Guest Post: Recruiting Top Talent on PURPOSE


The following is a special guest post by Jeff Vanderwielen, Ph.D., and John Izzo Ph.D. They have a new book coming out soon called  The Purpose Revolution: How Leaders Create Engagement and Competitive Advantage in an Age of Social Good (out March 13th).  Customers, employees, and investors are no longer satisfied with companies providing good products, good prospects, and good profits–they want them to do some social good, too. These “purpose-driven” companies do better on nearly every traditional metric: greater customer loyalty, higher retention, more innovation, and a healthier bottom line. But a nice mission statement and donations to charity won’t make your company stand out. Using scores of real-world examples and practical exercises, John Izzo and Jeff Vanderwielen help leaders find a truly authentic purpose, one that is a natural fit for them and their organization. They describe concrete actions leaders can take to ensure that employees own it, customers and recruits connect with it, and every corporate action and activity reflects it.

Recruiting Top Talent on PURPOSE

How do you win the best talent when trends are showing widespread talent and skill shortages across generations and around the globe? By engaging prospective employees with their purpose.

As we show in our forthcoming book The Purpose Revolution: How Leaders Create Engagement and Competitive Advantage in an Age of Social Good employees are drawn to companies with a clear and authentic purpose. Eighty five percent of US employees said they will stay longer with an employer with a high level of social responsibility and a UK report shows that 42 percent of employees globally say it matters to them to work for a company that is making a positive difference in society. For millennials, sixty percent said they choose a sense of purpose as part of the reason they work for a company and Gallup reports that a full 50 percent of millennials say they’d rather take a pay cut than work for a company with unethical business practices.

Since good employees are focused on social good, here are two ways to help you recruit the best.

1)Make It About Purpose

What does your company really stand for? What are your core values? How do the strengths of individual employees make a difference to your customers, and to the world? If you can show candidates that purpose is front and center in your company, you’re getting their attention. The job descriptions you post should speak directly to the values of the people you’re trying to attract. Don’t just include the duties, requirements, and responsibilities of the position; describe your company’s story, its ethos, and how its purpose ties to your team members’ values and goals. Be bold and highlight how your mission is integral to every aspect of the company and culture.

When you interview a prospective employee, be sure to ask what their life purpose is, what they want to contribute, what their deepest values are, and what issues they care most about. In turn, share your personal purpose and how it is realized through your work in the company.

2) Make Your Mission Real and Tell the Story

You can make your purpose real for prospective employees by giving compelling evidence of how your company lives its mission. Like consumers, employees are skeptical of company claims. They want concrete proof of purpose, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. They want to see how they will be personally be involved in the good work that you’re doing. So you can demonstrate with specific data how company initiatives have made an impact in the lives of others. Have current employees talk about what working for a purposeful company means to them and how it makes a difference.

In everything you do, you want to show that your company’s authentic purpose is real and tangible. When you send the message that purpose is important to your organization; it draws the right people you want to attract- those with a purpose mission who want to make an impact and do good work.

About the Authors:

 Jeff Vanderwielen is vice president of consulting at Izzo Associates and a former senior change consultant at Ernst & Young with 20-plus years of experience helping organizations manage large-scale change and articulate a compelling purpose – their core good – as the organizing center for their vision, strategy, and culture.
 John Izzo is president of Izzo Associates. He has spoken to over one million people and advised over 500 companies, including IBM, Qantas, the Mayo Clinic, Verizon, RBC, TELUS, Walmart, DuPont, Humana, Microsoft, and IBM. He is the author or coauthor of six books, including Awakening Corporate Soul.



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