Why pay and perks are king, company intrapreneurs and integrating external engagement

Note to recruiters: forget sustainability and stick to perks

There’s a widespread belief among corporate responsibility departments that flagging up their company’s social achievements will attract the best employees. This fascinating paper goes in search for some empirical proof by assigning a marginal value to the responsibility issues in job applicants’ decision-making. The researchers give a dollar estimate to three types of reputation (relating to the company’s general brand, to the workplace and to social responsibility directly), and evaluate these against more utilitarian factors, such as pay, travel and promotion opportunities.

The findings are stark. Presented with hypothetical job offers, a control group of MBA students attributed only 7.5% of the value of a job contract to a company’s corporate responsibility reputation – equivalent to £5,585 in cash terms. Non-MBA workers attribute just 2.6% value of a contract to social reputation, while the value granted by under/unemployed workers amounted to 2.4%.

The conclusion for employers, lamentably, is to stick to age-old themes of pay and perks. From a pure recruitment perspective, it makes little sense to chase a high position in corporate responsibility rankings. “Having a ‘good enough’ reputation for social responsibility may be sufficient to play effectively in the war for...

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Academic news  Business School Bulletin  Oliver Balch 

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