Green Organization and its Recruitment Policies


If the recruiters are thinking of creating a congruent and authentic employment brand which can help your organization attract, retain and repel employees, there comes the relevance of the word “green recruiting”. Recruiting, the most important function of HR, which entails attracting the right person for the right job at the right time, is changing its color. Organizations are trying to tap every bit of opportunity, wanting to look different and make a good impression, so that the right candidates with the environment friendly bent of mind apply for jobs.

Companies large and small are seeing a significant increase in the ROI of their recruitment and retention programs by creating an employment brand. One deliverable of a significant employment brand is green recruiting practices. This is not a “flavor of the month” or a new concept. Fortune 500 companies have been doing it for years. Continuously hearing words like eco-friendly, green, environment etc for the past few years, even the young generation has also attracted towards this concept. So they are also looking for an organization which is environment friendly.

In June, 2007 Dr John Sullivan wrote, “While candidates of all generations have begun evaluating potential employers based on their “greenness” few in recruiting have leveraged this hot topic in recruitment communication and activities”. He goes on to say, “Individual recruiters need to make the firm’s environmental stance a critical element of their sales pitch to potential applications and candidates”. The time has come for all employers to assess the degree of ‘greenness’ in which they operate. So, all the companies now a days are trying to portray themselves as eco friendly companies.

Organizations like Google and Timberland have made concerted efforts in portraying themselves as environment friendly organizations, having programs that support environment issues. Such programs include: extending $5,000 subsidies for employees who buy hybrid cars, dining facilities that serve organic food, charitable contributions to organizations that fight global warming, on- site composting of food waste and using fuel and solar power etc. Wipro have made concerted efforts in portraying themselves as environment friendly organizations, having programs like launching a new range of eco-friendly desktops and laptops.

The Wipro Greenware range is compliant with RoHS (Restriction of hazardous substances) directive, thereby reducing e-waste. Why green recruiting? It’s good to be Green. That’s what a lot of companies are finding, as they integrate environmentalism and sustainability into their corporate culture. Not only is environmentalism good for the community and the planet, it can help employees reduce waste and operate more efficiently. Companies tout their environmental initiatives in annual reports, core values, community activities and even advertising.

Yet, companies often fail to leverage their environmental efforts in one key area: and that’s recruiting, meaning they are missing a key opportunity – as studies show a commitment to environmentalism and sustainability can be a factor the most desirable candidates weigh when choosing an employer. ? Studies have shown that many Gen Y and college grads are concerned, or at least conscious, about how their behavior impacts the environment. What they consume, how it is packaged, what they drive and where they live are conscious choices that are made every day.

In the context of employment branding, green information should be positioned appropriately on the company website, career page or in a recruitment video. This approach can be a significant differentiator for a company that is interested in attracting top talent. There is no argument that the demand for sustainable practices is increasing.

  • 80% of current employees want to work for a “good company” (one that has a good reputation for environmental responsibility) and this percentage is expected to grow to 90% in the next 10 years. (Corporate Environmental Behavior and the Impact on Brand Values – Tandberg, 2007.
  • 77% of recent MBA graduates would forego some income to work for a firm with a credible sustainability strategy. (Stanford Graduate School Study, 2007).
  • Companies that use sustainable business practices are approximately 3% more profitable than those that don’t. (empirical analysis 2007 – Innovest Strategic Advisors. )

College graduates are increasingly seeking a company that is environment friendly. According to the survey commissioned by Maynard, mass based on-line board’s decision for college students, 80% of them opined that they are interested in a job that has a strong and positive influence on the environment.

Many institutes now offer a dedicated discipline, called “sustainability”, in the US in order to cater to the needs of student’s overarching demand for fusing business with environment. Things have to a point where jaw- dropping salaries are banished to the back burner and “going green” has soared in importance, while graduates figure out their employers to be. ? Global candidates are deeply fascinated about it. Countries like Germany, Australia, and Finland are very much attached to the eco- friendly concept.

So, if the companies want to recruit global candidates, they must do much more to reach the expectation of these students when it comes to environment. ? Company’s reputation can be increased by being eco friendly. People would prefer to buy the products sold by socially responsible company. Suppliers may prefer doing business with such companies. New alliances and partnerships they can make with other organization to reduce pollution and to protect the Mother Nature. Greenest companies in India A survey conducted by BT- AC Nielsen ORG-MARG, ranked Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC) the greenest company followed by Reliance Industries.

Overall, the oil and petroleum sector was considered the greenest sector in India. BPCL, Castrol India and HPCL are other companies in this sector that were rated green companies in the survey. The private sector companies were in a majority (13 out of 20) in the list of Top 20 greenest companies in India. India’s software companies are also considered green companies. IT companies are allowed to set up their offices within the city limits. This is because they do not harm the environment. Johnson and Johnson Ltd. , Chillibreeze, IBM, LG Electronics, PNB, Tata Motors and Hero Honda Motors are some of the other green companies in India.

These companies not only emphasized upon one another the importance of adopting green technologies, but also of addressing the issues of safety, health, environment and social obligations. So, to implement all these green practices companies should train their employees properly. Through training, to some extend they can make their employees follow go green slogan. But if they don’t have real interest in this concept, these companies can’t make it a great success. That is the reason why they should give more importance to green recruiting which will enable them to obtain right kind of a person for right job and for right organization.

Steps to Implement Green Recruiting ? Identify candidate decision criteria: Start by holding focus groups at industry conferences to identify what “green” factors would be important to individuals seeking new jobs. Next, ask candidates during interviews and on the Web site to list their decision criteria. During orientation, ask those who accepted jobs what criteria they used to make the decision. Finally, contact those who rejected your offers three to six months down the line to identify positives and negatives. Use this information to modify your recruiting processes and focus. Benchmark: Search the Web, benchmark with college recruiters and work with recruiting consultants to identify the best practices of other firms. Use this competitive analysis to gauge your success and to plan your future actions. ? Your Web site: Make sure that both “what you do” and the results of those efforts are prominent on your corporate careers Web site. Include your recycling statistics, as well as whether you are carbon neutral, limit greenhouse gases or win environmental awards. Include narrative or video profiles of your environmentally conscious employees.

If your company policies allow, link your corporate jobs site on major (but primarily nonpolitical) environmental Web sites. ? Be talked about. If you have a strong environmental record, it’s important to get “written up” in business, professional and industry publications as well as in newspapers and on TV. Work with the PR department to identify which of your practices are most likely to be appealing to the media and designate an individual to be available for interviews. ? Recruitment advertising. Advertise in magazines that candidates who are sensitive to the environment are likely to read.

Highlight in your recruitment ads a few “eye-catching” facts and any environmental awards you might have won. If you use brochures or paper recruiting materials, make sure they’re from recyclable stock and that it says so on the document. ? Job descriptions. Make sure that, where possible, job descriptions for high-volume hiring positions include responsibilities for minimizing negative environmental impacts. This is critical because if job seekers don’t see being environmentally friendly integrated into “every job” at the company, they might see your “green recruiting” as merely a PR effort.

If you’re really serious, include knowledge of environmental impacts under the skills-required section of your job descriptions. ? Interviews. Provide managers with “green” fact sheets to use during interviews. If you are really aggressive, provide candidates with a side-by-side comparison showing how your firm’s environmental record is superior to other firms they might be considering. ? Sourcing. One of the best ways to strengthen your environmental image is to hire lots of environmentally friendly employees who can spread your “green” story through word of mouth.

Have your recruiting team identify the sources that produce the highest-quality environmentally friendly candidates. Source at environmental organizations (i. e. , Sierra Club). Also, recruit at environmental events and use subscription lists from green publications for e-mail and direct-mail recruiting. ? Employer referrals. Having your employees spreading the word will help both recruiting and product sales. If you have the resources, proactively seek out employees who are highly visible in environmental circles and ask them specifically to talk up your firm, to seek out candidates and to provide you with names. Awards. Winning awards for excellence is always a major element of building an employment brand, so obviously winning “environmental” awards should be a major element of your strategy. ? Advisory group. Ask the advice of six to eight environmentally friendly employees about measuring the quality of the message you are sending and how to reach and convince more applicants of your strong “green” record. ? Products. Obviously, applicants want to know that the products they are helping to produce are environmentally friendly.

This means putting pressure on product advertising and marketing to include in your product ads and packaging the fact that your products are eco-friendly. In some industries, how you treat vendors and outsourced work can be important (i. e. , Starbucks, Nike). ? Value statements. Make sure that your corporate goals, values and even corporate business objectives include environmental elements. ? Annual report. Because some applicants take the time to read your annual report, make sure it includes sections that highlight your environmental record and the fact that you recruit environmentally friendly employees.

If your firm uses bio-diesel fuel, pays fair market value to suppliers, is energy-efficient or if it buys “carbon offsets,” highlight these selling points. ? Employee benefits. Consider adding holistic health options, paid time to volunteer for environmental causes, matching donations to green causes, and support for alternative transportation options to your benefit package. ? Reward criteria. Include this factor in the performance-appraisal system for all employees. Obviously, use it as a hiring criterion, but also use it as a critical element in promotions, bonuses and pay increases. Develop metrics and rewards. Because whatever you measure improves and adding rewards to the equation makes the behavior improve even faster, your green-recruiting effort must have metrics and rewards tied to it. Some of the metrics you want to include are the percentage of candidates aware of your strong environmental record, the number who rejects offers because of a poor record and the percentage of new hires who say your environmental record was one of their top-five reasons for accepting the offer.

Hold post-exit interviews with your top performers to identify whether environmental factors contributed to their exit. Benefits… When your employees volunteer an environmental clean up effort, getting their picture in the local media serves a dual purpose. Employees receive a form of public recognition for their efforts, and it creates a positive public image. This will also add to the company’s corporate social responsibility practices. Retention efforts can be improved by including creative benefits that specifically address green concerns.

Some examples include holistic health benefits, paid time to volunteer for environmental issues, financial support for alternative transportation options such as bus passes or rebates for purchasing hybrid cars, organic snack options in the employee break area, and matching employee contributions to environmental causes. By doing so, company can achieve goodwill as well as can retain and attract employees through its unique benefits offered to them. Conclusion Employees are searching for an authentic work experience where their personal values are in alignment with the organization’s values.

Companies that do not give consideration to being green, or just provide “green washing” lip service may be passed over by potential candidates who don’t wish to be associated with that kind of an organization. To know, whether your company is exactly working on so called ‘green atmosphere’, following questions need to be answered:

  • Do you have an environmental policy? Is it posted your career site?
  • Do you have a recycling program? If so are you tracking (and communicating) the amount of money you save and landfill space you have freed up? Are you using recyclable stock on your recruiting materials?
  • Is sustainability one of our core organizational values? If so, is it listed on your website?
  • Have you built in any environmental accountability into your performance appraisal system?
  • Do you incentivize employees in any way to support your environmental policies?
  • If your company has a reward system involving redeemable points, do you offer a green option, such as pledged donations to an earth friendly cause?

It is necessary for HR Managers to include firm’s eco-friendly messages with the firm’s recruitment process and employer brand. If your business can brag about its environmental savvy, be sure to tell applicants. And don’t just rely on your Web site. Get quoted in articles about environmental initiatives, Use word-of-mouth, asking employees to spread the environmental message, Place job advertisements in magazines read by your target applicants, Provide environmental talking points to emphasize during the interview process, Win environmental awards and attend environmental conferences.

Green recruiting helps the company to have its on identity in its recruitment practices when compared to all the other companies. Finally, just as with other goals, the only way to know the long term effects of going green on the company’s employment brand is to review appropriate HR metrics including effects on recruitment, retention, employee satisfaction, and productivity.


  1. 1. Bauer N Talya, Smith Aiman Lynda (1996). Green Career choices: The influence of ecological stance on recruiting, Journal of Business and Psychology.
  2. Retrieved July 14, 2010 from http://www. springerlink. com/content/p7716gg4715017j0/ Felton O Brien (2007). Debating Green Recruiting. HR Executive online. Retrieved July 22, 2010 from http://www. hreonline. com/HRE/story. jsp? storyId=46706256 Huff Charlotte (2007)
  3. . Green Recruiting Helps Bring in Top Talent. Workforce Management Online
  4. . Retrieved July 20,2010 from http:// www. workforce. com/section/06/feature/25/06/24/index. html Huff Charlotte (2007). Highlighting your
  5. 5. Lizz pellet (2008). Green Recruiting: Cashing in on the Green to Enhance Your Employer branding efforts. Best practice institute. Retrieved July 15, 2010 from https://bestpracticeinstitute. org/public/doc/GreenRecruiting-CashinginontheGreentoEnhanceYourEmploymentBrandingEfforts. pdf Steere Vicki (2009)
  6. . Employment brand goes green. Jobing foundation. Retrieved July 25,2010 from http://jobingfoundation. org/2009/07/
  7. 7. Sullivan John (2007). Steps to Implement Green Recruiting.
  8. HR Executive Online. Retrieved July 15, 2010 from http://www. hrexecutive. com/HRE/story. jsp? storyId=26541280
  9. 8. Sullivan John (2007). Green Recruiting: Building Your Environmental Employment Brand. HR Executive Online. Retieved July 17,2010 from – http://www. ere. net/2007/06/04/green-recruiting-building-your-environmental-employment-brand/
  10. 9. http://www. careerxroads. com/news/updates/0209. asp. Retrieved July25, 2010 10. http://www. qualigence. com/Yaffe/newsletter/articles/tt/tt_121707. html. Retrieved July27, 2010

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