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Today’s educated job seekers aren’t just looking for a random place to land. They’re looking for employment with a company where they can contribute and belong.
According to research from corporate giving platform Groundswell, two-thirds of workers vet potential employers based on values alignment. They want a deeper connection with the brand their work supports, a sense of purpose in exchange for a paycheck. And they’re not shy about switching organizations to work for a company with a cause they can believe in.
As a business owner, you can view this shift as either a threat or an opportunity. On the one hand, you’re being held to a much higher standard by the people you hire. On the other, you can use what you know about applicants to find employees who will help your company differentiate and grow.
If you’d rather look at the “purpose-driven employee movement” as a plus, consider implementing the following strategies.
Forget about only having mission and vision statements. You need to have a purpose statement if you plan to woo like-minded job seekers. Gartner reporting suggests that 52% of people have rethought their life goals since the events of 2020 shook up the world. Consequently, your goal should be to communicate and advertise a purpose that will hopefully mesh with people who could stay awhile.
Remember that your purpose should explain why you’re in business but not be too complex. The simpler, the better, like grocery store Kroger’s tagline: “To Feed the Human Spirit”. It’s as straightforward as it gets, yet the words evoke an emotional connection. The same can be said for Campbell’s, “connecting people through food they love.”
Once you’ve settled on a statement, lead with it across your messaging. Let it guide your social media posts and applicable advertising. Add it to your job descriptions. Talk it up on videos. That way, job hunters will hear about it and be able to determine right away if they should hit “submit” or not.
Related: Develop Purpose, and the Profits Will Flow
Empowering employees to contribute
To set up a dynamic corporate culture with at least one cause at its core, keep the channels of communication open with employees. Send out surveys to get ideas and insights. Arrange for workers to sit on culture committees so they can make recommendations to improve your workplace. Take all feedback seriously and be open to problem-solving when necessary.
Per Gallup, only one out of every five workers is engaged. Letting employees own your brand’s purpose and help steer their experiences can improve engagement levels. Candidates will be able to see this genuine engagement during final interviews, ensuring them that your company is a good “purpose fit” in person as well as on paper.
Related: Employee Feedback: Our Biggest Asset in the War on Talent
Collaborating with partners
From suppliers to corporate partnerships, choose your relationships around your stated purpose. For instance, if your purpose is to promote sustainability, be cautious about choosing a supplier that’s questionably green.
It’s easier than ever for potential employees to check on your supply chain, your working conditions and your brand reputation. Therefore, you need to make sure that you aren’t sending mixed messages, so you can be sure that applicants are scrutinizing you from all angles.
The Vaseline Healing Project is a prime example of a purpose-driven partnership with a win-win outcome. Vaseline and Direct Relief, a nonprofit humanitarian organization, work together to offer basic healing supplies to people affected by natural disasters. The collaboration generates a platform to show both entities’ purpose in action for the world, including candidates in search of cause-driven companies.
Thanks to the Great Resignation, many millions of knowledgeable, innovative workers are resigning. Why? They would rather work with companies where they feel more valued and can be themselves. Be sure that you’re putting your purpose front and center to drive some of those qualified applicants into your recruitment pipeline. When your team is aligned, you can push full-steam head toward your most ambitious objectives.
Related: 3 Reasons Why Purpose-Driven Businesses Can Help You Find Better Hires, Mentors and Investors