Winning the Talent Battle

The most talented and motivated workers are looking for one thing - purpose.

Why Purpose Matters in Recruitment: The Numbers

The importance of your purpose expands beyond your walls, attracting new and motivated employees. Recruiting prospects who believe in what you do and share similar values and motivations will positively shape your organization’s culture, morale and the bottom line - and the research proves it.

As the process starts, understanding the pool you’re picking from is crucial. Right now, that pool millennials, and it’s only getting deeper. Yes, despite the all the great jokes and derision, this generation will be massively important in the coming years and is expected to make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. How do you pull in the best and the brightest of these new workers, though? The answer is simple: Purpose.

Sixty percent of millennials say they prioritize the meaning behind their work over how much money they earn, making it clear that the fundamental core of what your organization does will make it a desirable destination for prospects who share it, not to mention you’ll get the best out of them. And when you find workers with whom you align, money is no object. More than 50 percent of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values

The impact of shifting your recruiting efforts to attract the generation of smartphones and Netflix is long-lasting, too. With millennials, you’re getting employees who are statistically more likely to stay with their early employers longer than previous generations. In general, 39 percent of purpose-driven professionals are likely to stay at their company for more than three years, compared to 35 percent for those who aren’t. There is no doubt these kinds of workers will save you money, given that research shows replacing an employee costs six to nine months’ salary on average. 

While millennials are motivated professionally by higher meaning, the power of purpose is still evident across the entire age spectrum. In fact, the baby boomers may be the most motivated workers out there. A study commissioned by LinkedIn found that 48 percent of those over the age of 51 are purpose-oriented - more than any other age group. The authors speculate that young adults emphasize building relationships and when they reach middle age their focus changes to making a larger contribution to society.

Yes, when hiring a boomer it might cost you a little more up-front, but if the hire’s beliefs align with yours that cost will be made up in no time. A recent study found that when employees feel they’re working toward a good cause, they are 30 percent more productive.

No matter the age, purpose-driven employees consistently out-perform their counterparts in almost every metric. A study from New York University found that they are 64 percent more likely to have higher fulfillment in their work and 50 percent more likely to be in leadership positions.

Utilizing your purpose in the recruitment process will also help weed out those who don’t align with what you do. For example, Y-Scouts, an executive search firm, discovered that integrating purpose into the hiring process yields great results. They identified three characteristics they were looking for in a hiree: relentless learner, people developer and result driver. By filtering their prospects through these three qualities, they were easily able to find the best fits for their organization. 

“By emphasizing purpose and critical behaviors ahead of functional expertise, you will end up with a pool of more qualified candidates who truly have the potential to lead your organization into the future”
Y-Scouts founder Max Hansen

You’ve seen what it can do from a philosophical perspective, but you’re still probably wondering this will do for your bottom line. Well, the research makes that clear, too. According to a Deloitte study, organizations that focus beyond profits and instill a sense of purpose are more likely to find long term success, while 92 percent of executives and employees who said their company has a strong sense of purpose said their company has a history of strong financial performance. 

It’s easy to get lackadaisical when it comes to hiring. Applicants and a seemingly endless barrage of resumes can start to blur together, causing you to go with the least expensive or most experienced client. Simply prioritizing purpose in your process can make the differences in candidates clear as day and could be the only thing standing between a highly motivated, happy and efficient employee and a revolving money pit of bad fits.