How Employers Are Using CSR To Attract The Best Workforce

CSR is becoming more important than salaries and benefits when it comes to attracting talent. Is your business ready for the change?

Think back a few years and you’ll remember that, if businesses wanted to attract the best employees, they needed to offer competitive salaries, and a truckload of personal benefits. A little while after that – as tech start-ups boomed – employees were lured to companies through the promise of nap pods, foosball tables, and no-leave policies. But today, especially as more millennials enter the job market, attracting talent has a lot more to do with how strong your business’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices are. And business leaders need to adapt – fast.

By the year 2020, it’s estimated that millennials will make up half of the workforce. And, despite the fact that they’ve been labelled the ‘selfie’ generation, they’re actually more focused on the growth of others. A 2014 report compiled by Nielson, entitled Millennials – Breaking the Myths, revealed that 70% of millennials say that a “company’s commitment to the community would influence their decision to work there. And the employees who participate in employee-sponsored volunteer work express more pride and loyalty in their employer than those who don’t.” And, according to The Case Foundation’s 2016 Millennial Impact Report, 53% of millennials surveyed said they had been inspired at some point to work long-term for a company whose mission was to make a difference in the world.

With this in mind, business leaders are going to be forced to look at their CSR practices – at least, if they want the most talented employees sitting at their open-plan desks. And they’ll have to do it with conviction, because employees are also skeptical of a tick-box approach to CSR that doesn’t hold any real meaning. So, how can businesses adapt?

Be Transparent

Traditionally, CSR practices might have been left to HR, without being given much attention elsewhere. But now, you need ensure that your commitment to creating positive social change is front and centre. It needs to become your brand. Your marketing, recruiting and PR efforts need to focus on what you stand for, instead of what you do. Get the message of your mission out there – honestly and quickly.


Allow your employees to get involved in the CSR ideas. People are more likely to work towards a goal they helped to create, so hold brainstorming sessions in which you ask your employees what social causes are most important to them. Give them time and space to dream up ideas that would help solve problems in their community – and then follow through by putting your corporate weight behind them.

Reward Employees for Giving Back

Instead of simply offering up a December bonus for reaching high levels of productivity, businesses need to think of more inspiring and creative ways of rewarding employees for their volunteering work and social innovation efforts. One new trend is the idea of Volunteer Time Off (VTO) policies, where employees get paid time off each year to work on a cause close to their hearts. Tech company, TCC, for example, encourages employees to take up to 16 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer during work hours.

One thing is for certain; businesses need to get excited about their CSR strategies not just because it’s time for business to give back, but because their future employees demand it. Are you ready to create the right environment for staff of tomorrow?

– By The Philanthropic Collection –


The Philanthropic Collection™ is a boutique social enterprise,
where we tailor haute-couture brands for philanthropy.


Our appliqué is made up of global leaders, influencers and forecasters,
all creating conscious capital for humanity.