Executive perceptions of the millennial mindset are repeatedly skewed and misinterpreted by media reportings and personal theories. Times have changed. Minds have changed. People have changed. To effectively capture this audience, companies now need to adapt to this change.
The National Millennial Community recently met with the Advertising Educational Foundation and the Association of National Advertisers in New York to discuss the mindset that top executives and companies have when it comes to recruiting and hiring millennials. The National Millennial Community engaged these executives in a thoughtful conversation about many pertinent concerns involving millennials and the marketing/advertising industry. In the midst of the conversation, there was one question that really stuck out in my head that I found to be quite puzzling:
Would you be more inclined to accept a monetary driven corporate position that pays substantially, or a position that held a strong emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR) for less compensation?
Naturally, a money-struggling, soon-to-be-graduating individual such as myself would be more attracted to the higher paying position. However, it’s almost unfair to value these two positions differently. Why should the CSR position pay less just because it isn’t directly correlated to increased revenues for a company? CSR has become a necessity for success in today’s corporate culture. There’s a reason why so many top companies have been allocating more and more spending dollars to CSR and social causes.
Millennials tend to hold a negative stigma associated with a company that does not give back to the community or provide a service that benefits a social cause, so valuing this initiative less than any other position is not advantageous to a company. Companies should seek to hire and incentivize individuals who are passionate about CSR and will help the company grow in alternative ways within society as a whole.
Look how passionate our generation has become about social causes: The Black Lives Matter movement, the heated political debates, the effect society and industries are having on the environment, inequality between races, genders, social classes, incomes, etc. The list goes on and on. It’s obvious how much these issues are discussed if you have any presence on social media or the news. I would be interested to see how effective a company grows and prospers with an active CSR team that is compensated in the same regard that any other cash-flow position is treated.
Of course, this is just my opinion, so what do you think?
-Do millennials really have a strong opinion about a corporate social responsibility initiative?
-Will a company really suffer if they don’t actively participate in any CSR initiatives?
-Should companies value CSR higher on their list of priorities?