Hiring for Purpose (Not Just Potential)

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on July 28, 2017

Many hiring managers focus on candidates’ potential or performance when deciding whom to hire. While these factors matter, narrowing your search exclusively to those candidates with good performance or the “raw matter” of potential overlooks an equally vital quality: purpose.

What Does It Mean to Hire for Purpose?

When organizations hire for purpose, they look for focus and agility, rather than a particular set of skills. In companies that focus on purpose-based hiring, managers typically prioritize traits like:

  • an active commitment to self-improvement
  • the ability to advocate successfully for one’s own needs
  • a willingness to embrace change
  • an ability and desire to engage senior management

Purpose-oriented candidates can answer the question, “Why do you do what you do?” They have a desire to serve others and to grow as people. Often, the top-performing employees in any organization are purpose-driven.

How to Hire for Purpose

The benefit of hiring for purpose is that it doesn’t require you to sacrifice potential or performance. On the contrary; purpose-based employees typically offer significant achievements and have not only the ability to grow, but the drive to do so.

Here’s how to hire for purpose:

  • Clarify your own mission. What is the purpose of your company? Can your current employees sum it up in one sentence? How do your staff describe the ways in which their work furthers that purpose? When your company’s purpose is clear, it’s easier to recruit purpose-focused candidates and help them see how their own goals align with the company’s.
  • Ask “why”? Younger workers in particular are looking for more than a paycheck or steady hours. They want to know why their work matters; why each task they do is meaningful within the larger context. To find the ones who can more easily grasp your organization’s “why,” ask candidates: Why do you do what you do? Why did you enter this field? Why is our company the best place for your growth and abilities right now?

Considering these questions when filling a role will position you to make the best hiring decision possible.

If you are looking for assistance in leveraging this recruiting tactic to hire the best talent in the Pacific Northwest and Phoenix, partner with the team at TERRA Staffing Group. At TERRA, our recruiters specialize in connecting our clients with talent that will further the purpose of your team, department and business. Contact us today to learn more.

Categories: HR and Management Advice, Staffing Tips & Recruiting Trends

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