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3 sustainability initiatives to help attract and retain talent

April 22, 2022
iCIMS Staff
4 min read
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While the workforce has grown accustomed to remote work, it is hard to recall how different our day-to-day work lives were just two years ago, and how much our work values have shifted since. Prior to 2020, in-office ping pong tables and perks like summer Fridays were “wow factors” for candidates.   

Flash forward to 2022: The pandemic sparked a period of unprecedented workplace disruption, which forced organizations to rethink their benefits, perks and corporate policies to meet the evolving changes of talent needs.  

Gone are the days where adding “fun” to the office is enough. Employees expect more. One key area employees want to see their employers deliver more? Sustainability initiatives that lessen the impact of climate change. 

iCIMS recently commissioned a survey in partnership with Dynata, a global online market research firm, of 1,000 consumers across the U.S. to better understand just how important corporate sustainability programs are to job candidates during the application and interview process.  

The survey results demonstrate that in today’s red hot talent market, candidates want their job to be more than a paycheck. They want to join companies that align with their personal values and beliefs. Here are some of our findings:  

  • 1 in 4 respondents reported they would turn down a job offer if the company did not support climate action. 
  • 66% of respondents noted they must personally align with the company’s mission and core values when applying for a job.  
  • Nearly 40% of respondents said they would avoid applying to a job if they viewed the company as a climate polluter. 
  • 70% said they are very likely or somewhat likely to depart from a company that does not implement sustainable business practices. 

Businesses can define their purpose beyond profit and communicate how roles in their company will contribute to the greater good – ultimately helping to improve overall employee satisfaction. Here are three ways to turn insights into action to improve your sustainability offerings to employees. 

  1. Partner with an organization to help identify sustainability programs for your company.
    It can be challenging building out a sustainability program from scratch. Consider working with a partner organization to help your business identify your environmental goals, construct a framework for the program and help check your progress. Partnering with organizations can help you to build programs that truly make a difference and will benefit your business, employees and the environment.  
  1. Create an employee resource group (ERG) on “Going Green.”
    ERGs are a great way to provide employees who share similar interests and backgrounds with an outlet to share their knowledge and contribute to your organizations’ efforts. Creating a “Going Green” ERG enables employees to have a space to discuss pressing topics around sustainability and climate change, educate other employees and community and help create grassroots change within an organization.  
  1. Offer volunteer days focused on environmental efforts.
    Many studies have shown that volunteer programs boost productivity, increase employee engagement and improve hiring and retention, as reported in Harvard Business Review. Consider arranging community initiatives or a paid volunteer day for employees to partake in a local park clean up or planting trees. These efforts can help to offset carbon emissions, while giving employees the opportunity to do good for the local community.  

Employers must understand the needs of the evolving workforce to continue to build strong cultures that attract and engage employees. By adopting and guiding employees towards sustainability initiatives, organizations give employees a sense of purpose. In other words, companies that can make a brighter future for their workers stand to have the brightest future themselves. 

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