The About Staffing Blog

Welcome to the world of About Staffing where we discuss all things relevant to the employment, recruitment and staffing industry.

Jun 2017
The Meaning of Success

by Sharlene Massie

Sharlene Massie is the CEO and Visionary of About Staffing, Masters at matching workplace culture. Today’s blog post is about job and hiring success statistics.


We interview on average 40 people per week at About Staffing, for positions ranging from short term labour to very specialized professional executive roles.  There are only a few interview questions that we are able to ask every candidate, regardless of skill, or desired employment choice. But, one of those questions we can and do ask everyone is what is the meaning of success to them? I wondered, out of the 34000+ current interviewed candidates in our database, what kinds of answers would I see? Would there be similar answers, or one-of-a kind answers to that key question.  Would I find the meaning of life imbedded in these answers? Would candidates always know the answer, or would they make it up trying to figure out what I am looking for in the answer?  I have my own complex thoughts behind my question of analyzing what the meaning of success is for those looking for a job or a job change.  Here is a compilation of the most repeated answers to the meaning of success, from the highest repeats to lowest, other than a whole bunch of individualized answers and those who could not answer.  The exact question is, “What is the meaning of success to you?” 5834 said achieving goals, 3873 said being happy (good one), 1176 said balance, 898 said skill, 828 said help (giving vs. receiving I think), 673 said being great (at something in particular I assume), 531 said money (I am glad this is way down the list, aren’t you?), 420 said something about meeting or exceeding expectations, 316 said passion, 313 said support, 253 said something about a dream (dream job, dream home, dream lifestyle), 225 said opportunity, 220 said a plan, 187 said education, 185 said to lead, 131 said follow, 112 said win,96 said drive, 52 said travel, 45 said energy, 42 said motivation, 36 said creativity, 34 said limits, 32 said hobbies, 32 said communication, 21 said belief, 19 said parent, 16 said listen, 2 said negotiate.  These answers are scaled down to a word or 2 for this blog, but in my files, some people have given a paragraph of an answer, and some people, just the one word. Many individualized answers were along the lines of doing something you love and doing it well, and with a good team. Customer satisfaction was also a clear answer for those candidates registering for sales jobs. Interestingly enough, my own answer to THE question would have been freedom, to make decisions, to travel freely, to be independent.  Maybe that answer comes from being an entrepreneur, not an employee.  And surprisingly, there was no clear relation to health related answers which should be the top answer for everyone.  All in all, we have gathered some informative statistics about people at work in general, and how different or the same we are. The meaning of success is a unique and positive perspective and something for all of us to strive for.