How to be a sustainable recruiter

Many agree that the biggest threat to our planet is not coronavirus but climate change, with the United Nations claiming that climate change is the “biggest threat modern humans have ever faced”. As we mark the 51st Earth Day we should all be thinking about the impact we have on the environment, not just in our personal lives but in business too. As the world begins to return to some sort of normality it is vital that we don’t simply return to our old ways of doing things.

The UK government is pledging to build back greener, from investing in innovative green businesses to creating thousands of more jobs in renewable energies. Clearly, recruiters can help by working with businesses that commit to sustainability and offer green jobs but how else can you make greater strides to becoming a sustainable recruiter in 2021

Harness technology

Technology can be a huge enabler when it comes to working more sustainably. Consider retaining video interviewing even when restrictions are lifted to reduce travel and create a smaller carbon footprint, even if just for the initial interview. Make the most of your recruitment technology‘s online capabilities and cut down on paper, going fully paperless where you can. Operating fully digitally will help you to reduce waste and streamline the recruitment process.

Choose green suppliers

As well as looking at energy reductions, have you thought about switching to a green energy provider? If you don’t own the building in which your office is located you can’t invest in your own solar panels or electric vehicle charging points in the car park but you can choose who supplies your energy. You could also look into green couriers and organic food and drink deliveries, plus choose local to cut down on travel footprints.

Establish environmental initiatives

Prove your environmental credentials through actions. As an organisation, pledge to cut your water consumption, use less paper, recycle more, change all the lightbulbs in the office to LEDs, try to walk/cycle/take public transport to cut down on fuel emissions. Organise team building days that include environmental action, such as litter picking or helping out in a community garden. Add any green policies, objectives, initiatives and events to your recruitment website on your blog page or consider building a separate page to display your environmental pursuits and signal to visitors that it is woven into the fabric of your business. If you have joined a sustainable certification programme or have earned any green awards, display those prominently.

Generate awareness

Have honest discussions with your clients about the growing importance of sustainable practices and green values to employees. By 2025 millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce and corporate sustainability has become vital to them – a survey by Totaljobs found that millennials were willing to take an average salary cut of £11,400 to work for a company with a strong environmental policy and 50% would leave their current job to move to one that actively took steps to be more environmentally friendly. Having a provable commitment to sustainability will allow organisations to attract the most talent. Ignore it and they could be missing out on top talent. Equally, recruiters can advise candidates on the companies that are sustainable, connecting talent with employers that share a similar mindset.

Publicise your values

Stake your commitment to sustainability by making it one of your company values and then publicise it on your website and on your social media platforms. Not only will this help you to follow through on promises and turn words into actions, but it will also make it easier to work with candidates and clients with similar values. Make sustainability part of your branding, an identifier to help you stand out from competitors.

The vast majority of us are well aware of climate change and the damage it continues to do to our planet. Candidates and clients are no different. A growing number of organisations of all sizes are beginning to position themselves towards sustainable-minded candidates – a smart move considering a PwC survey of job seekers from across the globe found that 65% of candidates want to work for companies with a social conscience. Clearly show what you are doing to become a more sustainable, greener recruiter and not only will you appeal to the many for whom that is incredibly important, you’ll be helping to combat climate change, saving on costs and boosting morale within your team. A quadruple win.

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