Jim Citrin shares his views on finding meaning in your career and your job.
(upbeat modern music) - I was just out at one of the Fortune 50 companies last week giving an all-hands employee presentation on the career playbook and what it means for the HR leadership and the senior leadership for being the employer of choice, and with a big focus on millennials. So we talked about what the best companies do to attract the best talent.
The best talent wants to be associated with something that they're proud of. And what determines being proud of is having an impact. So, no matter what you're doing, if you're a CEO, or an HR leader, positioning your company with what its purpose is, and every company has a purpose. Herb Kelleher, famously of Southwest Airlines, didn't say that we're in the airline business, we're in the making people happy, bringing families together, vacation, family connection business. And he is, you know, the idea of finding absolute meaning in what you're doing is really number one.
Most hiring companies know that, but they really don't, can underestimate how important that is to young people in being associated with something that's meaningful. The other thing is having the opportunity to work on meaningful work. Some of the most prestigious companies, some of the highest paying companies on Wall Street, or in some professional services firms, legal firms, there is a "things roll downhill" tradition and they can get away with it when they're paying huge amounts of money and their entries into future great business schools but most companies, if they're giving lousy work, then they're not going to attract the greatest people.
It takes a lot of management time to actually create meaningful work for new employees. But those who do, that put in the work, they get a really big return on that investment based on attracting great people, better people, and also based on giving them the opportunity to add more value earlier on. So, there's enormous leverage to that. And when you do that, their turnover is lower, their retention is higher and that's very, very important.
One extraordinary leader that is a household name, we were interviewing CEO candidates together. She said to each of the candidates, penetrating eyes right at the person saying, I've got two questions for you. Why do want to be the CEO of this company and why are you the right candidate for this job? That was it! And it was the way she did it and delivered it with such intensity and passion.
And then, it was, at the end, the candidate asking her questions and same as young grads, you know, the quality of the questions for CEO candidates. But those two questions pretty much sum it up. Why are you right for it, why is it right for you, and going for it. (upbeat modern music)