Research: Workers Seeking Companies That Make a Difference

With the most recent employment numbers showing little improvement, you’d think most people would be clamoring for any job that would have them. Not true.

According to “Talent Report: What Workers Want in 2012,” research conducted by Net Impact, young workers are looking for jobs that are in line with their values and result in a positive difference in the world. More than half (58 percent) of student respondents say they will take a pay cut to find a job that matches their value system.

Net Impact polled 1,726 people, from college students to workers across generations, millennials to baby boomers.

Half of students say it’s important to work for a company that makes CSR a top priority. That figure falls to 38 percent when you look at more experienced workers, but half or more of both students and older workers agree that having a job that helps create a better world is important.

We’ve written a few stories in the past year about how important CSR is to consumers. So it would stand to reason that people would also be concerned about the issue in their professional lives. The findings on this research could be impacted by a bit of over-optimism (37 percent of students think they’re going to have a number of job offers to choose from), but the findings, coupled with those of other recent research, indicate that people are shifting their definition of personal satisfaction. While financial security is still a goal, achieving that while also having happiness and doing things that have a purpose in the world is the ideal. And they sound willing to make sacrifices to have it all.

PR firms have, in recent years, beefed up their CSR capabilities, creating practices and bringing on experts that highlight a client’s good works and try to involve staff members and consumers in those efforts. It’s an area that should continue to see increased growth, with plenty of potential employees willing to jump on board.

We recently attended an event about CSR and sustainability. You can check out the takeaways here.