Execs: Women Do Give a Damn About Your Company’s Bad Reputation


We have written before about the talent gap in procurement here on Spend Matters. If companies are having a hard time filling full-time positions, which has contributed to the rise in contingent workforces, a new study offers one reason why: a bad reputation. Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s annual corporate reputation survey showed the majority of women are not likely to take a job at a company with a bad reputation.

A total of 86% of women surveyed said they wouldn’t take the job if the business had a bad rap. Comparatively, 67% of men said they wouldn't either.

When people don’t want to work for your company, that doesn’t help you solve your talent shortage problem. But why should procurement worry? According to Spend Matters Analyst and contingent workforce expert Andrew Karpie, even temps don’t want to work for bad employers — and they have wider range of alternatives than those trying to secure permanent positions. Moreover skilled talent is increasingly shifting to independent workers or freelancers, Andrew added, so they represent a way of alleviating some talent shortages in businesses. But here again, if these folks don’t want to work for your company — if you’re not a “client of choice,” Andrew said — then you’re back to square one.

Bottom line, according to Andrew: a bad company reputation even turns off contingent workers, so procurement take note.    

What Matters: No Public Blunders

How does a company gain a bad reputation? According to CR Magazine’s survey, public exposure to criminal acts tops the list. Thirty-three percent of respondents cited this as the top bad behavior of a company’s culture. A company failing to recall defective products was cited by 30%, known workplace discrimination was called out by 21% of respondents and 15% said having gone through an environmental scandal was bad for a company’s reputation.

However, money and age of workers do seem to make a difference. For instance, workers ages 18–34 were more likely to take a job with a business that had a bad reputation than those 35 years and older. Also, 67% of respondents said if a company with a bad reputation offered more money for the job, they would take it. Yet this is down from last year when 70% said a higher salary would encourage them to accept a position at such a company.

The Best and Worst Corporate Reputations

What companies would have the hardest time fining employees, based on the findings of the CR Magazine survey? We turned to a MarketWatch report from earlier this year, to list the top 10 companies with the worst reputation:

  1. AIG
  2. Goldman Sachs
  3. Halliburton
  4. American Airlines
  5. Bank of America
  6. Citigroup
  7. BP
  8. JP Morgan Chase
  9. Wells Fargo
  10. Comcast

CR Magazine also recently published its list of the 100 best “Corporate Citizens,” which is a ranking based on how transparent the company is of their responsible practices. The companies with the highest ranking, and which may not have a problem filling jobs due to a bad reputation are:

  1. Microsoft Corporation
  2. Hasbro Inc.
  3. Johnson & Johnson
  4. Xerox Corp
  5. Sigma-Aldrich Corp.
  6. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
  7. Intel Corp.
  8. Campbell Soup Co.
  9. Ecolab Inc.
  10. Lockheed Martin Corp.

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