ESG a competitive advantage as corporate social responsibility vacancies soar

  •   3 min reads
ESG a competitive advantage as corporate social responsibility vacancies soar

A new report finds that corporate social responsibility vacancies have soared and suggests that ESG is becoming a competitive advantage.

Being nice never used to be considered an important role for business success. As the adage goes: “nice guys finish last.” Well, being an advocate of environmental, social governance (ESG) doesn’t automatically make you nice — maybe you are grimacing inside while helping strangers, but it does seem to be good for your job prospects.

According to a new report from global recruiter Robert Walters - ESG: Mindset over Must,  there has been a 74 per cent increase in corporate social responsibility vacancies since 2020. Furthermore, 28 per cent of these vacancies are for senior roles.

There are those that thought the harsh realities of the Covid pandemic would force companies to focus on the nitty-gritty of survival.

As Craig Howells – Principal Consultant at Robert Walters, said: “Some thought that in a global crisis, ESG targets would be the first to go. However, many companies strengthened their commitment to ESG during the pandemic. The suggestion also that people would care more about jobs and rocketing government debt over, for example, more socially conscious behaviour, appears misplaced.”

Investors are flying blind over ESG
Investors may want to put their money into companies with strong ESG credentials, but a new report finds that companies and auditors are failing to disclose ESG risks.

ESG and competitive advantage

There is more to adopting ESG than clean consciences and keeping environmentally aware investors happy.

Daniel O’Leary – Business Director at Robert Walters, explained: “Businesses which are failing to meet the expected ESG performance standards should expect to see a knock-on impact on their reputation. As a workforce strategy, ESG has become a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent; numerous studies have shown that, when weighing up potential employers, millennials are hugely influenced by how a business responds to and tackles social issues.”

ESG one of the most transformative issues of our time
The author of a report from S&P Global Market Intelligence says that “ESG will become not only one of the hottest issues of our time but potentially one of the most transformative for both industries and societies as well.”

The data on ESG vacancies

The report found that the number of CSR-related job roles advertised this year has increased by 74 per cent since last year and by 54 per cent compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic). In fact, May 2021 was the second-busiest CSR recruitment drive on record. And 23 per cent of all CSR-professional vacancies this year were in the consumer goods sector.

According to the Robert Walters report, other industries which have maintained their recruitment drive in this area include Real Estate & Construction, Professional Services, Technology, Media & Telecoms (TMT) and Financial Services – which represents 19 per cent, 13 per cent, 11 per cent and 8 per cent of CSR-vacancies this year respectively.

Robert Walters expressed surprise to note that the Energy & Utilities sector advertised 9 per cent of all CSR-related jobs, followed by 5 per cent from the Public Sector and 2 per cent from Healthcare.

ESG is good for share prices, it’s not about tree hugging
ESG isn’t just about being all nice and cuddly; it’s good for company valuations, too, suggests a BofA Global Research report.

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