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Why People Change Jobs

The Pietrack Press

Why People Change Jobs

This article is written for those making hiring decisions.  I want to share with you a model used regularly by the MRINetwork; it is called the CLAMPS Model.  This is the model I use when assessing why a candidate is eager to make a job change.  The reason I am passing this along is to help you more effectively sell your opportunity and secure the best candidate.

I work for companies of all shapes and sizes with varied reputations and hiring philosophies.  Some companies are under the impression that candidates have to do all the selling to convince the organization to hire them.  Other companies feel that they have to woo candidates to join their organization.  Most companies realize that both the candidate and the organization have to do a great job of selling to make the best match.  Understanding the CLAMPS Model will help you uncover the areas where the candidate can be sold.  Another way to think about it is that the CLAMPS Model will uncover the pain points in their current position and show how taking your position will alleviate that pain.

C-Challenge:  Some of the candidates that call my office know they want to make a job change but cannot pinpoint why.  It is just a feeling they have.  When they cannot clearly articulate why they are looking to change jobs, I immediately ask them if they still feel professionally stimulated with their job.  I dive into the age of their product. Are they bored with it?  Is there very little new data coming out?  If they have lost their professional passion for the product line, you can sell them on the excitement surrounding your new drug or your bustling pipeline.

L-Location:  Most of the work I do is helping companies fill field-based positions, so the more relevant word is “Territory.”  Is their territory too large or too small?  Are they traveling too much?  Is their territory too small for the metrics they need to hit?  If it is a “Location” issue, you can talk to them about commute time.  If they are field-based but your company is relatively close to where they live, you can sell on “Location” by talking about reduced travel times to in-house meetings and the potential for advancement in the future.  That segues into the next “letter.”

A-Advancement:   Everyone understands that no company can promise future promotions.  What I sell when I speak to candidates who are looking for advancement is the possibility and opportunity of advancement.  If “Advancement” is one of their pain points for making a job change, then it has become obvious that their growth is maximized at their current company.  All candidates want to know they have the opportunity to grow.  They are looking for a higher ceiling, an elevator that goes up from where they are.  If your organization has some growth potential, some upward trajectory for its employees, share that information—of course, without making promises you cannot keep.  Explain to them how you promote from within or plan to in the future.  Growth potential is a great selling point whether advancement is a pain point for the candidate or not.

M-Money:  Believe it or not, money is rarely a pain point voiced when I go over the CLAMPS Model with candidates.  It only becomes a factor when we get close to an offer, and then suddenly it is very important.  I have come to realize that compensation issues are tied to ego and decisions made in the offer are psychological—they do not want to feel they got a bad deal or left money on the table. The dissatisfaction of what a company offers a candidate, even if they do accept, lingers for years.  When someone is dissatisfied about compensation, I usually hear two things: “I know I’m underpaid” or “I took a hit to come here.”  A low salary will not necessarily make someone actively look, but it will keep them actively listening to openings in the market.  So, even though the person accepted your low offer, that does not mean they have stopped looking for another position.  This is the worst case scenario—you don’t want to fund someone’s continued job search.  So, sell to the fact that you value your employees and reward them financially for their contributions.  When you extend an offer, give them your best offer!  Properly selling the value they will bring to the team will ensure that they cut all the other interviewing chords when they accept your offer.

P-People:  Who you work with becomes your work family.  All candidates have worked in great and also dysfunctional work environments, and so they are evaluating your company by how you organize the interviews and treat them in the interview process.  They have nothing else by which to assess the people in your organization.  So, take a careful look at what you are projecting as a prospective employer, because “People” is one of the main reasons candidates want to change jobs.  If you can portray a better work environment with better management, then you are on your way to winning the candidate.  Don’t forget to mention how great the people are in your company, and to sell t to this pain point.

S-Stability:  In the Pharmaceutical Industry, stability is merely a perception.  Nearly any company at any time can be subject to a buy-out. If your company is not subject to it, make it known to the candidate.  Of course you cannot promise anything here, and those decisions are made well above all of us.   No one can predict the future, but they want to be as assured as they can be that coming to your company is a stable move.  Stability is the number one reason why people make job changes in the Pharmaceutical Industry.  If you are trying to win the war for talent, sell your company’s stability and long-term plans.  If you haven’t had a downsizing if ten years, sell to that.  If you have had nothing but growth since the recession, sell to that. Sell on stability if you can even if the candidate is coming from a stable situation.

Key Take-Away:  The CLAMPS Model will help you determine which candidate you can attract, secure with an offer, and count on staying for a long time.  I would recommend to not bank on/chase/offer the job to candidates who do not have more than one “letter” driving their job change.  Let me explain.

Let’s say a candidate does not particularly like his manager (P) but loves all the other things about his situation, he is probably going to stay/turn down the offer.  One “letter” is just not enough to get the person to change jobs.  Your company would need to improve his situation in two areas at least to have a chance in securing him.  For example, a good combination I often see is perceived long-term employment (S) and a potential for career growth (A).   Increased compensation (M) does not factor in this equation.  What I mean is, do not rely on only one “letter” coupled with increased compensation (M).  Two “letters” and a bump in their salary (M) will in most cases get you the candidate.  For example, a good formula for success is if the candidate likes your team (P) and is intrigued by the new product that you have (C), and then you increase their salary by 12% (M).   Each letter is weighted different by each candidate, so get to know them, so that you’ll know how to sell your opportunity more effectively.

If you do not fully understand why your opportunity is better than the candidate’s current situation, dig deeper in a subsequent interview.  If they can’t explain it, then ask probing questions following the CLAMPS Model?  Another option is to consult your recruiter, as he/she should know what is motivating the candidate.

I hope this information helps you win in the war for talent.  If you believe that there is not a war going on for top talent and that the candidate should do all the selling, I would invite you to consider a different way of thinking.  The CLAMPS Model is an easy way to remember the key points to sell to the A-Player you want to secure for your next hire.  If you have questions, I always welcome your call.  678.581.4500

See you at the Top!

Michael Pietrack

About the Author: Michael Pietrack is a leading executive recruiter in a the Pharmaceutical Industry and arguably the top recruiter in the Medical Affairs space. His specific expertise is recruiting in Field Medical Affairs placing Medical Science Liaisons, and therefore, he has been dubbed “The MSL Recruiter” (www.TheMSLRecruiter.com).

What is TMAC Direct?: TMAC Direct is an executive search agency that serves the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries. This boutique firm fills critical staffing needs on a retained, partially retained, or contingency basis. TMAC Direct is the direct-hire recruiting division of The Medical Affairs Company, commonly known as TMAC. Together TMAC and TMAC Direct, provide an unmatched staffing service in the Medical Technology arena, whether the hiring needs are on a permanent placement or outsourcing basis.

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