Recruiting talented young employees is essential for a company's long term vitality. Young professionals are looking for an array of features in their employer, which increasingly includes a company's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices. A 2012 Net Impact Report asked students and professionals of a variety of ages to rate job attributes as essential, very important, somewhat important, or not at all important. While work-life balance, job security and good compensation were found to be some of the most essential qualities in a job, two-thirds of students also said that contributing to society and making the world a better place were very important job attributes. Perhaps more strikingly, 35% of students said they would take a 15% pay cut to work for a company committed to corporate and environmental responsibility. In order to work for an organization with values like one's own, 58% of students were willing to accept the pay cut. While enthusiasm for an "impactful" job was a little more muted among working professionals, the study still found that 59% of Millenials (age 21-32), 49% of Generation Xers (33-48), and 52% of Baby Boomers (49-65) said having a job with a positive impact was very important.
Other aspects of the Net Impact study highlighted the link between CSR and employee satisfaction. Forty-five percent of respondents who provided input on sustainability/corporate responsibility in their workplace said they were very satisfied with their jobs. This satisfaction might have been the result of internal motivations. For 58% of workers, the desire to work for a socially responsible company had to do with aligning corporate and personal values.
The appeal of working for a positively-impacting company was linked to a feeling of personal fulfillment.
In order to attract these CSR-minded employees, companies must cultivate their internal CSR image. Businesses in which employees at all levels are engaged in a dialogue about CSR tend to create this environment. By communicating CSR initiatives to potential recruits, companies can begin to differentiate their actions from the altruistic endeavors of their peers. If a business is to attract today's talented and CSR conscious workers, these actions are a must.