The Facebook Factor
Employees also think a lot more about work-life issues nowadays, and working for a company that advocates good citizenry and supports one's values contributes to a sense of good balance. So as Americans recycle more, cut their energy use, and buy the kind of coffee that supports the rain forest, they want to feel that their employers are right there alongside them doing the same things on a larger scale.
"This isn't true for everyone, but it's true for some, and it's most true for the smart, successful people who can pick and choose their employers," says Michal Ann Strahilevitz, a marketing professor at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
Additionally, "In our culture, 'Where do you work?' is an important question. We believe that working for an Apple or Whole Foods says something about you," says Montabon. "As corporate responsibility and the environment become more prominent issues, you have to think about these things and about how people will react to your job."
Generation Y, accustomed to living many aspects of its life quite publicly on the Web, knows this better than anyone. "Look at the kids in this most technically literate generation. When they consider a job, they ask themselves, 'Would I want to put it on my Facebook page?' " says Sanders. "If you want to attract the best among them, you had better be Facebook worthy." If an employer doesn't "get it" when it comes to the environment, he says, then it probably isn't.