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Attracting talent in a candidate’s market?

Stuart Price, Quantum Advisory
December 16, 2019

Now more than ever, companies are taking social responsibility seriously. It is becoming increasingly clear that a business acting responsibly demonstrates leadership, sound ethics and a genuine commitment to its stakeholders. Beyond this though, ethical employee perks could prove key to winning what’s been dubbed the ‘war for talent’ in today’s competitive hiring environment.

With purpose driven millennials and Gen Z surging into the workplace, Quantum Advisory Partner, Stuart Price, looks at why giving back is not only the right thing to do, but a smart strategic move in a candidate driven market.

Evidence continues to emerge on the upward trajectory of businesses offering employee perks with social impact, and one particular benefit on the rise is volunteer time off (VTO). In fact, according to the 2018 Employee Benefits Report issued by the Society for HR Management, nearly 1 in 4 companies and non-profits in the U.S. are using VTO to parlay corporate social responsibility into a competitive advantage. And this side of the water, the trend is clearly catching on. Recent research has shown 16% of employees receive one day off work per year to complete volunteering projects, while 12% can take more than one day away from the office for corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

The stats are compelling, however, if your organisation already has a positive public image and a team at full capacity, would VTO still be a smart business move? I’d argue the emerging workforce’s answer would be ‘yes’.

Indeed, 60% of Millennials report not only choosing, but staying with, their current employer because they feel a sense of purpose there. And as for Gen Z, our cohort of digital natives with a social conscience, they are even more likely than millennials to seek out companies taking a lead on addressing issues of gender, diversity, environment and social activism. So critical these issue are to them, they will even accept slightly lower salaries to work there.

Moreover, the end of toxic corporate culture and the rampant careerism that defined the 80s means Boomers and Gen X must not be overlooked when reviewing the importance of these benefits. Much of this cohort are still busy making a living, and want to make a positive contribution to society as they do, more cautious as they are of the working environments they enter.

Employer-sponsored paid time to offer a helping hand to the local community is a benefit we’ve introduced to our 120 plus strong team. Our scheme, which is supported in our Cardiff, Bristol, London, Birmingham and Amersham offices, aims to support our people’s involvement in their communities, and develop their individual skills and knowledge.

Volunteering provides a range of benefits for not only our employees, but the organisation as a whole. It enables employees to make a more active contribution to causes they care about, and is just one of the measures Quantum is taking to ensure our employees are engaged and we hold onto the talent they bring.

Quantum Advisory is Wales HR Award’s sponsor for Best HR Professional – Public/Third Sector Category. This award is open to HR professionals working in the educational, public, charity or not-for-profit sector. The judges are looking for a demonstration of the contribution the individual has made to the organisation by developing the people strategy alongside the organisation’s vision, values and purpose.

Established in 2000, Quantum Advisory provides pension and employee benefits services to employers, scheme trustees and members from offices in Cardiff, Bristol, Amersham, Birmingham and London.

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