Inspiring purpose among employees

Inspiring purpose among employees

Portrait of a Pensive Black Man Relaxing at the Office

In addition to surveying young talent entering the job market, Universum also surveys employees inside organizations who work to attract future talent. What can employers – particularly those inside the World’s Most Attractive Employers – tell us about their recruiting goals and attraction/retention challenges?

Research shows a promising area of focus: Inspiring purpose among employees.

Universum research consistently shows students on average seek out employers that offer job security and work-life balance – yet big global averages hide interesting variation at the country level. For example, engineering/IT students in Russia have a high interest in becoming functional experts (a desire that is significantly lower in the US and UK) and engineering/ IT students in France feel strongly that they want to be dedicated to a cause or feel their work serves a greater good. And career goals and preferences vary not just by region, but by industry and even by subgroup (e.g. women versus men, business versus engineering).

Despite all this variety, the data points to an interesting area of commonality: inspiring purpose. Our research suggests that a significant proportion of WMAEs believe that ‘inspiring purpose’ is a key component in their EVPs, key to attracting the right kind of talent for their organizations. ‘Changing the world’ and ‘making an impact’ have become common calls to action for these companies and these claims resonate strongly with how students define ‘purposeful work’”.
In the graph, it is clear students have a shared sense of what they find defines purposeful work. Most find purpose in working for organizations that are committed to improving the world around them, and committed to improving lives, for example.
Employers must be sure, however, that purpose-driven messaging doesn’t overshadow the practical attributes young workers often value strongly as they start out in their careers. For example, our research shows young talent has a high interest in security, professional development and remuneration – all practical issues related to career advancement.


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