As organizations look toward finding their next generation of executives, they can hardly avoid seeking out millennials, the generation defined in part by their increased use and familiarity with communications, media and digital technologies – and the largest population group on the planet. Companies that have a strong culture in CSR can increase their chances of attracting this group of potential employees: Millennials are considered to be more civic-minded and with a strong sense of community, both local and global. Companies can set themselves apart in the eyes of Millennials by making sure their CSR programs are not only strong, but are communicated to the right group of people.
So how do companies attract this social-minded group? One of the best ways is to reach them where they live – that is, online. Don’t hide your CSR efforts under multiple drop-downs, suggests Peggy Anderson, VP of global talent acquisition at Blackbaud (via HR Dive). “Featuring CSR programs prominently on your website and career site allow interested job seekers and curious consumers to see what you’re about right away, perhaps even before you’ve had a chance to talk to them or discuss publicly,” she says. And don’t forget to feature your CSR efforts via other outlets online: social media, bylined articles, press releases, etc.
Anderson also suggests that companies document their impact, including examples, highlights, and results. Include this information in recruiting materials and media outreach. Don’t forget to embrace the “local angle” rather than just having a global view of CSR, as Millennials like opportunities to support local communities.
Finally, make sure potential candidates (and for that matter, current employees) understand the link between “profit and purpose.” CSR programs can’t exist in a vacuum and companies are increasingly making commitments to show the links between CSR programs and positive business outcomes, either those that add directly to the bottom line or via building a reputation as a “good corporate citizen.”
Nearly two-thirds of Millennials (64%) say they strongly consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work, according to a Cone Communications study in 2016. The same number indicated they won’t even take a job if a company doesn’t have a strong CSR program, while 83% would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues. And an impressive 88% say their job is more fulfilling when they are provided opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issue.
Companies that tout their sustainable behavior not only gain by reaching potential star employees; they’re also reaching a group of people that have become increasingly interested in sustainable investing. This younger generation of investors believes they can “make a difference” by investing in companies targeting social or environmental goals, according to a recent report from Morgan Stanley. In fact, 61% of Millennials have taken at least one sustainability oriented investment action in the last year, the report found.
Sustainable investing continues to draw strong support, and familiarity with it only appears to be spreading, Morgan Stanley says. Investors largely believe that their portfolios can have substantive social and environmental impact. Sustainable, responsible and impact investing rose 33% between 2014-2016 to $8.72 trillion and, as long as the need for such impact remains, it is likely that investor interest will keep rising.