How to Choose an Ethical Company for Your Next Career Move

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As Millennials and Generation Z graduate from university and start building their careers, a new job landscape will form. Many studies and reports tell us that the Millennial job seeker is interested in working for brands and companies with commitment to values and ethics, not just one that can provide a good salary and job security. But in a world where finding a job is extremely competitive, what a job seeker wants doesn’t necessarily match up with what he or she will get.

Moreover, if you get an offer from more than one company, choosing the right one can be something of a minefield. So if you’re starting out your career, how do you know where to look for an ethical employer? Here are some tips to help you select the right roles to apply for.

Research the Company’s Brand Values

If the company lists ‘sustainability’ or ‘responsibility’ as one of its core values, the likelihood is that it will instil those values in every area of the business. Not just on a promotional and branding level, but also filtering down into the everyday running of the company. If a brand cares about Corporate Social Responsibility, they may detail this on their website or send it out in a press release.

Google for Past Press

One of the easiest ways to find out more about a company in question is to search for news articles on the internet. You should be able to find ‘good press’ or ‘bad press’, or perhaps even a mix of both. News articles can tell you a lot about a brand, particularly if it’s reportative writing and not a promotional piece. A great example is the news coverage on Lego ending its partnership with Shell and teaming up with Greenpeace instead to campaign against Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic.

Look Carefully at its Partnerships

In the same way that Lego terminated relations with long term partner Shell, it’s also important to look at which partners a brand may decide to associate themselves with. Business partnerships can reveal a lot and companies that support local or national charities on a regular basis can be great to work for.

A recent example to consider is the partnership between online fashion retailer Yoox and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, and their ethical swimwear range collaboration which is designed to raise awareness about the reef’s fragility. Projects like this show a company’s willingness to give back to the world around us.

Check Ethisphere and Other Lists

Use websites like Ethisphere (which is regularly referenced by Forbes Magazine) to check which companies are at the top of their game when it comes to ethical practices and sustainability. These lists compare data from businesses from all over the world to rank companies based on their ability to drive positive change.

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on awards such as the Responsible Business Awards, which will highlight key players every year.

By Nicola Mills
Nicola Mills