Hire the Best Sustainability-focused Employees

Recruiters are increasingly being challenged in the modern world to find the best talent in sustainability and with an increasing talent shortage due to a lack of candidates and high demand for roles, how can you find and hire the best sustainability professionals? Follow our recruiter strategy to hire the top talent for jobs within sustainability. 

Walk the walk and talk the talk

If you are looking to hire the best talent within sustainability then you need to thoroughly know your company’s eco goals to allow a rigorous interview. Unlike most jobs, sustainability does not just affect one department - each team will need to focus on how they can produce less waste and focus on sustainability targets. If the candidate for a sustainability role doesn’t detect any enthusiasm from the hiring manager then that may raise red flags which could ultimately scupper the interview. Hiring managers need to believe in their company’s sustainability goals and be able to communicate them effectively as the candidate is interviewing the company as much as the company is interviewing the person.  

Be part of the new revolution

A few decades ago, the business world had a decision to make – digitalise their processes or get left behind. Companies that were slow to embrace and invest in technology floundered and could not compete with early adopters. Sustainability is replacing digitalisation as the new workplace revolution. Companies are challenging their workforce to be more waste accountable – it is the future of business and companies that can’t (or won’t) get on board with becoming a better version of themselves will find themselves being left behind as consumers and clients makes choices based on a company’s sustainability goals. As a hiring manager, ask your company to look hard at their eco-policies and see if they are going to be market leaders and future-proof their business accountability.

Education vs experience

A decade ago, sustainability wasn’t the hot topic it is now and it was unusual to find mainstream degree courses that focussed on this area. Now, there’s a whole range of degrees, masters and short courses that prove that you have the dedication, commitment and knowledge to excel in this area. Older candidates are likely to have specialist degrees in other areas and may have worked their way into this sector through other means. These candidates should not be discounted as their career experience is likely to be a great boon to the role as they understand the pressures that the company faces from other perspectives. 

Building back better

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live and how we work. For a number of organisations this has forced a rethink on how and where we work: to keep the workforce productive and safe. Flexibility, remote technology and home working are now mainstream but now that businesses are opening up again there is pressure, by some, to go back completely to the old ways of working. However, this is a prime time for companies to work on their environmental footprint and establish ways of working that not only meets economic but their ecological targets. Consider a hybrid of working in the office and home to save commuting time, stress and pollution. Working in the office has many benefits to new recruits and to foster good departmental relationships and this combined with uninterrupted, commute-free homeworking could be a practical way of keeping down carbon emissions. As a recruiter, you can cast your net wider if you aren’t restrained by locality and if a job can be done remotely, then it’s worth considering hiring talent globally so you get the best brain for the role. 

Practise what you preach

So you’ve got a great candidate lined up for a sustainability role – how do you impress them? You streamline and make your hiring process more sustainable. Think of every part of the hire from the logistics of the candidate getting there, the coffee/tea they are offered, reusable vs paper cups, the opportunity of having a digital interview, the paper forms they need to fill in – every step needs to be thought through from the sustainability perspective. This won’t be an overnight process so start with small changes that can make a real difference. Top talent in sustainability will be able to tackle the bigger issues within the company but you can impress them with thoughtful choices throughout the interview. Small steps that show you care can make a real impact on their perspective of the interview and give you the edge in a competitive hiring market.  


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