You might have seen in the job requirement that company requires self-motivated people. Do you think the condition work? Do you feel that people with other matching condition do not come up as they feel they are not self motivated? Do you feel the addition of the condition makes any difference? No, candidates just overlook the criteria. They think it as a formal statement. So why do the company put the condition in the job requirement?
Let us first look at what is self motivation. By self motivation we expect a person to do his or her work in motivated way independent of external agent and condition. They will boost up themselves and adjust to the changed scenario. They will be self running machine with respect to motivation. But is it possible as per motivation theories? The most renowned and popular motivational theory is Herzberg Motivational Theory (1959). It says there are two types of factors for motivation Hygiene factor and Motivator factor. Hygiene factors are needed to ensure an employee does not become dissatisfied. They do not lead to higher levels of motivation, but without them there is dissatisfaction. Examples of Hygiene factors are working condition, pay and benefit, relationship with co-worker and supervisor, job security, company policies and administration etc. Motivation factors are needed in order to motivate an employee into higher performance. Examples of Motivation factors are recognition of work, awarding responsibility of work, chance to excel and education, opportunity of growth etc.
Now think, can a person control the Hygiene or Motivational factors for himself or herself on its own? It needs thoughtful management system to design and control. An employee needs some desired interaction with rest of the members of the organization to get and remain motivated. So a self motivated employee is not a normal occurrence, if he is not a super human or abnormal.
Come to the question again why do the companies put the requirement of self motivated candidate? The companies who do not have the proper motivational environment and the confidence to motivate its employees, they feel if they can get some motivated people by default. It is the spontaneous expression of their weakness.