In today’s job market, where highly skilled workers are scarce and there is a high demand for specialized skills, employers are faced with the challenge of filling job positions.
This situation has fueled intense competition—often referred to as the “war for talent”—among companies to attract and retain the best employees.
To stand out in this battle for new talent, organizations must appeal to job seekers. One way to do this is for owners to effectively communicate their ethical behavior to outsiders.
This is key because the younger generation of workers value social responsibility, transparency and ethical behavior from their potential employers.
Doubts about CSR
Companies have historically demonstrated their commitment to ethical behavior through corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.
Examples of these efforts include Starbucks’ commitment to ethically sourcing its coffee, tentree tree planting and community projects, Patagonia’s pledge to donate a percentage of sales to organizations in environment and the BNP Paribas volunteer program.
However, the public is increasingly skeptical about CSR. Many see CSR initiatives as misguided attempts to appear ethical.
Research has found several reasons for this, including: the difference between the business and the cause they support, the company’s prior reputation and the use of reactive versus proactive CSR methods.
So how can companies best demonstrate their morals to outsiders? What sends a stronger message than CSR actions?
In our future research, we studied these questions and found something surprising— the CEO’s ethical leadership is more important to job seekers than the company’s CSR initiatives, even when considering common factors such as salary and fit.
Why candidates care about CEO behavior
Our research shows that when CEOs demonstrate their personal ethical behavior, they encourage individuals to want to work for their organizations.
We conducted three different studies and found some reasons for this. First, job seekers tend to believe that an ethical CEO’s company treats its employees fairly. Second, job seekers tend to believe that the CEO’s company cares about society and the environment.
Finally, job seekers are likely to experience feelings of awe, admiration and inspiration when they learn about the CEO’s good behavior. This leads to something called moral elevation. Moral elevation is the positive feelings that arise when a person witnesses another person acting in an unusual moral way. Not surprisingly, we found that, for the reasons above, job candidates who strongly identify as moral people are more attracted to the organization’s ethical CEO.
Cisco: A case study
Some CEOs already understand the CEO’s importance of ethical leadership in the workplace and use it to effectively attract top workers. For example, during his tenure as CEO of Cisco, John Chambers focused on building a diverse and inclusive workforce through strategic recruiting initiatives.
Chambers continue to partner with universities, participate in career fairs and establish programs to attract underrepresented groups, including women and minorities, to the technology industry.
He also emphasized the importance of creating an inclusive culture where employees can thrive and contribute their unique perspectives.
Chambers aims to make Cisco an employer of choice for a diverse range of talented individuals, helping the company expand its talent pool and strengthen its market position.
Strategies to attract workers
Based on our research findings, we suggest several ways that organizations can effectively use their CEO’s ethical behavior to attract good workers.
1. Avoid overemphasizing CSR initiatives. While it’s important to highlight a company’s commitment to ethical practices and standards, it’s also important to avoid overemphasizing CSR initiatives to the point where it can be seen as “greenwashing.” Instead, managers should focus on real and impactful initiatives that align with the company’s values and mission.
2. Use social media. Managers can use social media platforms to advertise the ethical behavior of their CEOs. This can be done by regularly posting about any awards, achievements, blogs, presentations or other relevant content that specifically highlights the CEO’s ethical leadership.
3. Use video content. Recruitment strategies can include videos of CEOs talking about their personal ethical behavior and how they shape their companies’ values. This content can be used on the company’s website, social media platforms and at recruitment events to provide a visual representation of the CEO’s behavior.
4. Emphasize the link between CEO ethics and CSR initiatives. This can be achieved by sharing stories or case studies that show how the CEO’s personal ethical convictions guide the company’s CSR decisions and initiatives. Job candidates can see how the CEO’s behavior and the organization’s values are reflected in CSR initiatives and will be motivated to join the company to make a positive impact.
By implementing these strategies and effectively communicating ethical values to their CEOs, organizations can differentiate themselves in the market and attract top candidates with similar values.
Provided by The Conversation
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Citation: Ethical values and behavior of CEOs can play an important role in attracting new talent (2023, July 10) retrieved on 11 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07 -ethical-values-behaviors-ceos-play.html
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