Can Social Responsibility Help You Attract Top Candidates?

Until recently, you probably thought that CSR stood for Customer Service Representative. In the past few years, however, a new meaning has emerged–Corporate Social Responsibility. And it may be the factor your company is missing in its efforts to attract the best professionals.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to a business practice that involves participating in initiatives that benefit society, explains Nicole Fallon Taylor of Business News Daily. It’s about sustainability and trying to solve global problems by encouraging philanthropy, ethical behavior practices, and protection of the environment.

A friend of mine buys Tom’s Shoes, which gives away a pair of shoes to a needy child for every pair a customer purchases. I’ve also seen various coffee companies advertise their fair trade practices, meaning they buy coffee only at fair prices from specific growers. Other companies may sell their product based on more eco-friendly packaging or the sustainability of the product’s source, such as bamboo flooring which saves countless forests of trees.

On the consumer side, the effort is usually about sustainability, but internally, it’s about attracting top talent to your positions. Taylor quotes Susan Cooney, founder of crowdfunding philanthropy platform Givelocity: “The next generation of employees is seeking out employers that are focused on the triple bottom line: people, planet and revenue. Coming out of the recession, corporate revenue has been getting stronger. Companies are encouraged to put that increased profit into programs that give back.”

Cooney’s not making things up. When making a decision about which of two jobs to accept, researchers found that 72% of applicants prefer to work for a company that is socially responsible and actively supports charitable causes. This is particularly true for Millennials, who want to know that both their time and dollar spent are having a positive impact.

The good news is, establishing a socially responsible initiative can significantly benefit your bottom line. Almost 90% of the companies that measure the connection between volunteer participation and employee engagement have found a positive correlation between the scores, according to Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship.

Another new study which analyzed six types of CSR showed that the combination of effective marketing and CSR can provide shareholders with a 3.5 percent gain in stock returns. (Interestingly, charitable giving and philanthropy did not provide the same return. Researchers Sachin Modi and Saurabh Mishra speculated that the lack of applicability to all shareholders and consumers’ difficulty of independently verifying charitable giving may be the cause.) Modi’s caution, however, was that companies come up with something consumers are willing to buy–not something like a recycled toothbrush!

Can social responsibility help you attract top candidates? The research is saying yes. Of course, your company will also appeal more to socially conscious consumers, and you’ll also make a real difference in the world. It sounds like a win-win-win to me.

Do you need help acquiring top professionals? Amtec can help you land the best people by actively marketing your job opportunities, connecting you to passive job seekers, and assisting with offer negotiations. Click here or call (714) 993-1900 to get your search started.

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