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How Companies Can Align Social, Environmental, and Economic Values to Attract Talent

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When it comes to employing new people in an organisation, you are expected to offer more than ever before. It is not enough to just advertise a vacancy and hope that the applications flood in. 

In order to attract the very best talent, you need to put a lot of thought into how you sell the job to the applicant, or they will just look elsewhere.

Particularly among the younger generations, who are newly entering the world of work, there are different expectations for what they need and want from a job. These are usually based on their own social, environmental and economic views, as well as those of their peers. They are more aware of the world around them and how their work could affect their health and personal agendas.

This is unlikely to stop anytime soon, therefore companies need to factor these values into how they operate, so as to align themselves with their potential employees.

Green and eco-friendly

Something that is high on everyone’s agenda as we aim, as a country, to reach net zero by 2030, is climate change. For organisations, anything that can be done to reduce their carbon footprint and show a commitment to the environment will be welcomed by potential employees, to whom protecting the environment is a priority. 

Reducing the number of miles that products and supplies are sent or received and opting for alternative low-emission transport is one of the many ways that this goal can be achieved.

Perhaps one of the easiest to implement is recycling. Many of us recycle at home without even really thinking about it; it has just become the natural way to dispose of our household goods. 

Ensuring your business is recycling waste correctly is crucial, as this allows for waste collection to be managed appropriately, which in turn helps reduce your impact on the planet. On an industrial scale, having a larger disposal system in place which will allow large amounts of the company’s rubbish to be recycled is often a cost-effective way of removal as well as being good for the planet.

Flexible working 

One of the biggest things that has come out of the change in work patterns since the Covid pandemic is flexible or hybrid working. Many companies have realised that a lot of the work they do can be done from people’s homes, or any other location, rather than having to attend the office every day.

With commuting times and costs spiraling and the importance of family time and work-life balance is much more recognised since spending so much time together at home, organisations have had to adapt their working policies to include the ability to work from home on one or more days a week. It has been shown that not having to commute and spend as much time in the office and being able to enjoy home comforts has had a positive effect on employees’ mental health.

Looking after your health

Wellbeing, both physical and mental, is now not only the concern of the individual but has entered the working domain too. Everyone from millennials to those nearing retirement are now more aware of how working affects their health, in all different ways.

The effects of mental health on productivity and feeling happy and able to work have been well documented. Training is now available for employers to know how to recognise and assist employees suffering with their mental health, to ensure they are doing everything they can to support their employees.

With many of us either sitting at a desk all day and barely moving, hunched over a keyboard staring at a computer screen, or conversely standing for hours in a retail or construction environment, physical health has also come under the microscope. Ergonomic chairs, blue-light reduction screens and regular rest breaks have now become the norm in many organisations and help to show that they care about their employee’s wellbeing.

Perks and incentives

In recent years, employee perks such as discount schemes, cycle to work, gym memberships and other financial incentives have been replaced in favour of looking after employees in different ways. But if, as an organisation, you can offer things like these, then you will be looked at more favourably by potential employees.

It is also good for your Corporate Social Responsibility to offer something different, including holiday day purchase salary sacrifice schemes, getting involved in community events, or days for your employees to give time to working for a charity. These will help your reputation as an ethical employer, both with those you employ and the location in which you are based.

Salary transparency

There has been a lot in the industry press nationally about salary transparency and whether job advertisements should show the salary band for the role they are recruiting. It has been an overwhelming response of ‘yes’ from jobseekers, who like to know if the job is within their expected salary range before they take the time to apply. And you can’t really argue - this makes a lot of sense.

Nobody will want to take a pay cut from their current job, or not get paid what they think they are worth, especially with the cost of living so high. And, as an employer, you don’t want to waste time sifting through applications and interviewing people who then withdraw from the process if the salary is not what they are expecting. By being transparent from the start, everyone wins.

Final thoughts

A toxic work environment is no good for anyone. Companies will lose staff as quickly as they are employing them, wasting money on recruitment and training which then has to be repeated.

By listening to current employees and researching what people now expect from their working lives – and then implementing it - organisations will be able to have the pick of the bunch when it comes to recruiting for vacancies, and will be able to attract the talent they want, rather than having to make do with a small pool of applicants.

This is especially true of the younger generation, who are forward-thinking and could be valuable assets to a company as they head into a new responsible future.

This blog was kindly written for us by Gemma Williams. Gemma works remotely from as many coffee shops as she can find. She has gained experience in a number of HR roles but now turns her focus toward growing her personal brand and connecting with leading experts in the industry. Connect with her on Twitter: @GemmaWilliamsHR.

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Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi on Unsplash