Young Job Seekers Value Corporate Social Responsibility

For companies looking to fill open jobs (that’s 63% of you, according to the U.S. Department of Labor), the current market is as tough as it’s been in a long time. For the first time in years, there are more jobs than people in many industries.

Competitive job markets are not new to employers. What is new is what job applicants are looking for from prospective employers. Increasingly for companies, what can really make a difference in their pitch to job candidates is what they do to make a difference.

It used to be that a competitive salary, coupled with flexible hours, free lunches and onsite health clubs, would be enough to tip the scales. However, today’s generation of job seekers is different.

Millennials (anyone between 23 to 36 years old) bring a different set of values to the workplace. To these job candidates, a lack of commitment to social responsibility can be a non-starter.

A recent Cone Communications study revealed the following about millennial job seekers:

  • 76% consider a company’s social and environmental commitments before deciding where to work.
  • 64% won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong corporate responsibility practices.
  • 75% would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company.

It is hard to overstate the importance of this value shift being driven by millennials. Today, approximately 30% of workers are millennials. By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be comprised of millennials.

Corporate social responsibility’s (CSR) impact on the workplace extends beyond recruiting new employees. According to New York University research, purpose-oriented employees remain with companies 20% longer and are 47% more likely to promote their employer to others.

To stay competitive in today’s job market and into the future, companies must understand the expectations of this generation of workers. They want a sense of pride and fulfillment from their work, and they expect their employer’s values to match their own.

What constitutes social responsibility will differ from one company to another, and it should; a company’s commitment must reflect its own unique values, its business operations and environmental impacts, and the interests of its stakeholders.

What is the same for every organization, regardless of age, size, or industry, is that if you want the attention of this new generation of employees, you must demonstrate a purpose-driven commitment in your business.