Shared purpose is an unseen-yet-ever-present differentiator that drives sustainable growth.

We’re not conscious of it.

How can it be invisible if it’s so powerful?

Companies that figure it out have something in common: the pursuit of purpose, alongside the pursuit of profit. A shared purpose mobilizes people in a way that pursuing profits alone never will.

For a company to thrive, it needs to infuse its shared purpose in all that it does.


Today people are looking for organizations that have a purpose broader than just making money. Rather than viewing profit as the primary goal of an organization, progressive leaders see profit as a byproduct of success.

This impacts how employers should approach recruiting and retaining them.

Hire people with a shared sense of purpose.

That gives everyone in the organization a common starting point.

According to Imperative’s CEO Aaron Hurst, as the economy evolves, purpose and recruiting purpose-oriented talent will be a competitive differentiator. Companies of all sizes and industries are realizing the power of inspiring employees with a strong social mission, and creating an environment that fosters purpose.

Acumen, the non-profit investment fund, has designed a recruitment process that enables it to identify potential employees who share the organization’s purpose.


Purpose is a motivator regardless of differences in region, culture, language, and occupation. There are some key differences when it comes to purpose oriented professionals and their approach to work and opportunities.



Spend some time thinking about the range of values and purposes that fit into your company, and create a process that allows you to gather that data before making a hiring decision.

John Bersin of Deloitte who has explored in depth how to build a “Simply Irresistible” workplace, suggests:   If you’re an employer, you should seek out people who “want to do the job you’re hiring for” – people who love it for its own sake, people who love your company’s purpose, and people who genuinely like to help others.

If you’re and HR manager or business leader, you should work hard to create jobs that can offer meaning to people. Give people autonomy and freedom to create and innovate; give them flexibility to work the way they want;  thank them regularly for their efforts; and give them a clear mission and view of the organization’s goals so they can find their own purpose at work.

If you’re a recruiter or hiring manager, remember to ask people “why are you applying for this job?” This simple question will tell you about someone’s purpose-orientation, and give you a clue as to how well they will adapt, grow, and contribute to your organization.

If you are a job seeker, take some time to rethink your own motivation.  What do you really want to get out of work?  How do you define your own measure of “success”?  Can you think more about your impact on others and less about your personal gain?

If you are in a position to influence hiring, talent management, or employee experience — the shared purpose movement cannot be ignored.


(You can read more about how to build a “Simply Irresistible” workplace in his article explaining the new world of employee engagement here.)