Generation Y

How going green can be a boon to corporate recruiters

June 2, 2011: 11:00 AM ET

Companies that tout their environmental sustainability cred could have a competitive edge in attracting the younger generation's best and brightest.

FORTUNE -- When a recruiter wants to snag top talent away from the competition, they often tout time-honored perks like bonuses, stock options and vacation time. But recruiters looking to put their best foot forward should add a new item to the arsenal: a company's environmental sustainability record.

A growing body of research has shown that Millennials want to work for companies that project values that align with their own, and environmental sustainability is gaining ground as a key value for the younger generation.

Of course, young people aren't turning down fat paychecks for thinner ones printed on recycled paper. Research from consulting firm Mercer suggests that salary is the most important consideration for job seekers of all ages. But workers under the age of 25 ranked a company's good reputation as the fourth most important draw for a job, just under pay, potential for career advancement and a flexible work schedule. Corporate sustainability practices are part of the reputation equation, says Jason Jeffay, a senior partner at Mercer.

"Sustainability plays into this notion of being able to give back to the community and the world by working for a company," Jeffay says, "which is a very important motivator." More

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