corpoate social responsibility jobs csr

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 Jobs on Business for Social Responsibility’s (BSR’s) CSR Jobs Page

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.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine,, Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine,, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.

  • Bill Roth

    Tracey, thanks again for another really cutting edge article. I have been following your site and continue to be impressed at your ability to surface insights before the “big guys!” Keep up the great work.

    • Tracey de Morsella

      Hi Bill:

      Thank you! I will try to remember your comments during one of my all nighters. :-)