Friday, April 29, 2011

CSR Takes on the War for Talent

I love following Elaine Cohen's blog because of her insightful posts and book, CSR For HR(reviewed here earlier) about the increasingly important relationship between CSR and HR domain issues. Recently she wrote about the importance of CSR as a recruiting tool, Recruiting for Purpose.

There has been a lot of news lately about poaching for top talent going on in Silicon Valley, where I live. There has also been great news about the improved job market for this year's 2011 college graduates. As the economy improves and more and more employees are expecting their companies to be socially responsible, one of the weapons in the "War for Talent"  that may become more significant will be the company's commitment to social responsibility, community engagement, and philanthropy.

I engaged in a bit of poaching myself here from Elaine's post, the terrific YouTube video of Charlie Rose speaking with Indira Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi Co and William Green, Chairman of Accenture.  Here are their answers to Charlie Rose's question: '"In the 'war for talent', do you think an explanation of your commitment to the societal question is an important and decisive factor whether  someone chooses to come to work for you?"

Indira Nooyi:
"It the most important deciding factor. They agree to come for one reason that they want be part of the Performance for Purpose."
William Green:
"76% of new recruits by their third question ask about  corporate responsibility."

Right now none of the poaching news stories indicated that employees went over to other companies for CSR reasons. But if HR departments can be more conscious about the potential of  baking CSR into their recruitment message and their job offers, they may win over top talent by reinforcing the cycle of companies caring about becoming more socially responsible, for a variety of good reasons.


elaine said...

Thannks Lalia for referencing my blog :)

Jana said...

Thanks for the excerpts from the CEO of Pepsi. I hadn't seen that before and it's very illuminating.
People care more than ever about social responsibility, including corporate philanthropy (ie: as a company, how can you help me as an employee give back to causes that matter to me) and have greater expectations from companies (i.e.: that they should do more and give employees more of a seat at the table of corporate responsibility initiatives). There is a huge link between CSR and employee engagement. Great post.

Jana Taylor, Benevity (

Lalia Helmer said...

Thank you Jana,
I agree that with you that engaging employees is key to a successful CSR strategy. Companies are still grappling with how to integrate CSR into their business. It may take awhile to get to the next level, that of how to engage their employees.
From what I know about Benevity, it is a way to provide companies with a opportunity to engage them.