Sustainability and Human Resources

In this ever changing World that we are now living in, and that is quickly evolving due to COVID-19 and climate change, sustainability is becoming increasingly more relevant and is more and more present in our lives.

One cannot talk about human resources management without linking it to sustainability, understanding the company’s commitment and responsibility as an absolute priority, with the creation of value, attraction and retention of talent as fundamental pillars for the organisation´s success.

Companies able to quickly adapt this new trend are the ones that will not only attract the biggest and best talents, but also the ones that will be able to retain them.
Nowadays, a significant number of candidates look for and evaluate companies for their sustainability project, and the same applies to companies, who also appreciate candidates that are inclined and committed to this topic.
However, most organizations fail to integrate sustainability into the performance of their human capital management systems.
Sustainability focuses much more on the impact that it has on the community of the organisation, rather than on the well-being of the employees. The way they are treated should become more integrated into regular human resource activities in organisations, and significantly influence the way they operate.

A company working towards sustainability does things differently.

The role of human resources in supporting corporate sustainability is very relevant and should ensure that it develops a sustainable approach to people management as part of the business strategy, providing employee wellbeing, health, safety, work-life balance, diversity and inclusion, gender diversity, good hiring and firing practices, fair remuneration, learning and growth, positive internal communication, open dialogue, and others. Sustainability starts at home.
The first role of human resources is to ensure that the company manages its employees in a sustainable way, meaning, that it takes responsibility for the impacts that the business may have on its employees.

From a recruiter’s point of view, it is our duty to convey to our candidates our client’s sustainability and to focus candidates on sustainable projects.

Perhaps, in recruitment interviews, we should always include questions on how to make the company more sustainable or their suggestions for the sector they are joining.

This can help us confirm if the candidate has thought about its future role as a driver of new initiatives and if sustainability is high on their list of priorities.

We can also advise our clients on how to be more sustainable when recruiting their future executives. Allow them to offer suggestions that may enable work to be easier and more oriented towards sustainability.

The pandemic led companies to evolve considerably in this regard and there has been a much more positive approach to this whole area, such as the ease of teleworking at a higher frequency than it was before COVID-19.

The ability to contribute to a potential candidate’s sustainability activities should be part of the selection process.

By Victoria Baselga – INAC Spain

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