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Performance Management Recruiting & Hiring

Recruiting High Performers: Compensation Out, Compassion In

September 21, 2015
5 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged



Every company wants high performers. They’re more productive, highly driven, can save you money on hiring and, if you can keep them around long enough, they have the potential to do great things for your organization. But when it comes to attracting them, it seems companies are still stuck with their outdated ideas of talent acquisition. They’re still trying to attract high performers with compensation, and this isn’t the way to go about it. What’s the key to recruiting high performers? Compassion.

Money isn’t Everything

As the working world shifts more and more in Millennials' favor, what the workforce wants from workers changes as well. In the next ten years, they’re predicted to make up approximately 75% of the workforce. This means companies need to hire for loyalty and longevity now if they want a forward-facing workforce.


CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01 Millennials are taking up 75% of the workforce in 10 years. Start moving forward in the workforce like this:


What do Millennials have to do with compensation? Quite a bit, even if Millennials themselves want less do with money than their parents did. For them, working for a company that has a similar worldview and fosters a great work ethic, is more important than money. Fifty-three percent of Millennials are more interested in volunteer opportunities than they are compensation when it comes to picking a job. Millennials want more compassion in the workplace, and volunteering is only a piece of that.

Why Compassion Matters

According to all the movies you’ve ever seen about the big bad business world, you can’t let your culture become the dramaticized, brutal environment they depict. People have written guides about how to get through the more competitive and demanding parts of business. Business can be a tough world. That doesn’t mean candidates will force themselves into slogging through a competitive work environment just to make a bit more money. If compensation no longer matters as much as it used to, then the next important thing would be to work at a job you like.


CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01 Compassion at work overrules a competitive work environment. Read more about our evolving workforce:


And it’s exactly what candidates are doing. A recent survey by non-profit workplace advocates Catalyst revealed that 46% of women and 44% of men who earned their MBA degrees from 1996 to 2007 were likely to find a new job if their current one didn’t match the culture they had envisioned. In general, they preferred constructive, compassionate cultures, where collaboration overtook competition as the most valued trait.

Compassion matters. It’s what candidates want, and how companies should refocus their culture and recruiting efforts.


Incorporating Corporate Compassion

How can you attract high performers using compassion? It’s simple, but difficult: build a better workplace. You can also build your candidate profile around high performers instead of simply around the positions you plan to fill, as we’ve covered before. In short, you want to give high performers job satisfaction by giving them a job they can grow into.


CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01 Want to know how you can attract high performers? Provide job development opportunities!


Satisfaction is about more than the work, however, and many high performers want to do more than their jobs. They want to be around people they care about. As a recent study published in the Administrative Science Quarterly, building a workplace founded companion love (i.e., compassion and friendship) prompts employees to remove their shells, leading to higher employee engagement across the board. This helps high performers as well, since they’ll feel better about working with people they like, contribute higher productivity and stick around longer.

The workforce shift from compensation to compassion doesn’t mean people don’t want to be a fair wage for their work. Rather, it means employees have started realizing that there’s more to life than money, and have finally begun making strides to implement their desires into their work. And when you begin following their lead, your business will be much more ready to take on the high performers you’re looking for.

ClearCompany has everything you need to source, hire and manage every employee, making sure you know who your high performers are. Sign up for a demo today and we’ll show you how to make the hiring process easier.

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