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Talent Report: What Workers Want in 2012

Credit unions can differentiate themselves to the emerging workforce that seek out baseline security, earnings, and work/life balance, all the while striving for a job or career that actually means something.

Executive Summary

A surprising number of MBA students respond to the ideas of “people helping people” and “people before profits.” That's what Filene found when staffers talked with groups of students about how to put credit unions on their employment radar.

Credit unions' history and structural difference mean that they're socially responsible in a simple, do-right-by-members way, and that ethos can turn into a recruiting advantage for those that recognize it and act accordingly. This report, developed in partnership with Net Impact, details how people view “impact jobs,” or jobs that provide the opportunity to make a social or environmental impact.

What is the research about?

Net Impact, a group of 30,000 changemakers using their jobs to tackle the world’s toughest problems, surveyed 1,726 university students about to enter the workforce and currently employed four-year college graduates from three generations (millennials, Generation X, and baby boomers). The researchers examined each group’s life goals, job satisfaction, and prioritization for making an impact at work against other key job criteria.

What are the credit union implications?

Regardless of age, gender, or education, employees have fundamental expectations for a “good” job. This report confirms that employees want a decent work/life balance, competitive pay, and a welcoming culture.

But get underneath those baseline expectations and it’s clear that credit union values can be a powerful recruiting tool, because most employees—young and old—desire to work in a place that mirrors their values, and many actually want to work for a company that advances a social good, not just private interests. Lest you write such responses off as easy altruism, consider that more than one-third of respondents would take a 15% pay cut to work for a company committed to social responsibility and nearly one-half (45%) would do so for a job that makes a social or environmental impact.