How to Become a Sustainable Recruiter

Sustainable Recruiter

Do you dream of hiring incredible talent while at the same time boosting your company’s brand and reducing operational risk? Sounds like you need to try green recruiting! You can improve your company against numerous benchmarks by committing to acting ethically and integrating the latest green recruiting methods into your talent acquisition process.

What Is Green Recruiting?

Green recruiting refers to recruiting in a way that positively impacts the environment. Companies that utilize green recruiting are committed to improving the environment when interviewing, hiring, and onboarding employees. Companies use green recruiting to attract environmentally conscious candidates capable of coming up with out-of-the-box solutions.

Numerous companies, including Intel, Google, and GE (the whole list of eco-recruiting companies can be seen on, are already benefiting from attracting environmentally motivated candidates. As more recruits take a keen interest in the environment, companies can no longer take an agnostic approach if they want to hire the best talent. PWC interviewed job seekers in China, India, the US, and the UK and found that 65% of candidates wanted to work for an environmentally conscious firm.

Recruits who are environmentally motivated have shown time and time again their ability to come up with solutions that not only improve the environment but save companies money. For example, employees at Intel altered a new chemical process and reduced waste by 900,000 gallons which helped the company pocket an extra $45,000,000 annually. Designers at tea brand PG also came with a simple yet ingenious hack. They found that by shaving a few mm from the teabag, the company reduced their paper usage by almost 10 tons! Companies that can land talented environmentally-motivated recruits will have a massive advantage over their competitors due to the creative solutions they can develop.

Examples of Company Environmental Consciousness

Google has led the environmental consciousness charge for a long time. The tech giant is firmly committed to smashing its ambitious sustainability goals and has even integrated them into its brand. Google is so committed to sustainability that they have even hired corporate sustainability managers to keep the company. One of Google’s biggest goals is to become carbon-free by 2030. In addition, Google plans to power all data centers via green energy within 10 years!

Here are some more amazing things Google is doing to improve the environment

  • $5,000 discount when a Google staff member purchases a green car
  • Google’s kitchen is stocked full of organic options
  • Large donations to green charities
  • Major users of green energy
  • Free bus pools for employees

But how exactly can your company start deploying green recruiting strategies?

1. Research the Impact

If you need to help to sell the idea of green recruiting to management, check out these stats:

  • Millennials (birth years from 1980 to 2000) make up over half of the American labor force.
  • Just under 50% of millennials want to make a positive impact in the workplace.
  • 70% of millennials want to work with a firm with ambitious sustainability goals. 
  • 75% of millennials stated they would take a lower salary and work for an environmentally conscious firm rather than a bigger paycheck and work for a company with no sustainability plan.

Your company can’t afford to ignore the green elephant in the room. If your firm wants to attract the best talent and continue to innovate, it needs to hire environmentally conscious employees. These employees will only work for your company if you can demonstrate you are taking significant steps to better the environment.

2. Time to Set a Benchmark

Hop online and start researching what your rivals are up to. The best way to develop a green recruiting plan is to borrow from successful companies in your industry. You can look at case studies to see what strategies worked and what didn’t. You should produce a detailed list of recommendations that you can present to management which outlines your green recruiting plan. 

Make sure you highlight how your current recruitment strategy and policies would change. Research how other companies are promoting their green recruitment practices. Do they use email, their company website, or post job descriptions on platforms committed to sustainability? With the help of benchmarks, you know what your competition is doing and what your company needs to do to surpass them!

3. Reimagine Your Recruitment Website

If you are serious about green recruiting, you need to tell the world about all the amazing things your company has done and is doing to better the environment. There is no better place to publicize your green initiatives than on your company’s website. On your recruitment pages, you should feature a section that highlights the different programs your company is involved in. You can even have a whole page of your site explaining your green strategy and some of your top accomplishments. 

You could highlight your employees cleaning up the local neighborhood, show that your company kitchen has gone plastic-free, list the environmentally-focused charities you donate to, and talk about your reduction in paper use. By featuring all of your environmentally-focused efforts, you demonstrate to candidates that you are serious about going green and hold the same values they do. 

4. Demonstrate Your Commitment to Going Green During the Recruitment Phase

It is easy for companies to talk about how much they care about the environment and the different things they are doing. However, to most recruits, these are just words. If you want to win the best environmentally conscious talent, you need to physically demonstrate your commitment to the environment during the interview phase. For example, if you fly a candidate out for an interview, make sure you tell them you paid the carbon tax and do it for all company travel. When you offer the candidate some coffee, make sure the coffee is sustainable and served in a paper cup. As you are showing candidates your office, take the time to point out different green initiatives such as recycling programs and no use of plastic bags. 

When sending an email to a candidate, include a footer that explains that this email was sent by a service that is 100% powered by renewable energy. There are so many different initiatives you can implement that will have a major impact on the environment and impress candidates who share those same green values. Your company should be continually looking to expand its green initiatives and think outside the box to come up with new solutions.


Green recruiting doesn’t just present companies with an opportunity to heal the environment but can also be a source of competitive advantage. Through green recruiting, you can attract environmentally-conscious employees who can significantly impact your firm. If you want your company to do its part for the environment and recruit world-class talent, you need to start green recruiting now! Don’t miss out on employees who will help you innovate your next product and enter new markets. It is time to develop concrete sustainability goals and become an industry leader today!

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.