Recruiting Talent through Entrepreneurs’ Social Vision Communication

Timo van Balen, Murat Tarakci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


For-profit social ventures are proliferating. They often communicate social visions, presenting an ideal future where the ventures resolve environmental or societal issues. We study whether social vision communication helps a startup to recruit talent-a fundamental problem for growth. We argue that jobseekers are less likely to apply to ventures communicating a social vision as they perceive reduced career advancement opportunities. We conducted two complementary studies to test our theory. Study 1 enlisted data from a job board for startups to show that ventures communicating a social vision receive 46.3% fewer job applications. Study 2 replicated this finding in a field experiment that further reveals the underlying mechanism: social vision communication limits jobseekers' perceived career advancement opportunities. Both studies show that higher remuneration can compensate the negative effect of social vision communication. Our findings advance research on purpose-driven organizations, human resources, entrepreneurship, and vision communication to caution entrepreneurs against social vision communication as a recruitment strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-345
Number of pages20
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2024

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