In the war on talent, pretty words are no longer enough…

Words without action are useless. That’s not new. But what does this mean in the context of CSR? A little refresher on how millennials value CSR policies and activities, how much salary they’re willing to give up for ‘a good job’ and some inspiring examples. Let us know if you’d like to discuss your CSR policy and activities!

Students willing to give up salary for responsible employers

The current generation of students are the most socially conscious generation since the 1960’s. According to a 2016 study by the UN initiative Principals for Responsible Management Education, more than 90% of business students said they would be willing to sacrifice some percentage of their future salary to work for a responsible employer. As one of the interviewed post-graduate students puts it:

“Being a good steward of the resources that have been entrusted to you and maximising the profitability of the business. Being responsible not only with the corporation or business but with the community as a whole.”.

So, CSR policy and concrete activities are an important part of the decision making process for the vast majority of soon-to-be job-seekers.

Employers respond by concentrating on CSR

Companies are fully aware of this, and in response, they started to focus on CSR en masse. According to KMPG’s 2017 annual Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting among 4900 large and medium size enterprises, the number of companies that devoted space in their quarterly- and annual reports to CSR jumped from 13% to 75% in the last 2 decades.

Massive increase in CSR activities in the last 2 decades: from 13% to 75%

And while the trend is encouraging, not matching your actions to your rhetoric can be perceived as disingenuous, or in the worst case, accusations of greenwashing.

Action is key to differentiate from talk

So you can’t stand out of the crowd by just your words anymore. In order to have an edge in recruiting prospective employees, you have to put purpose into action. There are plenty examples of companies that have taken a leadership role in CSR, and the payoff such action has delivered.

Take for instance Intermarche and Chipotle. They teamed up in a program to reduce food waste. This also resulted in selling products that would otherwise be unable to sell.

Or Starbucks, who supports a sustainable coffee supply chain and safe and humane working conditions for farmers with their C.A.F.E. program.

So how to get started with putting purpose into action? There are several ways of doing that. A good place to start is discovering your purpose, and building your actions around that.

Go win that war on talent!