Ethics and Graduate Jobs

Posted by Daniel Purchas

A couple of weeks back I was contacted by someone from a new niche job board called Ethical Jobs who have recently completed a study looking into how motivated people are to work for organisations with a heavy focus on ethics in the way that they operate.

The Ethical Jobs Survey

According to the website an ethical job is a position with an organisation where your position or the organisation is actively contributing to a more equitable, more just or more sustainable world. The ethical jobs survey found applicants to non-profit organisations are willing to take a significant pay cut. 60 not for profit employers were surveyed and some of the most interesting findings were the following:

  • 56 per cent said applicants are willing to work for 10-20 per cent less;
  • 19 per cent said applicants are willing to work for 20-30 per cent less;
  • 6 per cent said applicants are willing to work for more than 30 per cent less.

Making the world a better place is a strong motivation to join a non profit organisation or an organisation that promotes ethical business practices. Michael Cebon, the found of Ethical says “Increasingly people are willing to put things they believe in above money, and making the world a better place is as strong a motivation as you'll find.” 87 per cent of employers surveyed said job seekers were more likely to apply for a position seen to be ethical.

Ethics and graduates

The research conducted by ethical jobs is a good indicator that people do seem to care about how ethical their employer is. It might be beneficial for you to do a bit of research about some of the ethical practices that your organisation has in order to promote these aspects as part of your graduate program marketing as there are potentially a huge range of activities your organisation may participate in that can provide graduates researching your organisation with some unique insights. This year on the GradConnection website we have had just over 4800 responses from Australia graduates outlining a few organisational values that are important to them with 47% of these graduates saying Environmental sustainability being important as well as 35% saying they value an employer that contributes back to the community.

The Verdict

The Ethical Jobs site is a cool concept which seems to have a lot of potential and it might be a good avenue for graduate job hunters and graduate employers to connect with each other with the added benefit that each party knows at least a little bit about each other due to the nature of the website. You can read about the founders of the site on their about us page here. If any of you out there have had any experiences using the site or have some views on ethical jobs post up a comment.


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