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Adopt ‘Green-Collar’ mentality to attract eco-Aware staff

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in Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources

Don’t keep it a secret if your organization does good for the community and the environment. Let employees and job applicants know about your corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.

Studies show that more applicants today — particularly younger ones —  are seeking out employers that can show an earth-friendly and people-friendly pedigree. Plus, good CSR can reduce turnover among your current staff.

In fact, employees who are satisfied with their organization’s CSR com-mitment have a greater degree of engagement with their employer, as well as a higher view of its integrity and sense of direction, according to a new survey of 1.6 million employees by Sirota Survey Intelligence (see box below).

"A sense of pride is a major driver of both morale and business results, because people want to be associated with a successful organization that has a positive image,” says Sirota President Douglas Klein. “Strategic CSR enhances morale, and higher morale contributes to better business results.”

The link between people strategies and environmental policies will create a larger role for HR pros as they work to incorporate and exploit such branding.

Yet experts say too few companies are taking advantage of the trend despite the fanfare, and many companies underestimate just how important a company’s degree of “greenness” is to potential hires.

Here are three ways to start building your company’s green recruiting and retention strategy:

1. Change the terminology. Get hip to the ever-evolving language of green recruiting.

Candidates will be drawn to your “greenness” if you can successfully prove your company’s true interest in and support of policies and practices that leave a “minimal environmental footprint,” promote and encourage “sustainability,” and instill “social and eco-responsibility.”

2. Publicize environmentally aware practices in your hiring materials, handbooks and web sites. Simple examples include:

  • If your firm buys “green” — purchasing sustainable products and setting goals for buying recycled, refurbished or used materials — let recruits and employees know about your policy
  • Do you re-use packaging for shipping, rather than throwing it out? Tell them.
  • Do you allow teleconferencing to curb business travel? Make a point of that.
  • Do you offer organic snacks or coupons? Promote that fact.

Make sure your efforts are featured prominently on your web site’s career section. Only about a third of the workers surveyed said they know what their company’s environmental policy is.

3. Seek out recognition and support for green policies and programs.

Examples: More than 1,900 employers have earned a place on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of the “Best Workplaces for Commuters” (see www.bwc.gov). Also, Ethisphere magazine publishes a list of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies.” 

Online resource:   Find more eco-business tips and research award directories and tools at www.greenbiz.com/ toolbox/index.cfm. 

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