Grads, Employers and Ethics

06 December 2018

We attended the final Breakfast News event of 2018 at the Anthologist, hosted by Blackbridge and Group GTI. The overarching theme was around graduates and company ethics, the event aptly being named “who’s been naughty and who’s been nice?” with guest speaker Rev. Richard Coles shining some Christmassy light on the subject.

Do the ethics of an organisation have an impact on its ability to attract the best talent?

No one is safe from the negative effects of student’s perception of a company’s ethics, as proven by a bunch of quotes (and sure, some numbers were in there too) collected from the Berkeley campus. These demonstrate the power of negative press publicity even on a company like Facebook, who’s previously sexy brand name could do no wrong in the eyes of talent .

“Surprisingly, a lot of my friends now say they don’t really want to work for Facebook [due to] privacy stuff, fake news, personal data, all of it.”



Ok.. and how important are these ethics to graduates?




Morality premium

In fact, it could cost you more if you are trying to recruit for an organisation that is seen as unethical or that isn’t transparent.
41% of surveyed graduates expect more money if they’re to be working for a negatively viewed company

That’s equivalent to £5,650 extra per person, or £500,000 extra salary cost per 100 graduate hires


Negative press is likely to live long in people’s memory. Just think about Cambridge Analytica, Deep Horizon, the 2008 housing crash to name a few. These incidents will live long in collective memory, and will take extra work for employers to overcome aversions to working with similar companies.

TLDR: Do the ethics of an organisation have an impact on its ability to attract the best talent?

In short, yes.

How much? 

Quite a bit. Financially and in terms of recruiting top talent

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