Sustainability credentials and your employer brand

Sustainability credentials and your employer brand
Margita Lauder

Sustainability credentials and your employer brand

Find out our tips on how to look at your sustainability credentials and using them for your employer brand

The benefits of a strong employer brand are well-known. Statistics show that 96% of companies believe your employer brand can positively or negatively impact revenue. From increasing productivity and staff morale, to improving retention rates and attracting even more great talent, there are huge advantages for businesses to get it right.

According to Glassdoor, 75% of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively works on its employer brand. Google, Greggs, HubSpot, John Lewis and Capital One have been cited as some of the top brands to work for. So how can you follow in the footsteps of these star employers?

For many organisations, employer brand falls short when it comes to authenticity. The challenge is creating an employer brand that’s a true reflection of your company values and that supports your objectives. Businesses doing this best have a joined-up approach that resonates throughout everything they do. They don’t only say they’re great places to work – they demonstrate it daily. And they use an authentic employer brand to propel their success.

Sustainability - The New Agenda

So, what exactly are candidates looking for in an employer? While things like salary and holiday allowances have traditionally been important (and are still bound to bear influence), in recent years work/life balance and flexible/remote working options have become just as pressing deciding factors for candidates. 

But according to data gathered by Employer Brand specialists, Link Humans, there’s a new consideration for companies looking to attract candidates. They found that ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) was the second highest mentioned attribute of an attractive employer brand. And interestingly remuneration sat at the bottom of the 16 listed features.

These findings are perhaps no surprise given that sustainability is a growing concern for many businesses now. As more and more of us accept increased responsibility for lowering our environmental impact at home, it’s only natural that companies are being expected to take steps to become more sustainable too. At Carbon60, we’re actively working to reach our own sustainability goals. We’re setting up verticals specifically for greener roles and are looking at where existing skills can be transferred to more sustainable specialisms. Our wider Impellam Group has already moved to renewable energy and we are working to encourage company car owners to opt for EVs.

From recycling and reducing waste to using less power or switching to greener energy sources – these are things that can be implemented by households and corporates alike. But when it comes to businesses looking to expand, carrying out sustainable activities is no longer enough. Companies need to be visibly taking accountability for reducing their carbon footprint and improving the environment we live in.

Why? Well, not only is it the right thing to do for our planet, but it’s also now a key factor for talent on the lookout for their next position. Younger generations are now starting to choose an employer based on their sustainability credentials.

It’s a growing priority for all of us as we rebuild and reshape our economy in the wake of COVID-19.

Top tips on creating a sustainable brand

Get everyone on board - Particularly senior management. Any change in strategy must come from the top and be embraced by your company as a whole.

Conduct an audit - Look at how green your business is already and where changes could be made to improve.

Educate your people - Lay out what’s expected of employees to help you achieve your ESG objectives. Explain why people need to pull together to make a difference. Look at what activities you can implement to become more environmentally friendly.

Rewrite job ads - Remember how important sustainability is to today’s candidates. Be sure to include your commitment on adverts and other communications.

Shout about it - Partner with your marketing team to promote the great work you’re doing to be more sustainable. There’s no point keeping it under wraps!

Revisit your values - Plus, your vision, mission, and purpose. They need to align with your sustainability goals. Remember authenticity is key.

Follow it through - Don’t forget sustainability in all you do. From your hiring and onboarding process to daily BAU – for sustainability to be ingrained in your business, it has to underpin every department, each activity, and your entire strategy. In our experience, candidates are now willing to accept lower salaries to work for sustainable companies. In my career as a recruiter, I have had people approach me on LinkedIn from outside of the industry to say they are looking for a future-proof career and want to work with a sustainable employer. By showing how we are achieving this, we can attract talent away from competitors and from other sectors.

Further evidence of the importance of crafting an employer brand that’s sustainability-focused is TotalJobs’ 2019 survey. It found that millennials would be willing to take a pay cut of up to £11,400 to work for a company working to help the environment. According to the report, Generation X and Baby Boomers would also accept a pay reduction for the same reason.

For advice on building your employer brand, why not get in touch today to find out how we can support you.

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