Why Young Professionals Say Yes to Companies Committed to CSR


As the war for talent gets more competitive, research shows companies committed to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) have a strong leg up on the competition. Many college-educated young professionals are strongly interested in joining a company that “gives back”. Here are 7 important research facts that could explain why.

Today’s young professionals are more prone to seek employment with a company attuned to the needs of the community. They are seeking greater purpose and are prepared to make personal sacrifices to work with a company committed to Corporate Social Responsibility.

Fact #1.

A study from the Stanford Graduate School of Business revealed that 90 percent of MBAs from business schools in Europe and North America prefer working for organizations committed to Corporate Social Responsibility.

Fact #2.

This was reinforced by findings from the 2016 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study.1 The study points out that 76% of Millennials consider a company’s CSR commitments when deciding where to work, and 64% would not take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong CSR practices.

Fact #3.

A Forbes October 2016 article notes: “50% of Millennials would take a pay cut for work that matches their own values. This generation seeks to work for companies that are socially responsible and value a positive impact on society.”

Fact #4.

More than any other generation, Millennials see a company’s commitment to responsible business practices as a key factor in their employment decisions. According to the Cone study, 83% say they would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues, versus a 70% U.S. average of all employees. This is significant for most companies. The longer an employee is with your business, the more experience he or she will have in both your industry and your specific approach to business, which is invaluable. Employees will be in a better position to talk about and promote your brand to customers. According to author and business consultant, Gregory P. Smith, the costs for replacing talent can be 2.5 times the salary of the individual.

Fact #5.

“Millennials will soon make up 50% of the workforce and companies will have to radically evolve their value proposition to attract and retain this socially conscious group,” says Alison DaSilva, Executive Vice President of CSR Research & Insights at Cone Communications. “Integrating a deeper sense of purpose and responsibility into the work experience will have a clear bottom line return for companies.” Millennials also want to be involved in developing CSR solutions. According to the survey, 89% want to be active participants in helping their company improve its responsible business practices by providing feedback, ideas and potential solutions.

Fact #6.

“For Millennials, it’s not enough to simply work for a company that’s doing good,” says Lisa Manley, Executive Vice President of CSR Strategy at Cone Communications. “This generation wants to get their hands dirty – providing ideas, suggesting improvements and participating in efforts on the ground. Companies that give Millennials opportunities to get involved will be rewarded with a more engaged and invested workforce.”

Fact #7.

The importance of positioning the company’s CSR activities and engaging millennials in CSR opportunities is snowballing. According to the ninth Annual Millennial Impact Report, cause-engagement interest and actions in CSR – far reaching social issues for the greater good—increased and intensified in the first quarter of 2017, as compared to 2016 and previous years. CSR is a high priority for millennials!

Number of Adult Learners and Professionals Enrolled in the Online Course for
Corporate Social Responsibility Has Grown to Over 6,000 in Less Than Five Months.

The online course, created by the Satell Institute and the University of Pennsylvania on the MIT-Harvard Platform edX, is available at no charge. Participants come from 165 countries and territories, with a median age of 31. 45% are college graduates, while 43% have advanced degrees. These impressive enrollment statistics demonstrate the global demand for cutting-edge CSR information and education.

This exciting online course is an exceptional professional development opportunity for CSR practitioners, HR Directors, Managers and others interested in the historic context and contemporary impact of CSR.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): A Strategic Approach is available online 24/7. It can be accessed through most computers and smart devices.

You can sign up and start the course immediately by visiting https://www.edx.org/course/corporate-social-responsibility-csr-pennx-sp2pennx

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