Should recruiters only focus on money?

When I was at a large recruitment firm it was drilled into me…FOCUS ON THE MONEY! But is that really what we should be focusing on? I’m not so sure.

Now I am not saying money isn’t important (and I do know that recruiters are meant to be money hungry savages…) but is that what really motivates us!?

The fuel

Simon Sinek says “The purpose of a car is to go somewhere and fuel helps you get there. The purpose of a company is to accomplish something, to advance in a greater cause, to contribute to society. And money will help you get there.” You can see the full analogy on a video here.

His analogy makes a lot of sense to me – I don’t think most people are motivated by money, they are motivated by purpose.

Why do most recruiters get frustrated or leave the industry? Because they have nothing to aim for apart from the here and now. This gets boring after a while unless you have something else you are aiming for.

The purpose

HINT: Your businesses purpose isn’t that your firm wants to make X million pounds this year.

It might be your driver as the owner/shareholder – but guess what, your people couldn’t care less if you get a big bonus or an earn-out or not. Most people care about how things impact them (not you).

Deloitte’s Millennial survey said that 60% of millennials said that a sense of purpose was part of the reason they’d chose to work at a company.

In another survey by Gallup millennials said they would rather have a pay cut than work for a company that was not ethical. 

Money isn’t the be-all and end-all

This proves my point – money isn’t the be-all and end-all. For me, the goal is to become better at what you do and do better than what you did before (more refined? Or re:find!) Not only is this more enjoyable, it is more developmental for individuals and your clients benefit too.

Ultimately, it’s about the service you give to others – we are supposed to be in the business of helping people, aren’t we?

To discuss further, you can email me on

You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here.

Hiring an Interim Executive? You need to get it right! Discover the 8 step process you should follow, by downloading our free eBook here.