The Search for Purpose- the Recruiting Challenge 

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Matching people to roles in the recruitment industry is not too much of a challenge.  Finding people driven by  purpose  with the right skills and motivation  to  stay a  while, however , is where  those tasked with recruiting  require  a whole other level of connection, expertise and experience.   Especially challenging is when people  are looking to transition from mainstream to a more purpose-oriented  career . They  could have the right skillset,  feel passionate about the business and its mission, but  find  the transition comes  with a discount on earnings  (it usually does) , which can be a tough pill to swallow . Oftentimes there is a  belief that the move to more purpose-driven work  will bring with it an end to  those  bad days  in the office   surely everyone will be so  energi s ed  and motivated by the contribution they ’r e   making to the world everyone will absolutely love coming to work! ?!   T he reality is, these roles have the same challenges   as corporate roles   budget pressures  (big asks with little money) , operational complexities  and   personality clashes,  so  candidate  need to be  screened thoroughly  for everything from  experience  to motivation to expectations   

Employing  someone who really believes in what they are doing  and is happy to show up to work every day is invariabl y a better situation than someone who drags the i r feet, calls in sick and needs to be constantly  monitored  in order for them to meet  deadlines – of this there is no doubt.    There is , however,   also  evidence that f inding  purpose-oriented  people  can have a  significant impact on  profit ,   job  satisfaction  and  employee tenure  Recruiting people with a mindset that is aligned to the values of the  organisation   helps  to  really  embed their purpose into their DNA, so that everyone working there lives it , it  is evident in every project, every email and every activity the firm participates in  (rather than it being a dot point on a Power Point  presentation  or a  feature of a marketing campaign  co mmunicated  once and never spoken of again).  

But how do you find these people?  

Not just a  network

We know  the positive impact  purpose  can have   on an organisation , and how  aligning purpose-oriented individuals with purpose-oriented businesses  can spark joy,  improve   business performance and  enhance  job satisfaction.  Plus working with like-minded people can make the whole vibe at work mor e enjoyable.  But where are these people hiding  Finding candidates   for whom  purpose  brings a sense of fulfilment  comes down to having an extensive , rich and diverse  network to tap  into and knowing how to  continuously  build this network  One of the trickiest aspects of the search is the fact that  more often than not , these people w on’t be  actively looking for a new position.  The  best people are found from  build ing  a network of people identif ied  as purpose-driven through  people you know, or through  everyday interactions- conversations in the coffee shop,  friends of friends who speak in terms that trigger the recognition of   like-minded individual s .  In other words, not just CV’s sent via email or a brief conversation over the phone.   They may not be looking, they may never be looking, but keeping them on the radar and touching base from time to time opens you up to  people  they  know  who may  share the same way of thinking and  in fact be the right person for the role you’re looking to fill.  There is a real purpose-driven community out there, it’s just a matter of knowing where to find them.   

Look beyond skillset

Look beyond skills and experience when it comes to a candidate search .   A candidate might be interested who is qualified but doesn’t have the specific experience  the hiring manager is after. But if you  dig a bit deeper you might  find out this person has great experience working with smaller budgets,  resilience when faced with knock backs and obstacles, and  is great at finding  innovative ways of getting things done. You wouldn’t realise any of these valuable attributes  by looking at a CV  or limiting your search to people who fit a  strict criterion  Having  even the l arge st  network  is not enough- it’s also about   knowing  each person’s story and what they can  bring to a role beyond technical skills . That’s  the secret to unearthing the hidden gems.    

Purpose-driven people working in roles they are passionate about is like  adding accelerator to a small flame. The right chemistry (personality, workstyle and culture) can ignite something very special.  There is no easy way to attract  these  individuals, retain them for longer, all the while meeting your profit and shareholder  expectations . It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle with very human parts.   You need the network, but not just any network. You need to know the stories of the people in your consideration set (or perhaps you need to re-think your consideration set ) –  to  discover the things about them that just won  t come across in a CV, but will make them an amazing asset to your team .   S omeone who can truly  drive your agenda forward,  often times even more than the most qualified, experienced individual.  

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