Every day companies are joining the growing number of organizations committing to positive change locally, socially, and globally. In order to achieve these goals, businesses are implementing corporate social responsibility programs aimed at aligning these values with their daily operations.
Corporate social responsibility can mean a number of things: going green, advancing basic human rights, creating a philanthropic legacy, and various other incentives. Corporate social responsibility managers work with companies in their efforts to positively impact their community and beyond, either as a full-time employee or a hired consultant. These changes can lead to stronger branding, enhanced reputation and increased customer loyalty, as well as increasing the potential of attracting quality talent.
This commitment to corporate social responsibility is partly for philanthropic reasons, but an impressive CSR strategy can also enhance a company’s reputation and thus maximize its profitability.
If CSR initiatives are publicized effectively, they can make the company more attractive and reputable in a variety of ways. For instance, they can help the recruitment process by attracting the best candidates, and they can actively reduce outgoings by helping the organization to cut down on its consumption of valuable resources.
Corporate social responsibility managers are responsible for defining and developing the strategies which underpin a company’s CSR objectives. They conduct research, come up with ideas, develop policies, create detailed plans, build relationships with partner organizations, and then implement and coordinate a range of activities and initiatives which are designed to have a positive impact on the environment and local communities.
A corporate social responsibility manager’s job also tends to involve aspects of marketing and publicity. Indeed, if you enter this line of work, you will act as an internal and external representative for your company’s CSR policies and projects. You’ll be responsible for raising awareness of your company’s commitment to CSR and generating publicity around your organization’s altruistic endeavors.
But a typical day for a corporate social responsibility manager might include:
- Assisting the company in developing, managing and altering social responsibility policies
- Reaching out to the public via PR and marketing to deliver the message of the company’s commitment to social responsibility
- Attracting new talent
- Business skills (including building insight, communication skills, decision making, commercial awareness, IT, innovation, strategic awareness, leadership, handling complexity and problem solving)
- Technical skills (including technical expertise, understanding impacts, stakeholder dialogue, internal consultancy, selling the business case, understanding human rights and understanding sustainability).
A career in corporate social responsibility is typically an executive or senior level position. Significant management experience in various fields is preferred and candidates for these positions should hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and ideally an advanced degree, such as a Master of Public Administration. Educational backgrounds can vary, with common degrees being in government, communication, business management or environmental science. There are no specific qualifications required for this field but there are an increasing number of qualifications becoming available at Masters Level and as part of MBA courses.
However, because it is relatively new, transferable skills and knowledge from other related specialisms such as environmental management, ethical finance, marketing and HR, are valued.
Because this is a growing field, organizations are moving quickly to respond to the general public’s demands for making ethical choices and working towards sustainability. In many cases, people are placing great importance on a corporation’s reputation when it comes to their consumer choices. The field is still new enough that many businesses don’t yet require entire corporate social responsibility divisions, though this is likely to change. Trends are expected to continue to emerge, and businesses should be ready to adjust their strategies accordingly.
Although in certain companies, the salary of a CSR head could be between Rs 60 lakh and Rs 90 lakh. There is a huge pick-up in hiring for CSR roles. We have been receiving active enquiries from companies for talent with 5-7 years’ experience in CSR and 20-25 years’ experience in the corporate sector.
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