Purpose will redefine hiring and the work force--we just don't precisely know how yet.

Purpose-driven workers, those motivated by their work itself rather than pay or promotion, perform significantly better than other workers, according to a recent joint study by LinkedIn and Imperative (a company in my investment portfolio). And entrepreneurs and employers who recruit for purpose will see improvement in their bottom lines.

Hiring, retaining, and promoting the best leaders based on intrinsic motivation will completely upend the way companies large and small evaluate their talent and positioning as desirable places to work, because purpose-driven workers are better.  

"Intrinsic motivation is a key factor in the hiring process of my company, with all candidates vetted by the COO (and usually CEO as well) to ensure a proper fit with company culture," said Anthony Rosen, CFO of Adore Me, which placed 14th on the 2015 Inc. 500.

Why Are Purpose-Driven Workers Better?

Several years ago, Googlers began reporting that their phenomenally successful employer was recruiting differently, hiring people often described as smart, goofy, collaborative, and not afraid to experiment.

They were primarily doing so, as Google head of operations Laszlo Block described in his book Work Rules, by asking high performing, highly motivated Googlers to refer new candidates.

More recently, Reid Hoffman wrote about the clear link between intrinsic motivation and stronger performance in the right cultural environments. Hoffman was citing LinkedIn's new case study on purpose-driven hiring with Imperative and Imperative's "Work Purpose Index."

The index quantified that 28 percent of all employees and 66 percent of the 2014 graduates of the University of Michigan (as a statistical sample for the under-30, Millennial population) are purpose-oriented. When fulfilled in the right environment, purpose-oriented workers perform higher on net productivity, net external promotion, and self-report less desire to leave than their non-purpose-oriented peers.

Purpose-oriented workers perform more poorly than their peers if they are in a culture that doesn't prize intrinsic motivation, creative thinking, and willingness to take risks.

Translation: Companies hiring significant numbers of Millennials cannot avoid purpose, and companies that refuse to build their cultures around it will pay a performance price.

"For the first time ever, we have the ability to uncover in the hiring process not just what someone is good at or how much experience they have but fundamentally why they come to work and what drives them to be at their best," said Arthur Woods, co-founder of Imperative.

Where Is Purpose Heading?

Purpose will ultimately go far beyond corporate work environments.

In my own world, we have incorporated purpose into our own affinity investment syndicates, focusing on recruiting members who are motivated to invest their time to assist companies far more often than recruiting members for the amount of money they bring to the table.

For us, purpose has become interconnected with the experience of recruiting similarly minded, yet diverse individuals who bring an intrinsic desire to assist others, which is at the core of how to help great companies grow.

 "The ability as an organization to connect into the intrinsic motivations that power these leaders will attract and encourage like-minded and like-hearted leaders to bring their purpose orientation to bear, " says Jennifer Brown, CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting.