Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) jobs appear to have been another casualty of the global economic recession. But, the good news is that, like other economic indicators, this one appears to be on the upswing.
by Tracey de Morsella, Green Economy Post
Sustainability Recruiting’s recently releasedCSR Jobs Report shows CSR job postings dropping 68% between Q3 ’08 to Q3 ‘09. The worst of the decline (61%), mirrored the drop in the stock market and occurred between Q3 and Q4 of 2008. CSR job listings declined even further through Q1 ’09, leveling off through most of the year at a low point not seen since mid-2006. Surprisingly, the picture is not all gloom. Q4 ‘09 saw a noticeable 33% up-tick in listings, although it remains to be seen whether this will continue in 2010.
Drawing on Business for Social Responsibility’s (BSR’s) CSR Jobs Page, the industry’s primary resource for non-administrative CSR job postings, the report examines 819 CSR jobs that were posted in the period 2004 – 2009 and identifies several key trends.
CSR gains credibility in corporate sector
Among the most notable findings is the increase in senior-level corporate positions—those with VP and Director titles. Before 2006, none of the job postings had a title of VP or above. According to Ellen Weinreb, SOM 98 and CEO of Sustainability Recruiting, cites the increased value being placed on CSR as a component of corporate strategy as one of the key factors influencing this trend of elevating the importance of positions performing this role.
“The emergence of the VP of CSR and VP of Sustainability titles seems proof of the growing strategic business position of CSR,” said Dave Stangis, Vice President of CSR and Sustainability at Campbell’s Soup.
Optimistic Outlook for Smart Jobseekers
According to Weinreb, there is enormous demand for CSR jobs from jobseekers.
“The catch-22 is that employers require candidates for these positions to have previous experience,” said Weinreb.
“Understanding the inner-workings of the business is critical to success,” says Liz Maw, Executive Director of Net Impact, an international nonprofit organization of professionals and students who are leveraging business to improve the world.
“Jobseekers must “demonstrate experience in driving change. That really is the key success factor,” recommends Stangis.
“More and more employers are broadening the definition of CSR to include not only corporate citizenship, but also a focus on energy and environmental management issues,” said Katie Kross, author of Profession and Purpose: A Resource Guide for MBA Careers in Sustainability. “I also see employers posting job openings in traditional roles like operations and marketing that include some CSR responsibilities,” she added.
“We encourage jobseekers not to discount a traditional role. They can build relevant experience through our Impact at Work program, which helps them lead change initiatives, regardless of their title,” added Maw.
If you can’t get that internal CSR corporate job you are seeking Weinreb offers the following strategies:
• Take a tangentially-related job in another corporate function
• Look for jobs that include some aspect of CSR, even it they don’t have “CSR” in the title
• Develop in-house experience as a change agent building support across teams
• Try looking in the service or independent category
Download the CSR Jobs Report.
View CSR Jobs at Sustainability Recruiting
For more resources for finding CSR jobs, visit Sustainability Recruiting’s CSR and Sustainability Job Listing Sites Page.
© 2010, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.