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How to Engage More Millennials With Corporate Social Responsibility
Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018

With Earth Day around the corner, many people are thinking about how they can give back to our planet and are finding ways to volunteer their time or reduce their carbon footprint. However, what many organizations fail to do is consider how they can extend their efforts beyond one day a year and leverage corporate social responsibility to attract talent, specifically millennials, who already make up more than 35 percent of the workforce, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Millennials take corporate social responsibility seriously, which may come as a surprise, since they often are associated with adjectives like lazy, self-centered and entitled, to name a few. Although misunderstood, the millennial generation is actually a very passionate group of individuals who are willing to work for what they believe in and want to make an impact. Three-quarters (76 percent) of millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work and nearly two-thirds (64 percent) won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices, according to the 2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study. Millennials value this kind of work more than generations before them, and their voices are starting to be heard by corporations and organizations all over.

Candidates now hold more power than employers, and as more millennials enter the workforce, companies should start planning initiatives to attract and engage with this passion-filled generation. They are hard workers who want to have a purpose - so why not work to create a recruitment brand that supports making a difference?

Keep in mind, this generation doesn’t just want to work for a cause one day out of the year. Millennials are looking for how they can consistently make an impact. According to the 2017 Millennial Impact Report, some of the top actions taken by millennials in response to causes and social issues in the last year included:

  • Signing petitions
  • Posting and sharing information on social media
  • Changing how they make product or service purchase decisions
  • Participating in marches and rallies
  • Donating to relevant or related organizations
  • Participating in protests

Knowing that millennials already make up 35 percent of the U.S. labor force and that those numbers are still growing, it’s imperative for companies to start making changes to their recruitment marketing tactics and corporate policies to attract and employ this generation.  

Use these ideas to start thinking about how including corporate social responsibility in your recruitment brand can fuel millennials’ passion and keep them engaged and excited to work for you.

Organized company-wide volunteering  – Host a company-wide day where employees can volunteer together. This can be done annually, quarterly or as many times as your company is willing to provide. You can partner with local community organizations to set up various locations to volunteer at and make it easy for everyone to participate.

Company charitable-donation match – According to the Millennial Impact Report, 69 percent of millennials said they were more likely to donate if their company offered to match their donation. Research charities or other non-profit groups that donate to the causes that millennials care about most and include that as part of the donation match program. The Millennial Impact Report also stated that most recently, the causes and social issues that have been of most interest to millennials have included civil rights/racial discrimination, job creation and employment, healthcare reform, climate change, education and the environment.

Volunteer Time Off (VTO) – Give your employees a few days within your PTO policy that are designated volunteer days. This way, employees can use the day to volunteer where they feel they would make the most impact.

Go-green in the office – Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. It seems simple enough so why not find ways to use less paper. Provide options for employees to recycle and use green products in and around the office.

Promote energy efficiency – Launch an initiative to only use energy-efficient products. Whether it be automatic sensor light switches that only turn on when there is movement, a particular appliance that your company uses to manufacture a product, or timed temperature control in the office. These little adjustments could make a significant impact.

Make it a competition – Encourage friendly competitions between teams or departments to raise money or collect donation items.

Once a plan is in place to support corporate social responsibility, capture the interest of millennial job seekers by sharing your initiatives and using a candidate relationship management (CRM) software to help generate and maintain their interest. Today’s job seekers approach looking for a job like any other major purchase. They research and compare before making their final decision to buy a product or apply to a job. By incorporating corporate social responsibility into policies and featuring those plans on your career and company websites, your organization will have a leg up in a millennial’s job search.  With a standout recruitment brand and continuous engagement, you will be able to fill jobs faster, hire top talent and stay ahead in the competitive recruiting market.

Consistently encouraging company philanthropy and promoting social corporate responsibility not only helps fuel a better world but ultimately a healthy company and culture.