Want to Engage and Recruit Millennials? Try Volunteering.


Millennial-generation employees who frequently participate in Deloitte’s volunteer initiatives have more positive attitudes toward their job and career compared to those who rarely or never volunteered, according to Deloitte’s annual volunteer IMPACT survey. Young Deloitte employees engaged in volunteerism were:

  • Twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive (56% vs. 28%)
  • More likely to feel very loyal toward their company (52% vs. 33%)
  • Nearly twice as likely to be very satisfied with the progression of their career (37% vs. 21%)
  • More likely to be very satisfied with their employer (51% vs. 32%)
  • More likely to recommend their company to a friend (57% vs. 46%)

This is powerful support for volunteerism as a tool for employee engagement.  But why stop there?  Beyond engagement of current employees, CSR programs can also serve as a useful recruiting tool, raising awareness of the company as a prospective employer and promoting an attractive workplace culture.

To maximize a CSR program’s value as a recruiting tool, consider the following tactics:

  • Personal Interaction.  Employee volunteers participating in a program (for example, a construction project for a local nonprofit) can double as company recruiters.  Encouraging these employees to “spread the word” about work opportunities at your company during community engagement projects can be an effective lead generator.  Bringing company brochures or recruiting materials to the project sites can provide additional support.
  • PR.  CSR programs can attract media attention, or the attention of your company stakeholders (e.g., through a program-related newsletters or announcements).  Making messaging a formal part of your program planning process can extend the value of your volunteerism significantly: before each engagement, consider whether it provides an opportunity to reach any of your target recruiting audiences, and if so, what take-away messages you’d like to convey to them.  Build your announcements or post-project anecdotes, postings, or stories with these objectives in mind.

At a time when one-third of millennial employees are considering other career options, these findings offer important insights about engaging workers among this age group. “The data shows that, on many levels, employees who regularly volunteer are much more connected than those who do not volunteer,” reports Joseph Echevarria, chief executive officer, Deloitte LLP. "This is a strong argument for making volunteerism a business priority, because employee engagement and organizational culture are inextricably linked to organizational performance. What’s more, engagement and a sense of ownership are essential to leadership, and we recognize the need to cultivate leadership qualities in all our people, and celebrate responsible leadership."

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