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What Generation Y REALLY want from your business

More and more young people increasingly let their conscience guide their career decisions – that’s why it’s vital employers have an active corporate social responsibility policy. A business with a clear corporate social responsibility policy will attract top, young talent.

A recent study by Net Impact has found that 65 percent of students said their ideal job would include making a contribution to society, while 45 percent of workers said they would take a 15 per cent pay cut for a job that makes a social or environmental impact.

Clearly, philanthropic business practices are more than just a way to give back to society, they can also be a powerful tool for recruiting and retaining staff - in particular young, talented and socially aware millennials.

The internet, social networks specifically, have engaged these millennials in social issues in an entirely new way.

Traditionally, people tended to rally around a concern that they had a particular interest in, usually based on a particular issue or location.

But today new online communities can spring up around a cause rapidly as news spreads virally, generating massive engagement and momentum in a very short space of time.

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It’s not just at the top of the corporate ladder where social issues are a growing priority.

Just look at the runaway success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for evidence. It raised more than £52 million for the ALS Association in 2014, compared to just over £1.5 million in 2013.

Modern businesses are reacting to this new altruism by including a philanthropic aspect to their strategy, not just because they want to make a difference, but also in order to attract the best people.

More than 100 billionaires – including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates - have promised to donate at least half their wealth to charity, and they are encouraging more to do the same.

The future lies in CSR

Brother MD, Phil Jones, believes smart businesses should focus on cultural intelligence. 

Once they have been recruited, people want to feel they are making a difference, so employers must clearly define and articulate their social mission to make sure that staff feel connected to it and can see how they are contributing.

Young people want jobs that help society, as well as good wages and, as such, employers need to have a clear corporate citizenship responsibility policy in place to attract top talent.

Phil Jones, MD of Brother UK, believes that citizenship is becoming an increasingly important factor for businesses looking to attract and retain talent. “There’s a real opportunity for enlightened business leaders to reconstruct corporate responsibility, focusing on cultural intelligence and citizenship rather than more traditional models. In turn, this will help them to attract new Generation Y employees.”

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