Whether you are looking to recruit school leavers, students or graduates to your company, when you are recruiting young people, you first need to be able to appeal to those people in the right way. This is true for anything from graduate roles to part time student jobs that you have on offer.
We have said in the past that many young people will research your company before they apply for your roles. Whilst lots of this research might be for interview preparation, there will be more holistic research taking place before young people even consider applying for your positions.
Many young people today are switched on to social responsibility and the importance of being eco conscious – and try to live their lives accordingly. From energy saving strategies in the home to sustainable eating and sustainable fashion, Gen Z make informed choices about their way of life.
This therefore translates into the work they do and the companies they choose to work for. Before they apply for a role with your company, they will be looking for evidence of concrete efforts your company makes to both protect the planet and to be socially responsible.
Rather than simply looking at the salary and the requirements of the role they are applying for, many young people will also be looking for employers who share their values.
So it makes sense as an employer who is looking to attract young talent to ensure you get the message across that you are a company who takes social responsibility and being eco conscious seriously.
It will both attract that young talent and also boost your staff retention. There are lots of ways to attract Gen Z to your roles and this is one of them.
Your company branding plays a key role here. And getting this branding right will be good both for recruitment of young people and for boosting your customer base.
As well as employment, young consumers also look to buy from companies whose products and services are ethically sourced. And to companies who are out there in the community making a change for the good.
As well as making yourself more attractive to prospective talented job seekers and to future customers, a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility is also increasingly being encouraged by governments.
For example, the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage were introduced in an attempt to make sure that workers were paid a minimum amount that not only reflected the work they do but that also offered a certain standard of living.
Young people will be looking to companies who value the work their staff do by paying that staff a wage or salary that reflects their efforts.
We have written in the past about the question of whether or not you are paying your employees enough.
A Challenge Facing Humanity
Environmental sustainability is a matter of urgency and a challenge facing humanity. As such, employers can take steps to make sure their company is implementing measures which reduce their carbon footprint.
For large multinational corporations, this might be measures that have been implemented according to government guidelines and laws, depending on the field your company is operating in.
Governments around the world also offer some financial incentives to encourage companies to operate in a more sustainable way.
For SMEs in the UK, there are many small measures you can take that will reduce your carbon footprint on the environment – and that will attract young talent to your vacancies if your company branding celebrates your green credentials.
What Can Employers Do To Make Their Business Greener?
If you are looking to operate your business in a more eco friendly way, there are lots of practical steps you can take to make a good start along the right path.
These are small, visible steps that demonstrate to young people you are not making misleading claims of operating in a more environmentally friendly way.
And if you have other future aims for a greener way of operating but you are not yet in a position to implement these greener measures, being honest and open about this can build trust with young potential recruits.
If they can see that your company has made a start and is making progress, they can see that you are serious about rising to the challenge of operating in a more sustainable way.
And, of course, you also get that feelgood factor that both you and your business are a small but impactful piece of a jigsaw that helps to protect the future of the planet.
Look At Commutes
How do your staff get to work each day – and how do you get to work each day?
Whilst it might not be a practical solution for all companies because of geographical location, are there steps you can take to encourage staff to arrive at the workplace in as eco friendly way as possible.
And perhaps you could lead by example on this one. Is it possible for you to walk to work or to cycle? Your other members of staff might be able to follow suit in this regard.
For those arriving by car from a distance away, is there a public transport alternative. And if not, is it possible for any of your team to do a car share, thus taking one or more cars off the road?
If you can encourage a culture of this in the workplace, you could have a system in the staff areas where people can note on a public board which area they are driving from to the workplace. If anyone else arrives from the same area, they can get together to do the car share.
Likewise for walking, cycling – and even running. For dark winter mornings, there might be some staff who would like to walk, run or cycle to work but don’t want to do that alone. Buddying up with other staff to arrive at work together can be a perfect solution.
As well as being a greener way to arrive at work, this can help to prevent congestion in the locality of your business. We all know the mental health benefits as well as the physical benefits of exercise, too, so walking, running and cycling can really benefit your staff.
Not to mention the savings on travel costs.
And, of course, for some types of company, it might be possible to have some staff working remotely, meaning they don’t need to make the commute very often, if at all. There are different measures you can take to build trust with staff who work remotely.
Who Are Your Suppliers?
Obviously, it needs to be financially viable for your business but where possible, try to use suppliers for your business that are offering sustainable goods and services.
Look for suppliers that offer goods made from recycled, recyclable or renewable sources. This will reduce your carbon footprint.
Recycle & Dispose Responsibly
Reduce waste in your company by separating out anything that can be recycled. This can be anything from paper to electrical goods.
For anything that can’t be recycled, can it be repurposed. And if not, how are you goıing to dispose of that waste? If it is a product that needs to be disposed of in a particular way, make sure you follow that protocol.
Depending on the type of company you are, if it lends itself to this, you could also have compost bins or areas where staff can leave any waste to be composted.
Invest In Your Premises
Again, it depends on the type of premises your business is operating from but investing in the premises to properly insulate them means you can reduce your energy usage and benefit your staff by offering them a more comfortable working environment.
Where possible, use renewable energy sources such as solar power. When you need to purchase any electrical products, do a bit of research to make sure you are buying the latest and most energy efficient models. As well as boosting your green credentials, this will also save you money on energy bills in the long run.
Likewise with water usage. Have you got any leaky taps or toilets that need fixing? Have your workplace bathroom facilities got toilets with a dual flush so that you aren’t wasting unnecessary amounts of water?
If there are gardens around your premises, you could make these into useful areas. Plant trees to benefit the local environment and have seating areas for staff to go outside and take a break.
You could even have a vegetable patch and areas for wildflowers so that pollinators have a space to visit.
Again, gardens are said to be beneficial for mental health and they provide an outdoor space for staff to get some fresh air, to take a break and to enjoy the garden area, too.
As for watering the garden, have a rain catcher so that you have a natural water source in dry weather when there isn’t much rain around..
Assess Your Cleaning Products
For some types of workplace, depending on the sector you are operating in, you might be required to use particular types of cleaning products for hygiene reasons or because of legal requirements.
For general cleaning purposes in other workplaces, however, are there cleaning products you could use that are more natural than the chemical cleaning products. As well as the chemicals, most cleaning products tend to be sold in plastic containers so you would be reducing both your chemical use and plastic use in moving over the greener products.
Likewise with cloths, sponges and mops. There are many greener alternatives out there that use more natural materials rather than the fabrics traditionally used in these products.
A Greener, More Socially Responsible Future
For recruitment and staff retention, it pays for companies to operate in a greener and more socially responsible manner. It is just one of the measures you can take to improve and enhance employee experience of the workplace.
As well as a happier team of staff, companies could save money in the long run and also make more money because operating in this way can attract a wider customer base.
As well as young people looking to work for companies with similar values to themselves, customers are also doing similar. Customers are increasingly looking to buy from companies that are taking action to reduce their carbon footprint, to value and invest in staff and to invest in their locality, too.
We have written in the past about the benefits for companies that invest in their locality and some of the activities you could do that will make your social responsibility credentials more visible. Take a look at how you can get involved in your local community and why you should be making the effort to do so.
If you are looking to recruit Apprentices, graduates, students or school leavers, place your ad with e4s and reach your target audience.