When it comes to talent attraction and retention, organisations’ commitment to sustainability and positive societal change becomes key, said Alistair Cox, CEO of Hays recently.
As awareness of climate change and the need for action increases, more and more employees want to work for businesses with meaningful sustainability goals, Cox noted.
The CEO outlines steps for business leaders to embed sustainability into their organisations. According to him, the three important steps are as follows:
Greenwashing is a practice that organisations use to make themselves seem more environmentally conscious than they are.
To prevent being accused of this, organisations need to be genuine in their ambitions and culture and be open about their goals and progress.
“Ensuring you have independent verification of your progress will help avoid greenwashing. At Hays, we work alongside Climate Partner who provide this for us and advise us along our journey to Net Zero,” Cox pointed out. “We also report to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Ecovadis, who provide trusted business sustainability ratings."
“To bring true value and meaning, the business and we as leaders must walk, talk and align behind our commitments,” he added.
Communicate the opportunities
The transition to a green economy is happening across most industries and is creating new jobs and the chance to learn new skills, which also present vast opportunities for professionals and businesses.
The switch to a more sustainable future will see companies hire sustainability specialists. There will be a need to upskill the current workforce, for instance, electrical engineers will need to learn how to install solar PV, whilst design teams will learn how to adopt green design principles.
"Providing your employees with opportunities to learn new skills and get involved has the potential to unleash a diverse range of new market opportunities, as well as helping to solve your own sustainability challenges,” Cox advised.
Lead from the front to attract top talent
Organisations that lead on important issues such as sustainability will be in a better position in talent attraction and retention.
Businesses must ensure their senior leaders are communicating the organisation's sustainability journey to the rest of the business.
Communicating these updates ensures the whole business is bought in and is championing your sustainability journey.
If this is done effectively, hiring managers can provide information to potential recruits when questions about sustainability are asked at the interview stage.
Cox also encourages businesses to provide this information upfront and include it on career websites.
According to him, there are a few things to remember and to action if a business is to enhance its employer brand through sustainability.
For example, organisations must provide their employees with the necessary tools to learn about the green economy; they must effectively communicate their journey and ensure there is an inclusive culture; they need to avoid greenwashing, and they must align behind their commitments.