In 2018, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is playing an integral role in both talent acquisition and overall business performance. In fact, according to PwC, 64 percent of CEOs report that CSR is "core to their business" rather than a stand-alone campaign or initiative. Further, 65 percent of candidates and employees say that, when a company takes a vocal stand on social or environmental issues, they will do their research to uncover if its authentic – this includes 76 percent of 18-35 year olds (which will comprise 50 percent of the global workforce come 2020).
In brief, consumers support (i.e., buy from) companies that care about employee welfare, community development, diversity, environmental sustainability, and human rights. Likewise, in 2018 especially, candidates and employees are being driven to join/stay with organizations that invest in such causes.
The 2018 Fortune 500 Top 100 Employment Brands report explores how Fortune 500s are driving revenue with CSR initiatives, while the following reveals simple yet effective ways you can reaffirm your "authentic" commitment to CSR and ignite both candidate and employee engagement.
1. DRESS FOR THE CAUSE
Here at WilsonHCG, we have a number of employee-driven committees. The Inclusion & Diversity Committee, as an example, is built around “bringing awareness to members of our company and clients across the globe around issues that impact everyone.” Empowering women both personally and professionally, rightly so, is one such endeavor.
In February, employees were encouraged to wear and share their red clothing in order to bring awareness to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign. In addition, International Women's Day is this week, March 8. Throughout March, WilsonHCG employees are being encouraged to “celebrate the women who have impacted your life by sharing stories, quotes, or pictures” across our intranet and their social media platforms.
Encouraging employees to share pictures of themselves dressing for a cause, or create and share videos in celebration of their colleagues, serves as a fantastic way to create content for employment branding and recruitment marketing purposes –while simultaneously increasing awareness for what's most important.
2. EQUIP YOUR EMPLOYEES TO GIVE BACK
According to a study conducted by StaffBay, including feedback from 15,000 employed professionals, nearly 53 percent of people who planned to leave their job in recent years say it was because they "do not trust" those in charge. CSR takes time, commitment and involvement from leadership across many months and years to incite trust across the workforce. Equipping and empowering your employees to undertake CSR is an impactful step.
At WilsonHCG, leadership strives to ensure employees have the opportunity to do charity work within their communities; this comes in the form of the company’s annual “Day to Give Back” – which enables all employees to take a fully paid day off to focus specifically on volunteering, giving back to their communities, and supporting important local and global causes.
Programs like this are also an impactful way to show employees you are committed to work-life balance and more than the bottom line; you’re setting aside the business for the betterment of the communities in which we live and work.
3. VETERAN RECRUITMENT (ETC.) PROGRAMS
Employee-led committees that focus on empowering the recruitment of women, veterans and people with disabilities give employees a meaningful way to give back to society, better the personal and professional lives of others, and create opportunities for employees outside of their day-to-day role responsibility. The “ability to learn and progress” is now a principal driver of career decisions among 18-35 year olds, and stretching in this way significantly impacts engagement.
Initiatives like this can also enable employees to contribute to something they are expert in and emotionally tied to – such as how a number of military veterans at WilsonHCG participate in Operation Transition. WilsonHCG’s Operation Transition provides career services to military veterans entering the civilian workforce to reduce veteran unemployment. The committee’s mission is to prepare these veterans for success through one-on-one mentorship, interview coaching, community outreach, as well as career planning and preparation.
As CSR initiatives take root, they will positively impact your people, your talent acquisition efforts, your recruitment marketing, your impact on the world around us and, as the following report reveals – your bottom line. Efforts don't have to be complex to make a difference, they just have to be diligent and intentional.
Richard supports WilsonHCG's marketing team as global communications specialist, focusing on content strategy, public relations and telling both client and WilsonHCG stories. Richard finds true joy and passion developing real, genuine relationships and connecting people across the talent landscape through inclusive and engaging content. He's an ardent coffee drinker, book-aholic and adores his English lab Maggie.