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Does corporate philanthropy help in recruiting Millennials?

April 28, 2021
Three millennial coworkers collaborate together at work. Recruiting millennials with corporate philanthropy is simple with the tips in this guide.

Employees are arguably one of the most valuable assets to a company, and a company with high employee retention rates is likely one with a positive company culture and high employee engagement. Onboarding a new employee costs around $4,100 on average, so it’s key to recruit quality candidates with the skills and motivation needed to remain with the company for years to come.

In 2020, nearly half of all U.S. workers will be Millennials, surpassing Gen-Xers as the largest generation in the workforce. With this in mind, human resources and recruiting professionals are taking notes on this new target audience they need to appeal to. Millennials coming into the workforce are seeking to be part of a greater purpose and want involvement in corporate philanthropy efforts.

In this guide, we’ll explain what Millennials want and whether recruiting with corporate philanthropy works. Let’s get started.

What do Millennials want?

According to Max Lenderman, “a major challenge has been helping brands understand the difference between rallying behind a cause and standing for a purpose. Brands often want to randomly pick a cause even if they don't truly believe in it. Millennials will see right through that.” Instead, Millennials value corporations with a genuine, vested interest in the causes they support.

Millennials not only want to work for a company that’s doing good, but they also want to get their hands dirty. This generation wants to participate and provide ideas in corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. Studies indicate that more than 50% of Millennials value volunteer opportunities as a way to expand their professional skill sets, compared to only one-third of Generation X. The meaningful engagement behind corporate philanthropy is impacting the ability to appeal to and retain Millennial talent. More than any previous generation, Millennials see a company’s impact as a factor in their employment decisions.

Corporate philanthropy as a recruiting tool

Corporate philanthropy can help engage employees in their roles, leading to happier and more productive workers. The importance of CSR in a company’s long-term strategy is not only important in terms of engaged employees, but also in recruiting. Millennials want more from their employer than just a paycheck—they want a sense of pride in their work and to feel that the company’s values match their own. 

Implementing CSR into your strategy

Now that we know that this recruiting tactic works, how can companies capitalize on the benefits of a CSR program? To get started, here are a few strategies you can use:

  • Decide what your purpose is and cultivate your career page accordingly. Your company’s career page will likely be the first place prospective employees look for information. They will reference your mission statement, benefits, workplace culture, and anything else they want to know about your company. Use this page to emphasize your company’s participation in corporate philanthropy by highlighting your matching gifts program or the opportunity to complete volunteer hours on company-paid time.
  • Connect CSR with your brand. Show the impact that your company has locally or globally. Make sure candidates know that you characterize CSR as a part of your company culture. Relate the company’s philanthropic efforts to your organizational values and beliefs.
  • Refresh your recruiters. Bring your company’s recruiters up to speed with the company’s CSR initiatives so they can “sell” them to candidates. Recruiters should be trained correctly on all of your CSR policies and be able to explain these elements to candidates. Ongoing training will reinforce the importance of corporate philanthropy as a part of their recruiting tools.
  • Implement CSR software. CSR software makes it easier than ever for employees to participate in giving. Look for CSR software that allows for customizability, integration capability, flexibility, and access from any device.

Corporate philanthropy is a valuable asset companies need to have to attract and retain Millennial employees. Many times, CSR programs are the deciding factor when a candidate is juggling multiple job offers and is trying to figure out which would be the best career move. Millennials who are passionate about supporting nonprofit causes are likely to become your company’s CSR champions of the future, so it’s time for companies to embrace these initiatives.

On the hunt for CSR software to further your recruiting efforts? Bonterra’s Corporate Social Responsibility (formerly CyberGrants) solution can help you start and maintain a robust CSR program.

Ready to Get Started?

    Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Corporations
  • Corporate social responsibility
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  • Employee volunteering