When I ask job seekers what kind of work they are looking for, I often get variations of the same answer: “I want a job that means something.”
Sure, people want a good paycheck. (We all have bills to pay!) But more fundamentally, people want work that matters.
This desire for meaningful work steers many people into the nonprofit sector. Nonprofits are mission-driven, and offer that chance to make a difference. However, there are more options for people who want a socially impactful career that you may not know about. For instance, you can work for a Certified B Corporation, or a B Corp for short.
B Corps are a cool hybrid in the business community, and offer a unique opportunity to grow your career and make a difference. Full disclosure: Mac’s List is a Certified B Corporation and very proud of it.
Let me tell you more about what B Corps are all about, and why they can be great places to build your career.
What is a B Corp?
If you’ve never heard of a B Corp, that’s okay. It’s a relatively new type of business certification, started in 2006. An increasing number of organizations are becoming B Corps, creating huge career opportunities for socially-minded professionals.
In short, B Corps are for-profit organizations using business as a force for social good.
B Corps are unique, hybrid businesses that combine the entrepreneurial spirit of a for-profit venture with a strong social mission. They are designed and run to maximize a triple bottom line: profit is still a motive but B Corps are equally driven to improve social and environmental conditions where they operate.
The social mission isn’t just a side project or a marketing gimmick. B Corps are independently certified and held accountable to the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. Pretty cool, right?
B Corps also vary widely in industry, mission, and size. They range from small businesses, like our team at Mac’s List, to large multinational enterprises, like Patagonia, Unilever, and Danone. The B Corp movement is particularly strong here in the Pacific Northwest. We’re home to more Certified B Corporations, per capita, than anywhere else in the world.
Why you want to work for a B Corp
Here are a few reasons why B Corps are particularly exciting organizations to work for.
B Corps are mission-driven
If you, like so many others, are looking for work that connects to a larger purpose, B Corps are a natural fit, as a social mission is written into the organization’s DNA.
Every B Corp has its own particular mission focus. Here at Mac’s List, we’re all about helping people find great work. Other B Corps might focus on environmental issues, or sustainability, or economic empowerment. Whatever your passion, there’s likely a B Corp that aligns with that interest.
All B Corps share a commitment to operating ethical, responsible and sustainable businesses. As we’ll see below, these values drive almost all business operations, including how B Corps relate to their employees and the community at-large.
B Corps care about their employees
Tired of feeling like a cog in the system? B Corps offer a great employee-friendly alternative to “business as usual.”
Part of the B Corp certification process focuses how the business supports its workers. Companies that achieve certification have demonstrated a commitment to building a healthy, sustainable, and engaging working environment for all employees.
In practice, this dedication to employee experience manifests in different ways–from collective decision-making, to worker wellbeing committees, to regular employment satisfaction assessments, and even, in some cases, allocation of ownership shares with employees.
Bottom line: people who work for B Corps more get treated as vital contributors who have a say in how the organization operates.
B Corps offer extensive benefits packages
In addition to a positive work environment, many B Corps also provide employees with solid benefits. As for-profit entities, B Corps can often afford better benefits that those found in the nonprofit sector; and as socially-minded businesses, the benefits are also generally more generous than those from comparable private sector businesses.
For example, salaries at B Corps are generally higher than the established market rate. (This is particularly true with for non-executive employees.) B Corps also consistently offer above-average vacation and sick leave, retirement plans, flexible scheduling, and health insurance. In fact, many B Corps even extend these benefits to part-time and contract workers.
Some B Corps go the extra-mile to create fun benefits for employees. Here are some of the more unique benefits that local B Corps offer:
- “Made up” paid holidays to provide employees three-day weekends in any month where there isn’t already a “real” holiday break. (Offered at Noto Group)
- All-expense paid learning trips to Central America, to visit the farms where the company sources it’s coffee (Offered at Nossa Familia Coffee)
- A “Golden Ticket” to fly anywhere in the world, provided to employees after three years of work. (Offered at Wanderwell)
B Corps give back to the community (and the world)
B Corps are also judged by their impact on the communities in which they operate. The certification process for B Corps places heavy emphasis on building sustainable, zero-impact business operations. There’s also a strong push to hire local and use local sourcing of suppliers.
Moreover, B Corps incentivize work community involvement. Many organizations provide paid time off for volunteer work.
Dozens of local B Corps are working everyday to help our Portland community continue to grow and flourish. If you would like to work for a local B Corp in the Portland and the Pacific Northwest, Mac’s List has dozens of job listings from active, community-minded organizations. Search Mac’s List jobs to find more opportunities with B Corps in Portland and beyond.
You can also find out more about Portland’s B Corps and learn why they’re great places to work. Visit B Local PDX Job Seeking & Hiring Resources.