These days, ethics are powerful. The market is candidate rich, so, employers have tough competition. Therefore, a company which stands for something can cut through the noise.
Think about how negative press attention can damage a company’s reputation. Well, the opposite is true as well. Implementing an ethical philosophy and strategy within your business will keep your reputation exactly where you want it to be and promote sustainable development.
With unemployment “estimated at 3.9%”, a strong employer brand is hugely important. Managing your employer brand is all about communication. How you communicate with your workforce, your clients, and your prospective candidates about what your company has to offer.
Sometimes, companies make the mistake of thinking that what they have to offer only benefits their employees. However, businesses are increasingly being held accountable for their principles, and their responsibility to give back.
Who’s demanding this change?
This is partly due to the influx of millennial talent shaking up the workplace with a culture built on emotional intelligence. We are in a time of increasing engagement with, and awareness of the world around us. Research shows that millennials are more likely to choose employment with â€œworkplaces with social purpose.
As well as this, in society, there is an increasing cry for action on topics with environmental impacts, such as climate change. This is especially true for large organisations. Such businesses are more likely to be asked to take responsibility for being part of global change.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is defined as the ethical principles that ought to govern the relationship between the corporation and society. Of course, it is valid to question whether corporations really do have a responsibility to their communities. However, CSR benefits, not just the local community in which an organisation is based, but the corporation itself.
So, what are the benefits of incorporating a CSR programme for your employer brand?
Attract high-quality candidates
According to Talent Economy, millennials have high expectations for the actions of business when it comes to social purpose and accountability. They want to work for companies that uphold these values. Therefore, CSR strategies are an integral part of any company’s employer branding and talent attraction campaigns. This is especially true if they want to appeal to new, up and coming talent entering the workplace.
Millennials may be leading the way on social action. However, across the board there is an upward trend toward enterprises that place ethics and ethical business practices at their core. Candidates want to gain a sense of purpose from their work. This may even be the reason they are looking to leave their current position.
As such, you can beat the competition for high-quality candidates. Your employer branding should communicate, before they even interview, that your company is a frontrunner when it comes to giving back.
Establishes your voice
Maybe you want to fund extra-curricular classes for young people in the community, or you want to sponsor a local event. You could donate the time of your employees to local charities. Or, you could focus your CSR efforts on environmental sustainability and focus on reducing waste.
Whatever your company chooses to do establishes your company’s voice. Establishing your voice can be a fantastic way of engaging prospective candidates and giving a sneak peek into your company culture.
Providing job seekers with this look inside your corporate culture allows them to assess whether they share the values of the company. Therefore, they can analyse whether they are a good fit. This can lead to much more quality hires and better retention rates.
Research has shown that millennials would take a pay cut and be more loyal to a company which provides them with the opportunity to contribute to social and environmental issues. By being a responsible business, which actively engages its employees in CSR initiatives, employers can engage employees and increase morale.
The benefits of a happy workforce are well known, promoting productivity, creativity, retention and boosting profits.
Generate positive publicity
Patagonia has had a remarkable employer brand for many years. In a candidate-driven market, Patagonia has their pick of the talent pool. They are leading the way with paid environmental internships and incentives for travelling to work in a way other than driving. Having such a strong employer brand with an emphasis on environmental consciousness results in just a 6% voluntary turnover rate among full-time employees.
CSR and ethical initiatives are not new concepts in the workplace. However, they are increasingly gaining relevance. More and more employees want their employer to take responsibility, to play their part in sustaining the environment and creating social change.
Your company doesn’t have to be an expert in a topic to play a part in advancing the cause. As well as the employment and economic benefits, being an ethical, forward-thinking employer feels good all round and creates a great atmosphere.
The best candidates have their pick of the top companies. So, let your reputation in ethical issues precede you. As a result, when it comes to the crunch, your company should already be at the top of the list.