LinkedIn’s Recruiting Secret

Over the last five years, LinkedIn has grown from 78 million to more than 400 million members, a five times increase. Alongside this rapid growth in membership has been an expansion of its global employee base.

What is remarkable is that LinkedIn has not only been able to scale but to maintain a great culture as it expanded the team in size and around the globe. Its secret to hiring for performance and culture will likely transform the field of recruiting in the next decade.

LinkedIn has been able to hire double the number of “purpose-oriented” candidates as others in the technology industry, as reported in the 2015 Workforce Purpose Index. 41 percent of their employees are purpose-oriented, they see work as being about self-fulfillment and serving others. These employees thrive at much higher levels than their peers and contribute to building an amazing culture at LinkedIn.

Research by NYU and Imperative clearly shows that people who see their work as more than about a paycheck or promotion represent 28 percent of the workforce and they perform at higher levels in every measure. They are the most desirable employees.

The findings point to a clear imperative for employers and recruiters going forward. It is no longer enough to screen for skills and competencies. Recruiters need to screen for work orientation –how people fundamentally think about the role of work in their lives.

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The best recruiters will be those who can filter out the 72 percentof candidates who aren’t purpose-oriented and learn to close the 28 percent who will be both high performers and great co-workers.

The “war” for purpose-oriented talent has begun.

Aaron Hurst is a globally recognized entrepreneur who works to create communities that are empowered to realize their potential. He is the CEO of Imperative, a technology platform that enables people to discover, connect and act on what gives them purpose in their work. He is the founder and an active advisor to the Taproot Foundation where he was the catalyst and lead architect of the $15 billion pro bono service market. He was the creative force behind the conception of the national Billion + Change campaign.

Widely known for his thought-leadership, he is the author of The Purpose Economy (April 2, 2014) and co-author of the children’s book, Mommy & Daddy Do It Pro Bono, and Powered by Pro Bono.


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