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Using your organization’s purpose as a recruitment tool

Organizational purpose for recruitment image

When employment opportunities are abundant, skilled job seekers can be much more selective about where they want to work. Even if you’re offering competitive wages, you still need some other weapons in the talent wars – and one could come from what may seem like an unlikely source – thinking about your organization’s purpose. Research from LinkedIn and Imperative found that 38% of LinkedIn members globally consider purpose to be equally weighted with money or status and showed that purpose-oriented professionals are more likely to stay at their company for more than three years when compared to non-purpose-oriented professionals. These studies suggest that organizations should be using purpose as one of their primary recruitment messages.

Here are some tips to help implement this strategy in your organization:

Make your mission statement clear and meaningful

Employees and potential hires should be able to understand and communicate your company’s purpose without a lengthy explanation. If they can’t easily grasp what you do, they probably won’t take the time to look for further details. When constructing or revising your mission statement, keep clarity and brevity in mind. Is it something your entry-level employees as well as your executives can communicate and commit to? Does it sound like buzzwords thrown together with little meaning and developed by committee? Figure out what is at the core of your company’s purpose and turn it into a powerful and emotionally compelling statement.

Keep it at the center of the conversation

When recruiting new talent, put your company’s purpose at the forefront of your discussions. Make sure recruiters and hiring managers explain how the employee’s day-to-day work makes a contribution as well as how it drives the firm forward. Potential hires should understand that they would be joining more than a company – they would become part of a team moving toward a meaningful goal. This helps potential candidates remember your organization out of the many that may be trying to recruit them.

Integrate it in all your communications

For many job seekers, your company’s website will be their first impression of the firm, which means the entire site should demonstrate how the work is aligned with your purpose. Attention spans are even shorter online, so it shouldn’t take long for them to find and understand what your company does – and why. Similarly, your purpose should serve as an underlying theme throughout your recruitment and employee material, so that it’s clearly a top priority within your firm.

Live it

New hires will quickly recognize if you don’t practice what you preach, which can lead to high turnover and disengaged employees. To save your recruiting team time and money, as well as enhance employee retention, communicate how each employee’s role contributes to the purpose – not just during recruiting, but consistently in your internal communications – and make sure your policies and procedures also align with purpose as a priority.

Summary

While it’s true that a clear company purpose is a great recruiting tool, competitive compensation should not be forgotten. Organizations should compare their employees’ value proposition to the market rates at least every couple of years or potential hires may not take them seriously. If your company combines meaningful purpose with competitive pay, you’ve got a much better chance of recruiting and retaining great talent.

For more information on becoming a sought-after “destination employer,” register for Carrie Cox’s webinar at 10 a.m. on March 7, or if you have questions about this topic, please contact Carrie using her information below.

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Carrie Cox, PHR, SHRM-CP
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Carrie Cox, PHR, SHRM-CP

Senior Organizational Development Consultant
Organizational Development & Family Business Services

Carrie has experience in a variety of human resource functions, including labor laws, compensation structures, employee classification, benefits administration, performance management, and human resource best practices. She has served clients in a number of industries including manufacturing, construction, banking, and not-for-profits. Carrie is a member of the national and local chapters of the Society of Human Resource Professionals’ (SHRM) and serves on teh Wichita chapter board of directors. She is a certified practitioner for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and the Hay Group’s Emotional and Social Competency Inventory. Her additional certifications include Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute and SHRM-CP designated by the Society for Human Resource Management.