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Recruitment trends: Millennials leading the ethical job search

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Kelly Ross

Millennials, who are already emerging as leaders in technology and other industries, will account for 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025.

According to Deloitte’s 2021 Millennial Survey, after a year of intense uncertainty due to the covid-19 pandemic, political instability, racial discord, and severe climate events, millennials and Gen Zs around the world are determined to hold themselves and others accountable on society’s most pressing issues.

When it comes to good employer branding, there are certain focuses companies need to concentrate their recruiting efforts on, including being upfront about their mission, company culture, and salary range for job openings. However, the covid-19 pandemic changed many job seekers' priorities, and this means that companies need to slightly adjust their messaging.

Companies that are looking to add new talent to their team need to be aware that candidates are increasingly considering the ethical stance of companies when making career decisions. In order to attract the right type of candidates for job openings, companies need to be upfront about certain points job seekers are looking for in a company, such as the desire to work for organisations that make a positive contribution to society.

Ignoring the mood of the next generation could have serious ramifications for hiring teams, potentially closing off to two thirds of the young talent pool. It’s not surprising therefore that companies big and small are eager to trumpet their values and ethical policies.

Even prior to the pandemic, The Cone Communications Millennial Employee Study found that 64% of Millennials wouldn’t take a job if their employer doesn’t have a strong CSR policy, and 83% would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues (vs. 70% U.S. average).

This shift in jobseekers’ wish lists was highlighted in the WeSpire 15 Critical Insights into Gen Z, Purpose and the Future of Work study. The findings found that Gen Z are the first generation to prioritise purpose over money, calling them the “Change Generation” due to their passion and desire to make a difference through work. An empowering work culture was stated as twice as important than a higher salary for retention, and employees needing to see a connection between what they are doing and broader social impact.

Good ethics are good business

A recent article in Forbes looks at the power that ‘purpose’ (the catch-all term for “business as a force for good”) has on potential job hunters. So, how can businesses ensure they’re incorporating good ethics as standard business practice? Employers should be considering what they can do to make their company more culturally sound, so that employees feel fulfilled with the company instead of purely sticking around for a pay raise. This means an ethical culture.

Millennials are channelling their energies toward meaningful action—increasing political involvement, aligning spending and career choices with their values, and driving change on societal issues that matter most to them. In turn, they expect institutions like businesses and governments to do more to help bring about their vision of a better future.