4 min read

Our socially conscious atmosphere in recent years has altered many ways that Americans seek out new jobs and market themselves as individuals. Recruiters expect the hiring landscape to be no different in 2018. The first high school seniors born in the new century will graduate this Spring, but before Millennials are usurped in the workforce by the #wokest generation in history, they’re already laying the groundwork for an accelerating trend: that work, itself, should be a form of activism.

The social media equivalent of incorporating philanthropy in our busy lives is mostly known by its nickname “slacktivism”. And despite the deafening scoffs you just heard from the universe, it’s been proven to work. “If we can raise funds for disaster relief, encourage empathy for marginalized people, and give back to our communities through social media, then why not incorporate giving back into our work lives as well?” ask many in-demand job seekers.

It’s a valid question, and one that employers are increasingly capitalizing on. Customers and employees are more loyal to a product when they perceive the company behind it to be charitable. And a Deloitte 2015 survey found that “more than 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90% want to use their skills for good” a trend which was echoed only slightly less in the 2017 survey.
As recruiters, this presents a pretty regular conundrum. What are we supposed to tell these heart-of-gold job seekers who are committed to working only for companies that make the world a better place, if the client we’re sourcing for is solely focused on profits?

Perhaps the best advice to remember is that change has to start somewhere. It’s old advice but worth repeating in our instant-gratification world, that we can’t always expect to join a pre-established movement. Sometimes we need to start one. Encouraging the corporate structure of an organization to include a positive focus on philanthropy requires some effort and bit of sales skill, but it won’t happen if our most benevolent candidates exclude themselves from the running. Keep your values and keep your passion, but ease up on the disqualifiers.

In conclusion, working for a company whose good deeds align with our values can be great, but we have the opportunity to be even more impactful in an organization without that focus in place yet. I challenge our 2018 job seekers and outgoing high school seniors to be more willing to seize that opportunity in the future.