Organizations are becoming more and more aware of the importance of practicing sustainable development in the work force, both for the reputation it creates as an environmentally responsible company, as well as for the financial benefits that permeate throughout the establishment. As your organization becomes more aware of the benefits of an environmentally-friendly work place, it’s important to also introduce a green recruiting strategy with a strong focus on reducing the HR department’s carbon footprint. In today’s day and age of sustainability, the new workforce is pushing for employers to consider green options and create a sustainable workforce.
With that in mind, below are five key strategies to make your recruiting strategy environmentally friendly:
Evaluate the ‘green’ level of your organization & recruiting program
When planning to make any radical changes to a company’s HR strategies, one of the first steps should be to evaluate and organize the facts on the ground. Compile all information on your organization’s recruiting strategies as well as any and all green initiatives and policies. Determine how socially responsible your current recruiting program is, including travel, paper use, printing use, interview tactics and so on. Go through social reports, GRI reports on environmental figures, commitments to reduce CO2 emissions and energy efficiency measures.
The following questions may help you decide on necessary changes to policy and strategy:
How important is social responsibility to your company?
What other steps have been taken to become more environmentally friendly?
What are the objectives of this green initiative?
What processes can be streamlined?
What processes can be switched to a more environmentally-friendly option?
How will you communicate these green efforts to candidates?
Use online applicant tracking software
Recruiting software is one of the benefits to the advances of the internet on the 21st century, and an absolute must-have in in any green recruiting strategy. Among its many advantages, the most important is the fact that it transforms the process into completely paperless recruiting. Less paper = thousands of saved sheets, either printed by candidates sending their resume or printed by staff in the office. All necessary information on the candidate can be easily stored in an online applicant tracking program, from the resume, to scheduled interview dates, and any notes on the candidate by yourself or a co-worker hundreds of miles away. The amount of paper waste that is reduced from this installation is estimated at over 60%!
3) Publish job openings in new channels
The traditional means for publication of job openings are no longer as relevant as they once were. Whereas in the past, recruiting was done through printed media such as newspapers and flyers, that may be ineffective in today’s day and age. By changing the strategy away from printed media and instead toward different channels, you can radically reduce the carbon footprint of your recruiting process.
Instead, you can publish job openings on online job forums, websites and social media. Encourage onsite CV downloads; discourage physical mailing of the CV to your offices. Attend virtual job fairs to increase brand awareness and receive interest from job seekers. On the off chance that you need printed material, use recycled paper, sustainable merchandise, and eco-friendly building material for stands.
4) Switch to virtual interviewing
Reduce recruitment travel by using all means of online collaboration such as the ever-wonderful Skype, Google + hangouts, audio/video interviews of other types, online tests, emails and so on. At first, it may be uncomfortable to adapt from the face-to-face interviews, but you’ll quickly see that a Skype video chat can be enough to judge the character of the interviewee. At the very least, this should be sufficient for an initial interview.
The switch to virtual interviews has a huge impact on reducing the carbon footprint and costs of operations of the company. According to Lizz Pellet, studies show that live virtual interviews save an average of 238 kg of CO2 per interview. Multiplied by the number of candidates interviewed per month, it can add up to a staggering amount of CO2 not released into the air.
5) Identify potential employees with similar values
To recruit a green-inspired workforce, include questions in the interview on their environmental commitment. Job descriptions should incorporate the employee’s responsibility to reduce negative impacts to the environment. Make sure you are noting and reviewing the employee’s adherence to green practices. Additionally, create a firm policy for recruiters on the critical elements of the ‘sales’ pitch to applicants, including emphasizing the company’s commitment to sustainable development.
Author Bio: Miranda Brum is a freelance writer specializing in travel writing with a focus on cultural aspects including green living. As a graduate student Miranda studied environmental issues and sustainability. She considers herself a green living expert, and has also written extensively pertaining to tips to make one’s life and home more sustainable.
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