By Dan Simmons

If you want to hire the best candidates, you have to know what the top candidates want for their career.

Although every candidate and employee wants to be properly compensated for their skills and talents, money and other compensation is far from what they ultimately desire—and that was proven once again in SimplyHired’s “2011 Today’s Job Seeker Report.”

SimplyHired, the world’s largest job search engine, publishes a survey of job seeker opinions and behaviors on an annual basis.  That survey yields many results, all of which revolve around what job seekers want, what they value, and how they go about trying to achieve their goals.

One of the questions in SimplyHired’s 2011 job seeker survey was as follows:

How do you define career success?

The vast majority of respondents—63%, to be exact—answered, “Doing what I love.”  “Advancing my talents and abilities” came in second with 36% of the vote.

Where did money end up?  “Making a certain salary” was a distant third at 22%.  “Overcoming challenges” was fourth, garnering 17% of the vote.

However, that wasn’t the only way in which SimplyHired gauged job seekers’ motivation in regards to career success.  The survey also contained the following situational question:

Would you rather . . .

Find a job that pays well, but you don’t like OR find a job you love with lower pay.

As you might have already guessed, a whopping 82% of job seekers chose the latter option, and only 18% opted for a job that paid well despite the fact they wouldn’t like it. The evidence is overwhelming: candidates overall—including top candidates—value passion and satisfaction in their career, far more than they desire more money.

When it comes time to successfully recruiting top candidates, providing them with the opportunities to achieve passion and satisfaction will bring you one step closer to hiring them . . . and that’s how YOU define success.