Does sustainability matter in recruitment and retention?

In today’s competitive job market, candidates are no longer solely motivated by traditional factors like salary and job title. Instead, they seek employers whose values align with their personal beliefs. Should companies be rethinking their own values?

Posted: July 2023
By: Sara Johnson

Employer Branding

The notion of ‘employer branding’ is now firmly mainstream and business leaders recognise that they need to market themselves as attractive employers to draw the very best talent to their team. For this to work you need to ensure that your brand truly represents your organisation, that everyone in your organisation lives and breathes it, and that it’s marketed to your target hires in the most effective way.

Sustainability may be considered a buzz-word by some, but as an employer there’s no denying it’s now a major factor in whether some candidates choose to join your organisation and, crucially, why they stay there.

Whilst there’s lots of noise in the media about this being a Gen Z phenomena, here at B-role we see this is much more widespread, and something that’s become a hygiene factor for any employer.
Not to worry though, there are a number of ways business leaders can address sustainability to attract and engage top talent who consider this a big lever in their decision-making process.

Over half (53%) of the UK’s workforce say sustainability is an important factor in choosing a company to work for

Anthesis, 2021

1. Environmental Commitments

Many organisations have incorporated sustainability into their core values and mission statements – committing to reduce their carbon footprint and promoting environmental responsibility through eco-friendly practices such as recycling, reducing waste, using sustainable materials and suppliers etc.

2. Lifestyle Considerations

On a human level, embracing remote work and flexible work arrangements can reduce commuting and contribute to lower carbon emissions (big tick for number 1, above) but it’s also making a big difference to employees’ work/life balance, family arrangements and more.

3. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Employers are increasingly focusing on CSR and community involvement. This may include supporting local charities, volunteering programs, or initiatives that address social and environmental issues. People now enjoy working for companies that demonstrate a commitment to social and environmental issues and generally promote ethical practices through their operations.

4. Transparent Reporting

Employers are sharing their sustainability efforts and progress through annual sustainability reports. This transparency helps build trust with candidates who value authenticity and want to work for companies that are genuinely committed to sustainability. .

5. Employee Engagement and Education

Employers are increasingly educating their teams about sustainability practices and encouraging them to contribute ideas and initiatives. This approach fosters a culture of environmental awareness and involvement, but also importantly creates a sense of shared ownership and belonging that can be critical in staff retention. Activities can include providing training and resources for employees to adopt eco-friendly practices, organizing volunteer opportunities, and incorporating sustainability into company values and mission statements.
Some employers may be more proactive and dedicated to sustainability, while others may put it on the back-burner for when there’s more time, money or resources. However it’s important to remember that many job seekers do now research and assess a company’s sustainability practices to check if they align with their own personal values and priorities.
Companies that prioritize sustainability and demonstrate a genuine commitment to making a positive impact are likely to be more successful in attracting and retaining the very best talent in their organisation.

Do you need to work on your brands sustainability?

Don’t forget, here at B-role we can help you build sustainability into your employer brand and internal engagement programme, with everything from workshopping to events and communications. Just give us a call when you’re ready!
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