Why do people join your company? Why do they stay?


If you want to retain and attract talent, these are the two fundamental questions to be answered.


In his book, “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” leadership guru Simon Sinek writes, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy WHY you do it.”


Understanding and capturing the big picture of WHY – rather than ‘what’ they do or ‘how’ they do it – is the foundation for building an employer brand marketing and communication strategy that sets you apart from your competitors. It is well documented that companies with strong employer brands built on the WHY are more successful in finding and keeping top talent.


Consider these facts:

  • When making a decision on where to apply for a job, 84% of job seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer is important. (TalentNow)
  • 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase. (TalentNow)
  • 86% of U.S. women and 67% of U.S. men wouldn’t join a company with a bad reputation. (CRO Magazine)

Here are four steps you can use to determine your WHY:

  1. Current Information: Review existing information, such as recent employee surveys, customer feedback and exit interviews. Look for threads about your company’s culture.
  2. Employee Feedback: Conduct employee focus groups and surveys to probe for WHY employees come and WHY they stay.
  3. Leadership Experience: Conduct one-on-one interviews with leadership to find out what type of talent is needed to meet the business goals and objectives.
  4. External Perception: Survey job applicants and new hires to find out how familiar they were with your organization prior to seeing your job posting.


Many great business leaders and innovators have been guided by WHY. You also can use this successful principle to take your organization and its hiring and retention practices to a new level. WHY not?