Helping Candidates Make Great Life Decisions

Steve Caliger

by Steve Caliger, Principal Search Consultant, San Francisco – Reno

Many vendors have sophisticated tools that try to assess the fit between candidates and career opportunities.  The ‘Decision Matrix’ is a quick tool I created while working on a project that helped one of my clients with a major recruiting project.  The project was for IGT, the largest gaming-machine manufacturer in the world.  We were tasked with recruiting 20+ highly technical hardware and software engineers, managers, and directors in a relatively short period of time.  The mission was complicated by the fact that the company was headquartered in Reno, which had a very limited pool of local candidates.  Searches that require relocation are probably the most difficult type of search because you have to find the optimum match, and then convince a family to move to a new land.  One of the keys to our recruiting success was using my Decision Matrix to help candidates make quality of life decisions.  With it, we recruited more than 25 individuals in 18 months for our client.

Decision Matrix:  It has been my experience that there are four major criteria people use to make career choices, whether they are aware of it or not.  With my tool, the job seeker rates these four categories by importance to them at this time (Importance Weighting Score).  Importance Rankings Scores range from 1 – 3.  Next the candidate rates each job in the four career choice categories, including both their current job and all other options they are considering, also on a 1-3 score range.  These job rating scores go in the rows across for each job.  Then the Job Scores are weighted by multiplying by the Importance Weighting Score, yielding a Weighted Job Score in each box, and then are summed up in the final column, Total Weighted Score.

Comparing the Total Weighed Score for each job opportunity, current and proposed, becomes easier with this visual and quantitative scoring system.  When candidate’s suspicions are validated, and they  see proof that the role with my client is a better career move because of its ratings in each of these four common career categories, they are more confident in moving ahead with the change.  Very simple, easy to use, and works every time.

 EXAMPLE Quality of Life

Value = 2

Job Satisfaction

Value = 3

Corporate Culture

Value = 2

Financial Package

Value = 1

Total Value


Current Job 1 (x 2) = 2 2 (x 3) = 6 1 (x 2) = 2 2 (x 1) = 2 12
New Opportunity 1 2 (x 2) = 4 3 (x 3) = 9 2 (x 2) = 4 1 (x 1) = 1 18
New Opportunity 2
New Opportunity 3

Helping people make great life and career decisions builds trust and produces better results.  We are looking out for the candidate’s best interests while representing client opportunities, which leads to better career decisions and longer-tenure for both candidate and employer!

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