Principle Fit: When you believe in what you do everyday


A company’s purpose, the reason why a company exists, is closely linked to company core values, which employees need to share in order to be most successful at work.

When company principles, the moral values that set the standard for attitudes and actions that shape company culture, align with those of the employee, the positive impact is considerable. Aligned employer-employee principles result in strengthened company core values, which in turn support the company’s purpose.

These invisible attributes become part of the intrinsic motivation of an employee. They motivate and influence their visible behavior, creating satisfaction, drive and motivation which in turn translate into measurable results for the company.


Research from Ernst & Young has shown that companies can attract and retain top talent as well as drive company performance by defining their purpose and their culture through a set of company core values and company principles. When employees share them, their level of engagement rises and company performance increases. 

Benefits of the Principle Fit

More than ever, people want to work for something close to their hearts, something that is aligned with their principles and values. According to Ernst & Young, 58% of millennials leave their job within three years, with purpose being one of the key attributes that a millennial will look for when choosing a position or resign over if it’s not clearly communicated.

Research by Ernst & Young also shows that two thirds of Gen Z look for purpose, value and aligned principles in a job they take. With almost 63%, this generation is looking for shared company core values and company principles over money. It’s time for companies to embrace that it’s not the classic “paycheck and prestige” package that attracts and retains talent from this generation.

Shifting employee priorities have seen a rise in success for a new business model, the purpose-driven company. Built around a purpose, these organizations have a clear set of values and principles, making the principle fit the connecting attribute between a company and new talent.

Purpose-Driven Companies


A purpose-driven company has a unique set of principles that influence employees in ways that are positive for the company and the individual.

Purpose-driven companies can identify three pillars of purpose and promote them through core factors that permeate through everyday tasks as well as long term goals:

Bearing in mind that employees at startups act as ambassadors now more than ever, ensuring that each candidate has a solid principle fit in a purpose-driven company is essential for a successful new hire.

A fact that cannot be ignored: recent studies show that companies with a clear sense of purpose grew 10 times the median rate of companies on the S&P 500.

The Value of Principle Fit in Purpose-Driven Companies

Purpose-driven companies exist across a broad spectrum of products and topics. Purpose is becoming a key differentiator for consumers and candidates alike. Both groups seek out purpose-driven companies, trusting and supporting them as consumers and employees when these attributes are present:

Principle Fit and Diversity: a Topic that Requires More Attention

An organization’s principles steer long-term decision-making and daily operations. While a company’s leadership team and business practices may shift, principles remain the same, always relating back to the core purpose and promoting the company’s core values.

During the hiring process, paying close attention to aligned principles between the company and the candidate is an important aspect for hiring managers, founders and executive search specialists alike, but it should not be confused with the lack of diversity or trying to build homogenous teams.

The Principle Fit approach will help determine a good fit while allowing for fresh perspectives and diverse backgrounds.

Using this approach when hiring top talent for your startup ensures that priority is given to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment with:

Principle Fit in Focus: Key Search Hires Your Leaders

As an Executive Search firm, Key Search strives to understand our client’s purpose, values and company culture, so we can help them hire the candidate with a perfect Principle Fit. When we present suitable candidates, we help our clients look at how each of them has the right principle fit and will have a positive impact on the existing company culture.

We help our clients put their company’s purpose and principle fit at the top of their priority list when we start our search for the perfect candidate. To get started, let’s have an introductory chat to see how we can support you.

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