OVAL Blog 2: “Why do you do the work you do?”

“If you can hire people whose passion intersects with the job, they won’t require any supervision at all. They will manage themselves better than anyone could ever manage them. Their fire comes from within, not from without. Their motivation is internal, not external.”– Steve Covey


This quote from Steve Covey is reminiscent of the beginning of OVAL headhunting in 2010. “Why do you do the work you do?”, we asked ourselves. We wanted to set up an agency that does not run for the quick-win, but we rather want to search & find people who choose a different job and/or another company, and therefore stay for a longer period. Now 8 years ago we entered into that adventure, and the right to exist is there.

This question: “Why do you do the work you do?” is a question we regularly ask our candidates. They often answered that it all happened ‘accidentally’. And that they were happy with it. But not anymore. That is why they ask us whether we can help them out with the search for a different challenge. We always ask them the question: ‘What would you like then, what makes you really happy?’ Often they do not immediately know the answer. We often give them this question to think about and come back with a motivation, a story that speaks from the heart instead of the head: “Where is your heart? What kind of fire is burning in your heart that brought you to us?” And on a regular basis we get this beautifully inspired story on Monday -for the weekend is time for reflection- , and the positive energy starts to explode. Then we have someone touched in his/her passion and that is the most important motive for us to introduce this person to a client.

That is why our approach is different from many other agencies. Knowledge and experience is not (anymore) sufficient in a CV. Of course, these are still important for specific vacancies, but knowledge can be gained through studies and experience can be gained by just doing so. And both naturally grow on your career path. The thing that doesn’t change – but is at least as important – is the personality – who someone actually is. And what passion this personality carries. Because that passion or motivation brings someone much further. This ensures that the flame in one’s heart is increased instead of being burnt up. Emotional reasons to opt for another job or company weigh much heavier than rational reasons. We ourselves have experienced that someone lost out on salary, but nevertheless opted for a vacancy and a company that we had proposed to him. He got the job. And every day, he goes to work with much more pleasure than ever before. Today we heard that he made a promotion, and that his ‘passion’ also paid out rationally. And that is óur motivation to drive with a lot of pleasure to our office at Schiphol every day.