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There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic brought on an irreversible shift in the recruiting industry. Of course the sudden move to remote work (and for some, the eventual transition back to the office) turned the way startups hire on its head.

But there was an even greater shift that happened — and one that is here to stay: Purpose.

More than ever, top talent are looking for purpose-driven work. When you strip away the office perks like free lunch and happy hour, what was left mattered. And for many, it wasn’t enough.

Modern job seekers are searching for purpose and meaning in their work. They crave people first benefits like flexibility and supportive cultures. According to Gartner research, 82% of employees want to be seen as people at work, not a cog in the machine. And as more and more younger people enter the workforce, the more talent is seeking to work with companies that make a positive impact on the world.

So sure, you can continue to attract talent with your office perks and unlimited PTO. But in actuality, the greatest employee value proposition is your mission.

Employer branding has changed a lot over the last few years with the rise of video, new social media channels, and the sheer number of brands vying for top talent. Focusing on purpose is the number one way to cut through the noise.

It’s critical for employer branding and recruiting teams to get on the same page as the marketing and executive teams to make sure everyone is telling the same story. Your purpose should answer questions like: what’s the problem? who are we helping? and why does this matter? Once that is established, it’s imperative that the employer branding and recruiting team connect the dots for talent. Tell the story of how each individual at the company has an impact on the mission. How is that impact illuminated and empowered for each employee?

If the last four years have taught us anything it’s that the world can change so quickly. Sometimes it’s a great year, and sometimes it’s not. But purpose is resilient. And the brands that lead with purpose have the best team assembled to rise to the challenges.

About Ryan Landau
Detroit native Ryan Landau is the Founder and CEO of Purpose Jobs, the largest startup and tech community for purpose-driven professionals. Ryan is passionate about helping people connect, do good things and come together in emerging startup communities. Follow Ryan on LinkedIn at @ryanlandau

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