How Employers Can Appeal to Social Issue Driven Employees

It is fair to say that 2021 was a difficult year for recruitment professionals. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that 2022 will be similarly challenging. As the global pandemic continues to put pressure on HR departments and recruitment services alike, there are other pressures impacting talent acquisition. This is due to global inequality pressures and the growing climate crisis, both of which are forcing businesses to refocus their attention on developing new organisational cultures that can help provide a more secure, safe and nurturing work environment for social issue driven employees.

This new cadre of employees are interested in different workplace experiences. They factor a new type of organisational culture - one that fits with their own worldview. Surveys have found that 78% of jobseekers want to work for an organisation that “leads with purpose” in the field of sustainability and social justice. And more problematic is the statistic that shows 43% of employees are actively looking for new roles because their current employer lacks an organisational culture to challenge social justice issues in the workplace.

Here are three developing themes that recruitment professionals can utilise to help build new talent recruitment channels whilst simultaneously nurturing talent sustainability in the workplace.


Many would-be employees are actively focusing on how a business can help showcase the value that they provide to an organisation whilst they are also interested in social and environmental impacting their organisation. Productivity transparency and organisational sustainability transparency dovetail into theme number one which is organisational data transparency

To nurture a positive workplace culture to help stem employee turnover, organisations - Human Resource teams in particular - must start by focusing on new mediums of data collation and more crucially new formats of information distribution within the workplace.

Technology is providing a partial answer to this expansive question. However, soft skills can also help derive successful collaboration between employee and employer. Building and collating the metrics is one half of the problem, empowering individuals with these data requires recruitment professionals, HR front-line staff, and HRM leadership to understand the power and role empathy plays in communicating on such sensitive issues within a diverse workplace environment. Transparency will only work if trust is nurtured, if the right data is collected, and that information on productivity and sustainability is communicated in ways that enhance individual experiences.


Employees are now exploring what potential employers provide in terms of health benefits. However, this isn’t the health benefits of old - in which private health insurance was the central tenet of the “health” offer or package from an employer. Today’s potential employees are interested in emotional wellbeing and health. Statistics have shown that organisations that place a central focus on health and wellbeing will see a 72% increase in pre-employment engagement during the recruitment process.

Technology is playing a part in helping organisations provide useful health and wellbeing support packages. Many businesses utilise on-demand app-based meditation/mindfulness technologies to help individual employees develop coping mechanisms for workplace stress, anxiety and pressure. However, this is only part of the wider issue.

Communication is also a central part of this puzzle for organisations. Great workplace cultures are built upon the availability and presumption of sound communication between stakeholders. This helps to provide the foundation in which groups and the organisation as a whole can derive positive wellbeing outcomes based on good communication channels. Trust and employee engagement starts with HR teams and recruiters understanding the value, importance, and centrality of open communications as a means of nurturing sound health and wellbeing outcomes with employees - to put it more starkly the more open you are as a business, the more your employees will trust you to discuss their health and wellbeing.

Continuous Professional Development

Many young employees entering the workplace for the first time in 2022 will in all probability have to retrain or upskill at least three times during their careers. There is a realisation in the business world - especially within the confines of recruitment and HRM - that upskilling and retraining will play a key part in stemming employee turnover whilst also being a central part of any prospective employee’s benefit expectations from an organisation. The talent pipeline has driven the need to focus on continuous professional development but in a new way.

Many organisations - like Coca Cola, McDonalds and BT - have found that nurturing upskilling and re-training opportunities in-house means developing programmes that meet both the demand and employee need for the training in question. Organisations are building physical or digital academies in-house to drive upskilling. However, other businesses are exploring external training opportunities through certification-based providers like CompTIA or Microsoft.

Another issue surrounds the need to train employees in “softer” skills - which includes communication skills, customer service training and team building. As more organisations focus on technical training and upskilling, other businesses are finding success in nurturing talent acquisition from a different kind of employee - those who are interested in different issues like social justice and sustainability.

This focus provides organisations with new pathways for continuous professional development that factors in issues like carbon footprint awareness training, LGBTQI+ allyship training, and other programmes that can help build organisational talent that meet the needs of the business whilst having a strong understanding of the major issues surrounding sustainability and social justice facing the world today.


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