Is CSR determinant to attract ‘millennial’ talent in companies?

Author: Elsa Camille Maurice

Master of Arts in Communication Management

UPF-BSM Award for the best ethics, social responsibility andplanetary well-being project 

The aim

To investigate the extent to which companies communicate about their CSR efforts and compare it to the level of importance millennials give to the topic when deciding for or against an employer. Understanding which CSR topics are crucial to be perceived as an attractive employer, will allow companies to streamline their CSR efforts towards the needs and wants of the labour market and communicate those more effectively.

The project

In a time of environmental changes and increasing consciousness about corporate social responsibility, it becomes more and more crucial for companies to be able to compete among those topics in the labour market in order to attract qualified employees. Especially millennials are aiming to increasingly contribute to positive social and environmental outcomes with the work they do.

Looking at the world around us today, shows us the increasing urgency to make CSR a priority. On the one hand for companies to act upon it, and on the other for employees to actively choose and therefore support employers who do so.

To break down the complexity of CSR I categorised it into five dimensions that represented the different aspects corporates social responsibility implies. These were workplace economic responsibility, legal-, ethical-, social-, and environmental responsibility. These were then used to question millennials about the importance of each dimension when deciding for an employer. Additionally, the dimensions were applied to a content analysis that looked into 20 German companies’ home- and career webpages. Confronting the results of both researches then showed that all CSR dimension significantly influence perceived employer attractiveness, but that only one of them, workplace economic responsibility, is perceived and communicated the most. For all other dimensions, there were discrepancies among the expected and actually communicated CSR aspects.

Value e impact

My research showed that companies have unused potential of their CSR activities that could easily be used to attract employees by increasing CSR communication on their home- and career webpages. “Do good and talk about it” is not only helping the companies improve, but can be seen in a bigger picture to positively contributing to society in spreading the word about good causes, projects or topics that help increase awareness and inspire others to do the same.

My personal background

I was always fascinated by the diversity and possibilities the field of communication has to offer and therefore did my BA in International Communication in the Netherlands. Being inspired by the international people I studied with and an internship I did in Barcelona, I decided to do my Master in Barcelona and deepen my knowledge in Communication, and especially Management. Studying in an international environment allows you to understand communication on a more global level as it teaches you to become intercultural sensitive. The year at UPF Barcelona School of Management has helped me develop professionally as well as personally and I am grateful for the people I have met and the experience I have made through this Master.

What's next

Thanks to my Master Thesis, I have discovered a company whose benchmark I have used for my research and got in touch with. Surprisingly their office was in Cologne, where I planned to move to after finishing my Masters. One came to the other and after some interviews I got a position as a junior project manager, working in corporate online communication and living in Cologne, Germany.

Praise for it

Project focused on one of the main concerns of companies when trying to connect with millennials, both as customers and workers: social responsibility, understood in a broad and holistic way. Elsa's work provides valuable empirical data to know/to understand which elements are key in the relationship of companies with the new generations.

José Fernández-Cavia. Director of the Master of Arts in Communication Management 

Data

Project: CRS Communication and its influence on Employer Attractiveness. Do millenials swipe right for German Companies' CSR Communication?
Year: 2019
Program: Master of Arts in Communication Management
Mentor: Dr. Arnau Roig-Mora

Download the project

Contact: Elsa Camille Maurice Linkedin / email  

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