So how else can employers attract and retain skilled, self-motivated talent?

We all want our staff to have high levels of motivation and a strong sense of accountability­ - and most successful enterprises spend a lot of time trying to instil these attributes in their people.

But what if the people you hired already had these attributes when they came on board?

Recruiter, executive coach and Managing Director of talent management company Chorus Executive Christine Khor says the ability to assess the accountability and motivation levels of prospective employees is becoming an increasingly important success factor in the corporate recruitment process. This is because it helps predict how effectively a candidate will align with your business strategy, culture and performance objectives.

Typically, a lack of accountability is a symptom of a misalignment between the goals and motivations of a business and those of an employee, says Khor. Making sure that a prospect is motivated and a good cultural fit for your business before they join your business will help ensure they accept accountability for their performance, and raise the probability that they will be fully engaged and stay for the long haul, she says.

The effectiveness of this approach, however, relies on the ability to gain a full understanding of the candidate which is when an expert recruiter really comes into their own.

Gaining further insight

Along with performing psychometric assessments - which can be very effective in determining a prospect’s skills, motivators and thinking style – Khor says a competent recruiter will also employ proven behavioural interview techniques.

As part of a carefully structured interview approach, a good recruiter will ask candidates specific questions about their key motivations, personal values, attitudes and behavioural characteristics, and validate their answers by asking the same questions of their referees.

This enables you to build an accurate picture of the ‘person’ behind the ‘candidate’, and establish their true potential for performance, accountability and sustained cultural alignment within the hiring organisation, says Khor.

The value of values

So how else can employers attract and retain skilled, self-motivated talent?  A good place to start is to ensure you have well-defined values and a clear vision for the future of your firm, and that you are communicating these effectively to prospective employees.

When an employee believes in your vision they will do everything they can to help you achieve it, including applying their best skills, going the ‘extra mile’ and holding themselves accountable for their performance.

Aligning vision and performance

To further maximise the commitment of prospective and current employees, it is crucial to ensure that their individual performance objectives are clearly tied to the overall vision of the organisation. If an employee cannot see how their job contributes to the company’s success, they will quickly become disengaged. One way to ensure new employees commit to your vision, and accept accountability for their performance, is to have a well-designed on-boarding process.

Leaders who want employees to be purpose-driven and take pride in their work need a recruitment process that brings people who already have these attributes into their business.

Concise position descriptions, quality candidate screening and a good on-boarding process will greatly improve your ability to attract and retain talented people.


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