Sustainability: Your New Recruiting 'Hook'
By Margaret Hansen
Green Is Good
Think that greening up your business won't amount to a hill of beans? Think again.
In a JobsIntheUS.com opinion poll, 64 percent told us that sustainable business practices, such as recycling, family friendly policies and benefits and/or a commitment to community development could influence which company they chose to work for.
Only 30 percent remained neutral on the issue, while 6 percent said they didn't care about sustainability.
Recruiting New Personas
Going green can benefit a business looking to tighten its belt, but it can also help attract prospective employees. New personas are popping up: from ecoprenuers whose downsized status may have caused a career and attitude shift, to the social cause enthusiast who values meaning over money, to the environmentalist who doesn't want to leave a trace. Traditionalists still exist in the job market, but green personality traits and values are gaining ground.
How are other companies becoming green? Here are some practical examples:
1. The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, has a green recruiting policy that calls for giveaway-free recruiting events. Instead, employers are given alternative branding opportunities, such as a written employer summary for the program, donation recognition for select green causes, and more face time with students. Students appreciate not being burdened with too much logo-tattooed merchandise that doesn't tell them about the company anyway.
2. Amazon has come out with a new line of products called AmazonBasics, which features quality consumer electronic products at lower prices, such as USB cables and blank DVDs. All products in this line come in "Frustration-Free Packaging." They are easy to open, easy to recycle and designed to alleviate "wrap rage." Quirky and simple, yet this line has a powerful branding message that makes their customers smile.
3. Aurora, whose plush toy products are sold in more than 25,000 retail outlets worldwide, has a green philosophy that includes: exceptional customer service, phenomenal leadership, strong employee relations, an all natural product line that includes 100 percent soy bean materials, and a social responsibility pledge to donate to such non-profits as CASA of Los Angeles, among many others.
4. Haberman & Associates, a public relations firm, offers organic gardening to employees as a way to bond, eat well, and learn. For weeding, hoeing and pulling vegetables after work three days a week, employees can take home fresh organic vegetables from the company-sponsored garden. Any leftovers are given to local food banks. The company provides the land, money and resources while the employees provide the ongoing labor. The garden not only offers tremendous health benefits to employees, but it also gives professional insight: some of their clients are in the sustainable agriculture and organic food industries.
Recruiting in a Green World
Whatever sustainable initiatives your company decides to practice, once you have some plans in place, be sure to promote them. It could mean capturing the attention of a growing number of job candidates with a green career focus.