corporate social responsibility cause millenials techCSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)—integrating environmentally conscious actions, corporate support and employee volunteering throughout the organization focused on environmental sustainability initiatives, direct philanthropic giving, ethical business practices and economic responsibility.

That may be an overly ambitious definition for the concept of ‘doing good’ in the business world, but CSR is a hot-button topic in recruiting of late. Some of that is the growing segment of potential employees known as ‘millennials’ and some of it is due to the desire/need to move corporate imagery away from profit-hungry without regard for its impact. And another part may be the shift of consumers to buy goods and services, even at a higher price-point from organizations who are making a difference.

How does this become a tool for attracting the best talent? As many recruiting professionals will attest, a strong CSR program that includes employee giving and volunteering opportunities are becoming increasingly important in recruiting top talent.

With falling unemployment, companies are naturally trying to ‘sweeten the pot’ to attract talent. In the past that would have been things such as free meals, recreational activities, generous vacations, and similar perks. But millennials in particular, are really looking for companies offering them an opportunity to ‘give back’ and contribute to a higher purpose. Millennials have been indoctrinated into the idea of ‘service’ at least by high school, where more than 90% of schools – public or private – require students to perform a specified number of hours of community service as a requirement for graduation. Those behaviors move with them to college, where they volunteer in unprecedented numbers, it’s only natural they want to carry that forward with them into their employment. While the rest of the working world was a little slower to jump on the bandwagon, they are on it now – perhaps inspired by their children. And of course, for centuries the church has been a major source of giving back.

There are many examples of companies that have integrated CSR into their organizations, some with a very long history of ‘giving back.’ Coca-Cola™ has been a supporter of both the Olympics and Special Olympics, starting with donating product and custom labeling of their products. Over the years their commitment to Special Olympics has grown, they are recognized as a founding supporter and their employees around the world volunteer at events in their local communities and throughout the world. Both Tom’s™ shoes and Warby-Parker have a buy one, we’ll donate one program. In this case, the employees and consumers are directly involved in ‘giving back’ by buying products. Both organizations have contributed millions of dollars’ worth of products. Deloitte has taken a different approach, in addition to offering paid time off to volunteer, their sites throughout the world take part in an Annual Day of Service. All staffers get out and work in their communities. By simply checking potential employer’s website or checking a website for the cause that is important to them, candidates can see just exactly how a CSR is a result driven function of an organization.

As a professional recruiter while working with the company be sure you have a thorough understanding of their CSR process and programs. While not all companies are known world-wide, that doesn’t mean they are not making a significant contribution. When you can articulate the socially conscious organization’s work to a prospect or include it in recruiting materials, you will be giving candidates a more complete vision of the company and helping them to make an informed decision. When working with a candidate find out what they’ve done in the past and their vision of CSR. How do they personally envision being a part of the overall program or process? All this information is going to be invaluable when trying to make a good ‘fit’ between a potential employer and a candidate. The bottom line is that organizations that invest in CSR – and in their employees’ ability to make a difference – are going to recruit the best talent.

You might also want to consider what your company or you as a professional recruiter are doing to make a difference in your community. It might just help you attract the best talent to work with you!

GATE has more than a decade of experience in the technology recruiting field and we can help your organization find the best candidates to fit with your organization. Give us a call at 877-369-GATE, or drop us an email!