Jobseekers put morals before money

2003

An increasing number of job seekers would refuse to accept a job in a company that has no environmental or ethical policies, according to a new research, even given significant financial inducements to do so.

A survey of 5,000 job hunters by recruitment website totaljobs.com revealed more than four out of ten consider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to be their top priority when deciding whether or not to work for an organisation, with two-thirds saying that CSR was 'highly important'.

Almost half of jobseekers aged 50 or older were adamant that they would not work for a firm that didn't have any environmental or ethical policies, even if they were offered £10,000 a year more than in a job with a company that has a sense of corporate social responsibility.

But younger job seekers were less principled. Two-thirds of under-18-year-olds said that they would accept a job offer from a company with a poor CSR record.

The findings underline the growing importance of ethical issues to the employer brand of an organisation. In the summer, a survey by Business in the Community found that more than half of employees complain that the recruitment spiel about values and CSR which helped attract them to their employer in the first place is never actually implemented.

Another survey by Select Appointments found that more than three-quarters of people would choose not to work for an organisation that was considered to have unethical products and services.

Highlighting just how far we have come since the 'greed is good' days of the 1980s, the totaljobs survey also found that the attractiveness of material perks is on the wane – fully three-quarters of those surveyed said that a company car was unimportant to them.

Keith Robinson, website director for totaljobs.com, said companies needed to realise they could no longer tempt recruits using financial incentives alone.

"A new breed of job seeker is placing ethical issues above financial incentives when considering a job offer. Future job packages need to reflect this new found ethical consciousness among job seekers if companies are to maintain their appeal," he said.

"In an age where books such as No Logo and Fast Food Nation are international bestsellers, companies need to wise up and realise that they can no longer tempt jobseekers using financial incentives alone."