Interviewing would be a lot more effective for the job seeker and employer is they simply sat down, handed each other their list of demands, and then exchanged, “Can you please tell me how you satisfy these?”

The Top 12 Happiness Factors for EmployeesIf hiring were handled this way, the number of recruitment mistakes and misguided career decisions would drop precipitously. Hiring, however, is not handled this way. Instead, employers prefer to design exotic recruitment processes, most of which are operated by the hands of inexperienced interviewers (because it’s not their day job).

Assuming the ultimate goal of hiring is to recruit a job candidate that turns into a long-term, successful employee, there are several adjustments both parties can make to improve this possibility. One of the easiest is to understand what the other wants—upfront—and determine whether those needs can truly be satisfied.

My company milewalk has profiled—in a detailed manner—more than 10,200 candidates. Based on performing this exercise with each of them, I’ve determined that—when probed—they favor twelve areas as the greatest influencers of their happiness and longevity with a company.

This means—employers—even if you don’t both to ask the job candidate upfront, there is an extremely good chance the candidate is considering these criteria as she evaluates you. It also means that as a candidate joins your organization, addressing these areas on an ongoing basis will keep her happy. For the job seekers, realize that somewhere along the way, many of these criteria will play a part in determining your long-term happiness with your employer and your career. For both parties, it would be prudent to assess these factors during the interview process.

  • Company Track Record and Position for Growth. Has the company been growing and does it have a product or service that positions it for future growth?
  • Corporate Culture. What is the company’s “personality”? Is it high-energy, fast-paced, employee-focused, and so forth?
  • Contribution. Are you in a position to make a significant impact for the company?
  • Appreciation. Does the company recognize and appreciate its employees’ efforts?
  • Role. Will you be performing interesting, appropriate responsibilities based on your background and capabilities? Can you be successful in the role?
  • Career Development. Does the organization provide opportunities for you to grow, whether through your daily responsibilities or training classes? Is there an outlined career progression or at least significant growth opportunities for the company, which usually results in opportunities for its employees?
  • Boss. Will I be working with someone who is smart, supportive, and easy to get along with?
  • People. Are the employees open, welcoming, and fun? Do they create a team-oriented atmosphere?
  • Office Environment. Does the office environment induce happiness and energy? Is it architected in a manner that is conducive for successfully performing my job?
  • Office Location. What is my daily commute? Can I telecommute a few days each week?
  • Travel Requirements. How much travel is required? Is it domestic and international
  • Compensation and Benefits. What is the overall compensation package as well as the health care, 401(k), profit sharing, and additional benefits?