The Papirfly Blog

Why contribution is king in today's talent attraction economy

Jun 12, 2018 10:11:00 AM by Phil Owers |0 Comment Add Comment

Why contribution is king in today's talent attraction economy“What can you contribute to our company?”. This question has been a mainstay of job interviews forever.

But just remember that you’re not the only one who has contribution-focused questions that need to be answered. From the other side of the desk, try these for size...


  • Will I be allowed to make a positive contribution?

  • What will that contribution look like in real life?

  • Will I be micromanaged - or will there be the opportunity for me to show real initiative?

  • Will I get the chance to give my opinions - and will those opinions be actually listened to?

Increasingly, employees want and expect to make a positive contribution to the companies they work for; something that seems to be especially true of the latest entrants to the workforce. And assuming that you don’t want to attract the type of employee who gets by doing the bare minimum, then this desire to contribute can only be a good thing!

In a recruitment market where employers are struggling to fill posts, it’s definitely worth bringing “contribution” front and centre in your talent attraction strategy. Here’s a closer look at why the opportunity to contribute is so important to would-be recruits - and how you can use this to help shape your employer branding efforts…

Feed the entrepreneurial spirit

The brightest and best potential employees need a good reason to come knocking at your door and to stay with you once they arrive. In part, this is because many want to go their own way; something that’s often more true of younger employees. In fact, one study showed that Gen Z is 55% more likely to want to start their own business and hire people compared to Millennials.

Resourceful, curious and eager to take on new challenges: candidates with an entrepreneurial spirit can actually make excellent employees. Offer them opportunities to enact their ideas and make a positive impact on your company and you can feed this enthusiasm.

Here are a couple of ideas on how to make this happen…

  • Encourage your people to take ownership of projects. We have a business end-goal, but this is ‘your baby’. From roadmapping through to task allocation, you have control over it. We’re giving you the freedom to experiment with different solutions - and plenty of support is here if you need it. By adopting more of this type of working and by showing new talent that this is how you operate, you can set out your stall as an entrepreneur-friendly organisation.

  • Showcase how individual contribution shapes your business. From the execs who run their own regional sub-offices through to the designers who shape your product offerings, let employees tell their own stories of how their contributions have made a real difference.


Take a step beyond the ‘open door’

“The director’s door is always open for a chat”. It’s something of a cliche. What’s more, savvy applicants will know that even in those open-plan and seemingly super-collaborative workspaces, barriers to meaningful contribution can still be a fact of life.

An estimated three-quarters of employees care a lot about what’s happening within their organisation - but less than a quarter know how the company is actually doing.

Remember that many applicants will be looking for reassurance that their voices will be listened to. It’s definitely worth showcasing the platforms and processes that exist to facilitate this within the company - from fly on the wall videos of meetings in progress to junior employees explaining how their ideas helped to shape strategy.

Highlighting how individual contribution makes a difference can give you a valuable edge in the war for talent.

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