What the Future Workforce Is Looking for Now

How you can attract the next top talent today

The future workforce will be looking for something beyond a paycheck. Of course, they want to make money, but they don’t want to just make money. Today’s workforce is realizing that there is more to life than money, and you as a leader need to know what they are looking for if you will be successful in attracting and retaining top talent.

Future Workforce

The Millennial generation is doing the rest of the workforce a favor in bringing these concerns to light. But it’s not just the Millennials that have these concerns. Todd Rose and Ogi Ogas In their book, Dark Horse, explain that even successful and established people are looking at themselves and saying, “This is not who I truly am. There is more to me than this.”

In order for you to attract top talent to your company—and keep them engaged—it is important for you to know what the workforce is looking for. Here are three things the future workforce wants to find in a job or career they will pursue.


1. Purpose


To interest the future workforce—Millennials and others with the same perspective—you must help them see why what your company does is important to the rest of society. They are interested in serving a higher purpose than just money.

Telling them that you can help them make lots of money will not interest them. While they want to make money, they are not motivated by money. In fact, only about 30% of people are motivated by money. The future workforce will be motivated by doing something that matters in the long run. Whether or not your company grows at 10% instead of 8% will likely not enthuse them.

John Mackey and Raj Sisodia explore the concept of company purpose in their book, Conscious Capitalism. The rise of social entrepreneurship and companies that partner with the nonprofit sector also demonstrate this trend. Just the other day when I was in the grocery store, I saw advertised on a box of Lipton Tea how the company was helping people in tea growing nations rise above poverty. Showing how your company benefits others in ways beyond the product that you sell will establish your credibility with your future employees—and with the marketplace.

Tapping into a purpose greater than your company will help you do good—and help you do well—but it will also attract the future workforce to your company, and not your competitors.


2. Meaning


The future workforce will want to see how the work they do impacts the bigger picture. They will want to understand how the work they individually do matters to the company. They will also want to see how the company benefits more than just customers. Remember: you won’t be able to just hire them and put them in a room to work. They want to do more than just make money. They want their job to provide them with meaning.

This search for meaning is not a symptom of a narcissistic Millennial generation. They have grown up with the ephemerality of social media and empty marketing promises, so they want to do something real with their time. They want to make their lives count for something. As a result, you have an opportunity to provide them with that meaning.

But you first have to figure out how what your company does is significant and why it’s worth their time to do it. And then you must remind them of it all the time. Whenever you come together for staff meetings, tell them why what they are doing is significant. Tie the work they do to something larger than themselves. In the process, not only will they feel better about working for your company, you will enjoy your work more as well. You will be able to make the connection between what you do and the difference you make, and you will be better off for it.


3. Fulfillment


Every one of the people you hire has been created in the image of God. Each one has been made unique. And you have the opportunity to help each one pursue their gifting in a way that will help them better contribute to your company. By helping them in their pursuit of fulfillment, they will be all the more devoted to your company.

I realize that the people you hire have a job to do, and the work that they are hired to do must get done. But you will make your company more productive and profitable if you gear what they do more to how God wired them. As Jim Collins said in his book Good to Great, you want to get the right people on the bus and then put them in the right seats. By having them do what they were wired to do, both you and they will benefit.

The more you are able to help your team feel personally fulfilled by what they do, the more they will be dedicated to what they do—and to your company. By helping them, you will be helping yourself in the process.


Key Takeaway


The workforce is changing. To keep ahead of the trends and to attract the best people, you will need to connect your company with a higher purpose, show how what they do has meaning in the bigger picture, and help them find fulfillment by aligning what they do more closely with how they are wired. Doing that will benefit not only your future employees, but it will benefit your company and yourself.


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