The rising demand for ethical businesses


Globally, there is emerging evidence of a trend towards employees entering the
working world to seek employment with businesses that demonstrate ethical
corporate behaviour, and which support the local communities in which they operate.

Global workforce solutions provider Manpower states that an increasing trend
among people considering employment opportunities is to ask about the prospective
employers business practices as well the businesses involvement within the local

Manpower South Africa Managing Director Lyndy van den Barselaar explains that
there is a rising trend amongst individuals looking for prospective employment to ask
poignant questions about their possible employer. It is clear that those in the job
market are favouring businesses and brands that are open, honest, and transparent,
governed by polices and leadership that promote ethical corporate practices, and
who actively involve themselves in supporting and uplifting projects and initiatives
within the local communities where they are geographically situated.'

Supporting this, a Havas global prosumer report on citizenship and communities
found that more youth are demanding more from businesses and are instead choosing
to work for brands and companies that invest in local communities and demonstrate
ethical business practices and policies. The report further states that business used
to be about one thing - maximizing profits, however found that, as corporations have
grown in size and power, people have higher expectations of them.

The survey respondents wanted big business in general, and their brand partners
in particular, to play a role in driving change and to work toward the greater good
rather than acting solely on the basis of their own agendas. A further statistic from
the study revealed that over 70% of all respondents for all age groups believed that
the more powerful a corporation became, the more obligated the corporation was to
behave ethically.

States van den Barselaar, "Within the South African context, employees across
the board are more inclined to accept employment offers from those businesses that
are regarded as being ethical. This leads to another situation where those businesses
that have an ethically sound reputation will attract the best available talent, and if
this reputation is maintained, will develop a workforce of advocates. We can consider
"ethical reputation’ as a new and growing decision-making criteria for

"It is therefore advisable for businesses wishing to attract and retain key talent
in their industry to adopt policies and business practices that promote the positive
ethical standing of the business, and further demonstrate this ethical behavior by
actively getting involved in the community in which they are represented, either by
their head office, or by a branch of their business.'

"We can also expect this ethical behavior position to develop further into other
stakeholder groups. Business partners, investors, suppliers and customers are all also
demonstrating an interest in the ethical business practices of a business - as
stakeholders are more willing to show their support to a business that has more than
a financial interest at heart.'

Concludes Van den Barselaar, "This is something that Manpower takes extremely
seriously, and we are very proud to have been recognised by the Ethisphere
Institute, an independent centre of research promoting best practices in corporate
ethics and governance, as a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company® in March this
year, for the fourth consecutive year.'