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How to Hire People Who Will Change the World

March 10, 2015 by John Ward 19

People want to work where their efforts make a difference. That’s what the surveys say, and it’s not just Millennials who are doing the talking.

In a recent survey from the United Kingdom, nearly half of the respondents across the entire age spectrum said they wanted to work for an organization that has a positive impact on the world. Meaningful work that benefits others was even more important than a high salary for 44% of those surveyed.

Fortunately, there are plenty of like-minded companies out there. In fact, Guy Kawasaki – an American businessman and former chief evangelist at Apple – once suggested, “Great companies start because the founders want to change the world . . . not make a fast buck.”

So the question is: How do idealistic job candidates and visionary businesses find each other?

Recruit More Creatively

Increasingly, it’s employers who are taking the initiative. Innovative HR organizations are turning to more creative recruiting methods and are exploring dozens of new channels to find the kind of talent they want and need.

The telecommunications giant Ericsson is a great example.

That’s right; not all the companies changing the world are nonprofits and startups. Ericsson has been part of what is arguably one of the most significant social revolutions of the last 30 years. Mobile communications have literally redefined what it means to be connected, and these technologies continue to provide billions of people around the world unprecedented access to information and human services.

As a video on Ericsson’s career site points out, “Not only do we enable change makers all over the world with our mobility, we hire them.”

As part of its hiring strategy, Ericsson uses around 100 online sources to connect with the best talent available. This includes the company’s own career sites, LinkedIn, social networking sites, external job boards, search engines, and e-mail alerts. Collectively, these various channels have helped Ericsson build a global talent community of some 314,000 people in less than a year.

And Ericsson isn’t just throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks.

Ericsson rolled out a new recruiting system based on the SuccessFactors Recruiting Marketing solution to help optimize this mix of channels. Furthermore, built-in analytics let Ericsson measure the effectiveness of its talent acquisition strategies and determine which messages are best received by the talent community.

Become an Employer of Choice

Multiple recruitment sources are only part of the answer.

In addition to simplifying its HR systems, Ericsson is also working to authenticate the company as an employer of choice. It introduced a new employer value proposition last year designed to emphasize the company’s 135 years of industry leadership and describe what candidates can expect from working at Ericsson. These workplace attractions include the freedom to innovate, autonomy to get things done, and continuous learning and development.

A Sense of Purpose

Companies like Ericsson clearly recognize the importance of cultivating a sense of purpose among their employees. As Ericsson’s career video goes on to say, “At the end of the day, progress is what gets us out of bed every morning; all of us working together to make a change.”

The world doesn’t lack idealists. We just need to get these change makers together.

Please join me on Twitter at @JohnGWard3.

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This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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