June 5, 2018

How Corporate Responsibility Impacts Talent Acquisition

Organizational Effectiveness

Running your company with social responsibility, social activism, and environmental concerns in mind is no longer just a trend in business, it’s an imperative policy. We expect companies to do more than sell a product or service; we also expect some worldly good.

Rising Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility

This is most obvious in the younger generations of job hunters and talent who believe reputation is more important than revenue. Today’s workers are willing to take jobs for a lower salary if those companies contribute more to social and environmental good.


Financial Implications

A negative reputation can cost a company at least an extra 10% per hire. For top talent, the world is now a candidate-driven market, not an employer-driven one. Not surprising, this is only expected to increase with time.

In an experiment with job applicants, it was found that potential employees who saw a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reputation in the job ad submitted bids that asked for wages 44% lower than applicants applying to the same job not listing their CSR information.

Just imagine by doing good, and being known for it, you can get hard-working and dedicated employees for 44% less. Granted, these employees will expect this reputation to be upheld. You can’t be all talk and no action.


substantiating csr commitments

In order for your reputation for CSR to stand out, you need to do more than throw money at a few causes right before tax time. You need to show the world, and potential employees, that you are willing to let CSR trump revenue when it counts.

One such way is to share information with competitors when it contributes to the greater good. Perhaps you’ve discovered new safety technology and processes for your industry? Well, don’t keep it to yourself; share with your competitors. You should care more about the safety of all people than you do about being ahead of the game in technology.


Identifying CSR opportunities

Do everything you can to decrease your organization’s carbon footprint. Think about what you can do to use fewer natural resources in your production, if applicable. Make sure anything you purchase comes ethically sourced and sustainably supplied.


Where to Go from Here

Not all of this comes easy; you will have to do your homework to make sure you are doing business with other good companies. If a business you purchase from, supply for, or work with in any way gets negative press – that can also reflect on you.

This is especially important with younger generations of workers. A survey of what is considered the millennial generation resulted in 76% saying that the social and environmental reputation of a company influences their decision to work there. It is 58% for an average of all ages.

As you can see, this is something you need to start preparing for now. Once you’ve mastered the thinking in terms of social responsibility, maintaining and adapting will not be as much of a challenge.


For more emerging dynamics your HR team should consider, download our ebook: Workplace Trends for 2025


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Judy partners with executives and leadership teams to engage and inspire employees in a way that delivers sustainable strategic results. She brings deep expertise and creative ideas to solve organizational effectiveness issues and closely collaborates in a way that builds internal capabilities. Judy has spent over 25 years consulting in a variety of industries, bringing her expertise in behavior to a wide range of organizational issues including organizational behavior change, leadership, change management, culture and engagement.

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