The good news for corporate social responsibility (CSR) job seekers: Job postings increased 33 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. The bad news: They had nowhere to go but up.
CSR job postings had declined by 68 percent from the third quarter of 2008 to the third quarter of 2009 as companies tightened their belts, with much of the pullback occurring in the second half of 2008 and the market bottoming out in early 2009 as the stock market sank. The findings come from Sustainability Recruiting’s recently released CSR Jobs Report. The firm, which supports hiring at socially responsible businesses, is based in the San Francisco Bay area.
With the uptick in CSR jobs comes an increase in positions available with vice president and director-level titles, according to the report. In fact, before 2006, none of the CSR job postings monitored by the company had a title of vice president or above, notes Sustainability Recruiting CEO and founder Ellen Weinreb. In a news release, she said several factors are responsible for these positions opening.
“Most notable is the increased value being placed on CSR as a component of corporate strategy,” she said. “This elevates the importance of positions performing this role.”
The report examines 819 CSR positions that were posted from 2004 through 2009.
Weinreb sees “enormous demand” for CSR jobs from job seekers. The conundrum is that most employers require that candidates for these positions have applicable experience. Short of that, or in addition, applicants must demonstrate success at driving change.
Meanwhile, some employers are broadening the definition of CSR to include not only corporate citizenship but also energy and environmental management issues.
Sustainability Recruiting’s report offers the following recommendations for employers considering hiring CSR or sustainability professionals:
It’s an employer’s market; take advantage of the talent available.
Consider using a vice president title to attract top talent.
Posting a job in the spring takes advantage of the increased job candidate pool because of college graduates entering the market.
The company says there are arguments to be made for hiring internal candidates as well as external applicants. Persons on the staff understand the business and company culture and should have demonstrated success. Outside candidates might have CSR experience and/or experience with related metrics and working with stakeholders.