A recent NY times article reviewed a longitudinal study conducted by Jennifer L. Aaker that says meaning drives those millennials more than anything. Meaning driven translates to being more concerned about "others." Seeking happiness is associated with being more self-oriented — by being a “taker.” Are you interviewing takers or givers?
We can indeed feel happy, but in a surface way. The real trend seen at the twenty something and thirty age group is the desire to connect to, be part of something that produces meaning - where there is a clear connection to giving and not taking.
When others were asked about having a meaning mind-set — they were found to be individuals who seek connections, give to others, and orient themselves to a larger purpose. The result of this focus in improved well-being and enhanced effectiveness and even creativity. The study that Jennifer Aaker led indicated that workers who find their jobs meaningful are more engaged.
So, what does this mean for Recruiters who are looking to identify those very bright, engaged young professionals - Are you speaking to them in a way so that they can see what the opportunity offers in "meaning." Is the recruiting organization clearly articulating its purpose. If not, figure this out or you could be trying to recruit that talent for a very long time. You may even miss out while your competitors speak the language of "purpose, connection and making a difference."