Employer Branding

Communicating Your Company’s Social Responsibilities to Enhance Employer Brand

With businesses increasingly competing for top talent, Corporate Social Responsibility could be the deciding factor for a potential new employee considering applying for a role in your company.

Research from Cone Communications revealed that for 58% of employees, from all generations, CSR is an important element of consideration when choosing a job, sometimes even more so than the proposed salary. Considering how important this is becoming, are you communicating enough about the values and ethics behind your business?

As well as an official CSR strategy document, other pieces of business information also reveal a lot about the socially responsible ways an organization operates. Here are some examples which can be showcased across websites, social media, PR, marketing assets and recruitment materials. These will all help to give potential employees a better understanding of how your organization considers the interests of its employees, customers, stakeholders, and communities plus the environmental and social consequences of its business activities.

Mission statement and purpose

Your organization’s mission statement can communicate a wider social purpose as well as business objectives, and research by Deloitte shows that ‘mission-driven’ businesses enjoy 30% more innovation and 40% more engagement from employees. As an example, Starbucks mission statement is ‘To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time’. Here at Pure, we highlight our overall purpose, which is to contribute to the economic growth of our region and to make a difference in people’s lives. This reveals how our team gets to go beyond just recruitment and be involved in added value initiatives and career development programmes which help businesses and candidates to thrive.

Company values and behaviors

Company values give a real sense of how an organization conducts responsible and ethical relationships with its people, customers, suppliers, and stakeholders. Virgin shares its values on the recruitment section of its website, which are: ‘We are delightfully surprising, red hot, straight up whilst maintaining an insatiable curiosity, giving a heartfelt service and creating smart disruption.’ It also goes on to share more information through a list of company ‘Behaviours’ which include ‘Supportive: We are a family of friendly and inclusive people who pull together and openly help each other’. At Pure, we are also driven by our commitment to deliver against our strong company values of teamwork, quality, innovation, reward, support and delivering the best results. These are at the heart of everything we do, helping us to create a great place to work in which our staff are happy, supported, rewarded and motivated to go the extra mile for our customers.

Employee development and welfare

Sharing details of how your organization looks after its staff including through physical and mental health support, inclusive career development opportunities and fair, transparent pay, highlights your organization as a business which cares about its workers. Social media is a great platform to share real-life examples of the ‘human’ side of your business. For example, Grant Thornton posts case study examples of employees whose day-to-day lives have really benefitted from being able to effectively juggle work and home because of the organization’s agile workplace culture. These posts generate lots of likes, positive comments, and inquiries about joining the organization. For us, we highlight details of our employee wellbeing policy which includes mindfulness courses, counseling, lifestyle and fitness guidance plus a trained Mental Health First Aider who works with managers to support their teams. Soon we will also be able to update people on our initiative to train a team of employees to become Mental Health Champions. They will offer support to employees struggling with mental ill-health and raise awareness of mental health across Pure.

Environmental impact

A responsible business looks to minimize the impact it has on the environment by reducing its carbon footprint and using green practices. Depending on the nature of the business this could include anything from the use of sustainable materials and local produce through to reduced waste, and energy saving. Here at Pure, our offices focus on recycling as much as possible from paper and batteries through to printer cartridges. To help reduce the combined carbon footprint of our team, as well as supporting physical wellbeing, we also offer a Cycle to Work scheme for our employees. Writing a dedicated environmental policy to be shared externally and internally will highlight how your business has considered its environmental impact across all of its operations. It will also remind both current and future employees of their own individual responsibilities and the role they can play in helping the organization to meet and exceed its green commitments. Don’t forget to also display and promote any relevant code of practices the organization follows, whether formal or voluntary, plus any specific industry standards it meets and any environmentally friendly focussed awards or accreditations.

Community impact

Today’s socially conscious generation are looking to work for businesses that give something back and which support them to do the same. As well as fundraising and donations, look to provide hands-on opportunities for employees to take on volunteer activities. Statistics from Employee Volunteering reveal that 76% of volunteers felt the opportunity had a positive influence on how they felt about their employer. We have seen this first hand here at Pure through our commitment to actively encouraging our colleagues to work together and give back to their local communities. We support our team with paid time off to complete charity challenges, fundraising, and volunteering. Our team’s recent activities include donating time to wrap Christmas presents for Lighthouse Women’s Aid, raising money to put together packages of clothing and food to take to homeless charity The Bus Shelter Ipswich, spending a day painting and decorating with Inspire Suffolk and taking on the accumulator fundraising challenge for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. When sharing stories about your organization’s community support, also highlight the reason why that particular charity or group was chosen. Was it chosen by employees because it had particular importance to them? Does it align with your business own social values? Or, as with our examples, are they directly within the communities you operate in?

By Gill Buchanan

Gill is a founding Director of Pure Resourcing Solutions has worked in the recruitment field since 1988. Gill’s experience is broad based and includes eight years of specialist recruitment experience within an international specialist recruitment company including five years working within financial services recruitment in Sydney, Australia.