How to Choose an Employer Focused on CSR


It has become the norm for employers to have some sort of policy on corporate social responsibility or CSR for short (which is 100% a good thing!). According to the Millennial Impact Report, Millennials, now more than ever before, care greatly about working for organizations that have policies on social responsibility. Since at least 40 hours of a week is dedicated to time at work, it’s important to find an employer you feel a sense of pride in working for, one which keeps you engaged, and one which is more than just about making a profit.

Corporate social responsibility can be defined as an organization developing business strategies that consider social, environmental, and ethical concerns when meeting internal stakeholders (such as employees) and external stakeholders (clients and customers) needs. This means the environment and people are part of an organization’s strategy, alongside making a profit. Millennial (and now Gen Z) workers may choose this type of employer to give meaning to what they do. If an organization is constantly praised for their goodwill and dedication to social causes, their employees can take pride in knowing their employer cares more than just about a single monetary bottom line.

It may seem difficult to find an employer that demonstrates all aspects of CSR, but it starts with your own research! Read on for some tips to help you through this journey of finding a CSR focused employer.

1. Research workplace cultures

Culture plays a huge role in an organization. It can be described as the glue which holds everything together. When researching cultures take a look at how you are treated as an individual, and what the company says about its people. Some other things to consider could be innovation and growth. These cultures can be indicative of organizations that care about social and environmental aspects of work, rather than just profits. Having conversations with members of HR, and the hiring team can help you discover more about the culture than what you can research online.

2. Look at mission statements

Mission statements can be defined as the branding which describes an organization’s values and purpose in a succinct paragraph (or less). Mission statements can easily be found on the company website and will give insights into what their core values are, and what each employee should align to. Mission statements often comment on a commitment to the environment, communities, and people. Looking at mission statements will not only help you decide whether the organization is the one for you, but it can also help you frame how you would respond to interview questions.

3. Evaluate current strategies

Perhaps the organization has a current marketing campaign which really speaks to you or a product that is made of recycled material which really impresses you. These strategies are currently being executed, and you may have the chance to apply to work for this employer and continue to drive strategies that get you excited. Having an interest in what the employer does from a CSR standpoint is important, as this may help you eventually find your career passion.

4. Check out rankings

Did you know Canada’s Top 100 puts out a list of top environmentally sustainable companies every year? Corporate Knights is also a great resource to check out. These publications evaluate an organization on a number of different criteria including workplaces, leadership, environment, waste, energy and more. The rankings can help you determine whether or not the company you are applying to has done any acclaimed work in the areas you are most passionate about.

At the end of the day, even if your employer is not on a list, nor makes any CSR campaigns, you could possibly be the one to start change through the way that you operate at work. As famously said by Mahatma Gandhi, “be the change you want to see.” Take your time to research and make sure you’re making the best choice for your career!