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5 tips for jobseekers looking for an ethical employer

Published 16th Feb 2023

In 2023 and beyond, candidates are looking for more than a day job that pays the bills. On top of a salary that comfortably covers the cost of living, as well as benefits such as career development and flexible working, candidates are looking for something specific in their current and future employers.

They want to work for an ethical company.

If you’re on the lookout for a new role, no matter the level you’re at or the industry you work in – here are five tips to help you find an ethical employer.

  • Do they champion ESG and CSR?

ESG and CSR are acronyms that have been mentioned on company websites and social channels for some time now, but it’s important to look into what organisations are actually saying about them.

ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance, and CSR stands for corporate social responsibility.

When conducting your research, make a note of which companies are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint, and how they are enabling employees to volunteer and give back to charities. There are various ways organisations can champion ESG and CSR, so make sure it aligns with your personal values.

  • How do they promote equity, diversity and inclusion?

Similarly, diversity is something that has been promoted and encouraged by many employers in recent years, and for good reason. But how can you actually tell if an organisation is doing all they can to promote ED&I, or if what they are doing is performative?

Firstly, take a look at their current employees on LinkedIn – is their current workforce made up predominantly of one group of people? This isn’t to say that they aren’t looking to improve diversity and inclusion within their workforce, but it’s a good starting point.

In addition to this, have a look on their website at the type of content they are creating and sharing in regards to ED&I. Are they eliminating unconscious bias as part of their recruitment process? Have they provided their existing workforce with diversity training? If you aren’t able to answer these questions through research, it’s worth asking the recruiter directly, or making a list of questions to bring up at your interview.

  • What is their gender pay gap %?

Not all employers are required to disclose this information – organisations need to have 250 employees or more to be legally required to report on specific earnings and pay gaps. However, we do know that in 2022, the gender gap among full-time employees increased to 8.3%, up from 7.7% in 2021.

If the organisation you are looking to apply to or work for has more than 250 employees, you’ll be able to find the information online regarding their existing differences in pay between genders. 

If  the organisation you are looking to apply to or work for has less than 250 employees, you might not be able to access the information directly – but it’s still worth asking the question before accepting a job offer.

  • What are employees saying on Glassdoor and social media?

Glassdoor is sometimes used as a venting tool for disgruntled former employees to write a list of complaints about a company, but try not to let these reviews sway your vision of a company! 

For the most part, Glassdoor is an excellent way to look at reviews from employees and find out what the pay is like, what they like about the workplace culture, how career development is structured and what could be improved.

Similarly, employees often share company reviews on social media platforms such as LinkedIn – so do a deep dive before you go to your interview, in case any reviews raise some questions.

  • What’s the general consensus of employee testimonials?

Prior to an interview, it’s important to find out as much about a company as possible – mostly via their website and social media. But how often do you look into the employee testimonials that the company has shared?

This is an excellent way to find a general consensus around what employees are saying – it’s likely that you’ll see some trends.

For example, do a lot of employees mention the career development opportunities, or the hybrid working environment? Have the employees trialled a four-day work-week, or do they regularly attend employee social events paid for by the company? Whatever it is you’re looking for, it’s likely that employee testimonials are a great indicator of whether an employer is ethical or not.

Get in touch

If you are looking for a new challenge and want assistance with finding an ethical employer, get in touch with the specialist recruitment consultants at McCarthy Recruitment on 0161 828 8726 or contact us here.

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