Sustainability in Recruitment: How Can One Complement the Other?

cioreviewindia Team | Monday, 13 September 2021, 11:35 IST

Sustainability in Recruitment: How Can One Complement the Other? It's a brilliant thing that sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance representatives look set to become as critical to any business operations, marketing, and sales, but for businesses that rely on a steady flow of candidates in these roles, it will require a reevaluation of hiring strategies.

Emotional quotient, communication, and problem-solving are just some of the attributes brands currently prize when seeking talents. However, it's recently emerged that sustainability recruitment is being neglected in the recruitment process, which could come at a real cost for any business, not making it a top priority.

Recent findings have highlighted this disconnect, with only 2% of role profiles specifying a need for sustainability as a candidate requirement. Conversations surrounding sustainability have never been louder, but that doesn't necessarily translate into action.

Without change and sustainable leadership, sustainable business cannot happen. On the other hand, for the many experienced and motivated sustainability professionals out there, 2021 presents a big opportunity. What better time to start from scratch in a specialty, kickstart your career or go after that promotion?

But if you're a green-minded recruiter and lucky enough to work for a brand that strongly promotes sustainability, it presents a big challenge. When competition for the best sustainability talents out there just got more strenuous, it means you need to rethink your recruitment and retention strategies.

Sustainability Can Help Brands Create Better Defined Roles

One of the great things about sustainability coming to the fore across all types of businesses is that it's no longer entrapped in a specialist department or held separate from the ins and outs of operations. However, as the reality of these roles evolves, so too recruitment departments need well-tailored roles that potential talents are looking for.

That means that recruitment specialists need to avoid vague criteria or terms that could include any role in sustainability. Just as they would expect each cover letter to be personalized for each role, they need to ensure each role is specific to the individual job opening. 

Think Outside the Box and Focus on the Environment

What we're witnessing today in the recruitment space isn't just a change in process to benefit the environment, this is an opportunity to completely remarket your brand, attracting top talent along the way. Leaders can go beyond the simplistic development of a social and environmental conscience and make it the core of their business, and they get in change, surprising results.

With a massively reported skill shortage, business leaders have the opportunity to prove a clear commitment to reducing carbon footprints and help tackle the environmental crisis.

Applying strategies such as business sustainability is simply another form of competitive advantage. Not only will consumers be attracted to your brand, but the best talent pool will also be as well. Sustainability can be included in all facets of your business:  from the way you produce and market your products to how your business operates. In today's green-conscious corporate environment, anything from employee training, green commuting options to baler rental makes sense; it only matters how they're implemented.

Promotes the Best of Your Brand

Recent findings show that 36% of HR departments across the world are actually adjusting their recruitment tactics to focus on their business' environmental and social stance.

In other words, when crafting their job descriptions, most companies highlight:

  • The importance of their social and environmental sustainability, and the employee's role to replicate this each and every day.
  • The cause, whether this is in regard to waste management or social conduct, the employee must support these causes.
  • Responsibility for the environment and the employee's duty to display this in all aspects of the work.

Helps You Upskill Members That Have Already Proved Their Worth

Almost two out of three people aren't satisfied or fulfilled in their role. For brands looking to grow their employee base in a competitive space, it pays to first identify existing talent that might be looking for new opportunities in purpose-led or impact roles.

Urge line managers to check-in with teams and sort out who might be itching for a new challenge. Actively promote ESG roles and sustainability and point out that full training is an option.

How you evaluate your existing talent to identify skill and knowledge gaps is key to identifying candidates for learning and development. This can be accomplished by:

  • Reevaluating skills to quantify the existing skill of each member
  • Using information from short interviews to define employee career goals
  • Identifying talent gaps and sorting them by difficulty and priority
  • Perform potential upskilling opportunities with top candidates

The point is, you need to ensure you're not missing out on top talent currently dormant within the business before you look outside for new recruits.

Sustainability Allows for Greater Retention

Many recruiters employ strategies to find the most successful match for a position and then reassess to make sure the new hire is working as intended.

Sustainability recruiters can also teach business leaders how to use their new green-minded candidates for maximum efficiency. This kind of recruitment combines making the most compatible employee and then maintaining an environment that fosters that employee through the long term. It requires both efforts to retain hires and help them be as productive as possible.

It's good news that sustainability professionals look set to become as critical to any company operations, marketing, and sales. Now more than ever, sustainability must become an integral part of a business strategy while addressing some of the world's most pressing issues. The same issues that impact brand reputation and talent attraction are also the same that helped the most sustainable businesses grow incredibly profitable.

Sustainable recruitment has also played a crucial role in all this as it perfectly combined making the most compatible hire and using them for maximum benefit. The more brands allowed employees to customize their working environment and support green initiatives, the greater the retention rate. 

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