#1 Attract, retain and save with green HR strategies

Thijmen Meijer
3 March 2023

In our first article we talk about the benefits of having a green way of thinking even when it comes to HR and recruitment, and how you can open up new talent pools and be more attractive for younger generations.

Sustainability, as a word, might feel a bit overused sometimes. We have all heard about sustainable mobility, how we should all prefer public over private transport, trains over planes. We also hear a lot about sustainable power solutions, i.e. renewable energy sources. Or recycling and circular economy, as the next step in waste management. But what does sustainability mean in the world of HR and recruitment? Is it a super niche category of the few, that are already engaged in these previously mentioned green areas? Or is this something of wider, caring importance to all companies in almost any sector? I will argue for the latter, and although it might seem at first as an issue only related to a specific few, I believe no business should oversee the importance of investing not only in green solutions but green talent, as well.

In the next series of articles on our new blog, we want to highlight the benefits and advantages of having a green way of thinking when it comes to talent management, as well as what the potential losses are that could occur in the mid and long-term future if you decide to sideline sustainability within your HR and recruitment functions. In this first one, we will discuss how you can reduce risks while future-proofing your organization through ESG initiatives, as well as attract and retain newer generations of talent.
If there is anything we have learned in the last couple of years, that economic volatility and uncertainty are becoming more and more present in today’s world. But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any long-term trends that we see happening. And the best way to decrease these variables in our planning is to calculate with certain future trends and do our best to prepare for them. Climate change, and better yet, “climate proofing” is certainly one of those certain long-term trends, that all organizations must prepare for. And especially now, with interest rates getting higher and when money is becoming more and more scarce, investing in more efficient ways of working, in all parts of our business is a very sensible thing to do. Companies can not only reduce their carbon footprint, and find ways to be more efficient and effective, but can also reduce costs in the mid and long term as well. 

Millennials and Generation Z combined comprise ca. 38% of the global workforce. This number is expected to reach 58% by 2030. What does this have to do with sustainability and green talent strategies? Because more than any other previous generations, surveys have shown that for them a feeling of belonging, not just through financial means, but by shared goals and values is of very high importance. Even more, Gen Z workers say they avoid applying for jobs with employers that have even a perceived negative impact on the environment. Add to that the stat that 76% of the Gen-Z population say climate change is one of their biggest concerns. These numbers speak for themselves. Finding, and then later on retaining these employees will become even more vital, as we see that in spite of the economic turbulences talent is and will remain scarce. And the quicker your organization decides to include green talent in their future workforce strategies, the more advantage you will have over your competitors. Because it is not only about what you can gain, but even more importantly about what you could potentially lose in the ongoing “war for talent”.
Investing into green talent, however, doesn’t necessarily have to mean huge headcount raises, and reshaping your entire future recruitment plans. In our next article, we will discuss how you and your organization can start making the first steps to becoming more sustainable, and what quick and easy fixes you can already start doing today.
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