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The Impact of Sustainability on the Recruitment Industry

Sustainability in recruitment


Sustainable recruitment is set to become a vital part of the shift towards a more environmentally conscious workforce in the near future, with more and more businesses understanding the importance of in-house environmental roles. At Clean Energy Capital, we benefit from an entire team of green advocates and ethical consultants, and our passion for sustainability is evident in everything we do.’

Jessica Edom, EA and Office Manager at Clean Energy Capital


In February 2023, a study conducted by the Global Energy Talent Index of over 10,000 energy professionals found that ‘those working in clean energy have the most in-demand skills, with around eight out of ten being offered a new job in the past year.’

With so many positive shifts, in both attitude and action, towards sustainable business practices and efforts over the past ten years, this figure is welcomed and expected. However, how do these sustainable changes impact the recruitment industry itself, and is it actually easier than ever to find a job in this new eco-friendly climate?

The Rise of Sustainable Roles and Positions

A simple Indeed search for jobs containing the word ‘sustainability’ can reveal a truly varied and diverse range of roles and jobs available right now. From Sustainability Consultants and Energy Surveyors to Environmental Managers and Climate Change Officers, the roles specialising in improving workplace sustainability are clearly in demand for a number of different industries. With a growing public interest and fascination with sustainability and renewable energy, more and more individuals are seeking out roles that can help contribute to positive climate protection. People care about the planet now more than ever and are willing to dedicate their careers to improving it - particularly younger generations of workers and recent graduates.

However, these roles are still relatively new positions for many industries and businesses. The qualifications and criteria for succeeding in sustainability are often underlooked and under-marketed compared to more traditional roles, with many people still unsure of what they need to study to obtain these specific jobs. As time progresses, more clarity is likely to be offered as businesses continue to encourage sustainable hires in their industry.

Benefits to Businesses

As a business, engaging in sustainable practices is often said to have a range of benefits and advantages, from increased staff retention and company loyalty, to a rise in sales from ethically-focused customers and clients. Consumers like to work with businesses that align with their values and a company that can be found to be actively recruiting for roles in sustainability is likely to receive a positive reception.

As explored through a recent earnings report from investment management company BlackRock, throughout the pandemic, companies which had a record of establishing and meeting their ESG targets inevitably had a higher performance rate than their counterparts. The positive impact of meeting ESG targets in a business environment was also found in the overall happiness of their employees, who similarly found pride in working in a space aligned with their values.

From a management perspective, hiring an experienced and dedicated employee to manage the sustainability side of your business can present another significant advantage - With more environmen

tal regulations in place than ever before, having a member of staff fully versed in these new rules and being able to help enforce them can protect the business against a number of potentially difficult roadblocks and legal backlash. In some large-scale organisations, such as IKEA, sustainability is considered to be one of the most important values a potential employee can have and showcasing evidence of this can be the difference between a new hire or a rejection.

The Impact for Recruiters

Whilst many businesses choose to recruit from their own sources, for many larger organisations recruiters and recruitment agencies will often be brought in to help assist with filling new positions. However, with the recent demand for more sustainable roles and employment opportunities, their typical recruitment processes might start to look a little different.

The matchmaking of employer and employee has never been more important, with the Gen Z and Millennial generations steadily transforming the traditional working environment. These generations bring with them strong social and ethical values that need to be both respected and encouraged and their desire for authenticity in the workplace will be a priority in their job search. Any evidence of greenwashing or inauthentic attempts at sustainability won’t be well-received. This, of course, puts more pressure on recruiters to better educate themselves on the businesses they recommend, the roles they’re recruiting for and the values shared by both parties. Recruiters will need to be more informed and up-to-date with the importance of roles in sustainability and learn exactly what is required of a green employee before trying to find the perfect match.

To find out more about how Clean Energy Capital can help to support your business and provide vital consultation services for your team, get in touch with us today.


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