisions making in your talent acquisition process.

If you need a little help in adding or enhancing analytics in your recruitment process, let me know. Happy to help!

HR & Recruitment Analytics – The recruitment and retention of top talent is the biggest challenge facing just about every organization. DMAIPH is a leading expert in empowering HR & Recruitment teams with analytics techniques to optimize their talent acquisition and management processes.

Contact DMAIPH now at or connect with me directly to learn how to get more analytics in your HR & Recruitment process so you can rise to the top in the ever quickening demand for top talent.


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