Growing your business isn’t just about scaling your operations. It’s also about ensuring your workforce scales with integrity and purpose. That’s where sustainable recruitment comes in. Weaving long-term thinking into the fabric of your hiring processes, sustainable talent acquisition fosters a workforce that keeps your business resilient, responsible, and ready for the future.
What is sustainable hiring?
First, what is sustainability? In broad terms, sustainability is when a process can continue indefinitely through maintenance or improvement. In the recruitment world, companies embrace this principle by focusing on the long-term implications and outcomes of their recruitment decisions. It involves more than selecting a candidate based on their qualifications and experience; it considers a myriad of factors, including alignment with company values, potential for professional development, and more. The goal is to ensure the candidate’s long-term fit and growth within the company.
While the primary focus here is on the human aspects of hiring, it’s worth noting that “recruitment sustainability” can also refer to eco-friendly hiring practices, such as digital interviews to reduce travel emissions or sourcing sustainable office supplies for new hires. With environmental considerations becoming a key factor in job seekers’ decisions, companies with an eco-friendly mindset are posed to attract and retain the best talent.
Why does it matter?
Company reputation: Modern consumers and prospective employees scrutinize a company’s ethical standing. A solid reputation for hiring the right talent and treating them well is a compelling differentiator in competitive markets.
Employee retention: The cost of high turnover is significant — not just in monetary terms but also in lost productivity and team morale. Sustainable hiring ensures you’re nurturing a workplace where your hires are more likely to stay long-term.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR): Ethical and sustainable hiring is a cornerstone of a company’s commitment to CSR. It demonstrates to stakeholders, employees, and job seekers that the business is not just driven by profit but also values its human and societal impact.
Steps towards a more sustainable recruitment process
Consider your business’s core values
Every company has guiding principles behind its practices, decisions, and culture. During the recruitment process, it’s essential to assess whether candidates resonate with those values. For example, a company that prides itself on teamwork may look for people who have a knack for collaboration.
Look at cultural fit
Tools like the Predictive Index and tailored interview questions can provide valuable insight into whether a candidate is “compatible” with your company’s culture. At the same time, it’s essential to ensure that the prevailing culture within the organization is adaptive and inclusive. Cultures that are too rigid miss out on diverse talent and fresh perspectives that could be catalysts for innovation.
Many companies find value in working with recruitment agencies, who have the expertise to find candidates who fit the existing culture but bring the diversity of thought necessary to drive your company forward.
Prioritize employee development
A hire with the right values and best qualifications won’t be sustainable without room to evolve and grow. Organizations need to prioritize their employees’ professional development, offering various pathways for advancement and learning. This could be through ongoing training programs, upskilling courses, leadership tracks, and performance review systems.
Hire with DEI in mind
A sustainable workforce is a diverse, equitable, and inclusive one. Embrace a recruitment strategy that deliberately seeks out and welcomes candidates from a wide range of backgrounds. This can mean expanding the search to different communities and networks, crafting inclusive job descriptions, providing interviewee training to counteract unconscious biases, and other DEI strategies.
Keep communication transparent
Clear communication from the outset sets the tone for a successful hiring process. It not only attracts the right candidates but also minimizes potential misunderstandings down the road. Moreover, encouraging open dialogue facilitates deeper understanding between employee and employer, ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship.
Embracing the digital age can boost your sustainability initiatives on all fronts. Digital interviews, for example, reduce the need for travel and cut carbon footprints. By integrating technology into hiring, companies can tap into a wider talent pool, ensure equitable screening, and champion environmental sustainability.