Nov 18, 2021 - Business

Study: Company partisanship hurts hiring

Illustration of hands grasping mug handles on opposite sides of the same mug.

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

From Chick-fil-A to Starbucks, more corporations and CEOs are addressing social and political issues, especially as millennials and Gen Z pressure them to take public stances.

Yes, but: Those stances are a double-edged sword when it comes to hiring talent, especially in our current workforce shortage, according to a new study from the University of Iowa.

  • While it may help employers attract talent that fits their values, it also hurts recruiting people who may offer different perspectives, said Chad Van Iddekinge, a UI professor and researcher on the study.

Details: 58% of job seekers surveyed said their employer's political views were at least somewhat important, while another 36% said they were strongly important.

  • Meanwhile, 40% strongly agreed they'd be discouraged from applying to a company with public political positions that differ from their own.

Between the lines: Negative feelings toward potential employers heightened when they took a stance on a specific issue, such as gun control, the study suggests.

What's ahead: Don't expect the political stances to stop anytime soon as consumers make new demands.

  • "It's only going to increase, but the trick is how should organizations navigate this? You can't please everybody," Van Iddekinge said.

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