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Organizational Change
Americans Would Rather Remain Unemployed Than Work for Companies with Bad Reputations

A majority of Americans (69 percent) would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed, according to an annual corporate reputation survey released by Corporate Responsibility (CR) magazine and Allegis Group Services. This is a six percent decrease from 2012.

CR says it polled more than 1,000 employed and unemployed Americans to gain insights into how both corporate reputation and transparency can impact job decisions.

More than half (62 percent) of those currently employed said they would take a job with a company that had a bad reputation if they were offered more money. This number has increased by four percent year-over-year, the magazine says.

Likewise, the average percentage increase in salary that it would take to entice Americans' decision to work for a company with a bad corporate reputation has decreased, the survey shows. While the majority in 2012 said they would require more than double their salary to consider the move, the majority in 2013 said they would require between a 50-100 percent increase.

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Year-over-year findings continued to show that salary and location factor into Americans' decision to move to a company with a bad corporate reputation. In 2013 those surveyed making $100,000 or more required the most money to consider such a move; however, in 2012, those making $35,000 or less required the most. Individuals that would consider taking these jobs in 2013 lived most frequently in the Northeast and West (both 64 percent).

The vast majority (84 percent) said they would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with a company that had an excellent corporate reputation, a 3 percent decrease from the previous year. In both 2012 and 2013 most people said they would only require a 1-10 percent salary increase to consider such a move, and fell between the $75,000-100,000 salary range.

"As Americans continue to cope with the employment-related repercussions of the financial crisis, the majority of people would still prefer to work for a company with business ethics that align with their own values," said Bruce Morton, Head of Innovation at Allegis Group Services. "Today's global leaders face unique responsibility to not only be aware of this sentiment, but also to act in the best interest of their employees and customers.”

“Fundamentally, corporate responsibility and sustainability programs positively affect the company brand and reputation which drives sales, saves money improves overall asset values and can improve an organizations ability to attract talent,” he added.

Jobseekers of a certain age range are even more likely to pursue work at companies with favorable reputations. According to a recent survey by Net Impact, eighty percent of millennials want to work for a company that cares about its impacts. In the same survey, more than half said they would refuse to work for an irresponsible corporation. On a related note, a recent report from Deloitte’s Center for the Edge found organizations that cultivate employee passions can lead to a marked competitive advantage.


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