In a zoo at Lusaka, Zambia, there is a cage titled “the most dangerous animal on earth”. The cage has nothing but a MIRROR. Human activities pose grave threats to the nature and the fellow creatures. Global warming, shift in climate change, greenhouse effect, natural calamities, submerging of lands, water scarcity, epidemics, wildlife extinction etc. are all the results of human activities and negligence towards the environment. These are serious matters of concern. Fortunately, the education system and initiatives by organizations have started creating a change in the human attitude towards the environment. “Go green” has become a motto in many organizations – green technologies, green politics, green movement, green chemistry, green pharmacy etc. has now one more to the cart – Green Recruitment under Green Human Resource Management (Green HRM).
Few firms have made a concerted effort to leverage the company’s environmentalstance as a critical point in recruiting pitches. Firms like Google, Timberland, and yes, even oldschoolGeneral Electric have led the way by undertaking major efforts to make being environmentally friendly acritical element of their employment brand. Google, the world’s only “recruiting machine,” leads the way notjust in its environmental practices but also in publicizing their environmental record and approach. Like manyemerging green companies, Google has hired a director who coordinates corporate environmental efforts in anattempt to match their corporate business strategy with their environmental efforts. While some companies adopt the grassroots approach to going green, others start at the top and work down. General Electric is one of a small handful of companies that have an environmental effort driven by their chief executive officer, Jeff Immelt. If you watch television or read national magazines, you might recall seeing oneof hundreds of ecomagination advertisements GE has spent millions on in recent years to “greenwash” theirimage. The ecomagination campaign is one of the boldest approaches to capture intangible value by toutingenvironmental efforts in play by any global company.
The extant literature in the HR field on the topic of sustainability suggests that more and more HRexecutives are keen to modulate their corporation as such to become exclusive environmentalchampions. A great extent of empirical research highlights the impact of environment managementpractices on performance of the organization using different parameters (Iraldo, Testa, & Frey, 2009;Yang, Lin, Chan, &Sheu, 2010).
Green HRM depends on the unique and identifiable patternsof green decisions and behaviors of HR managers (green signatures; Jackson, Renwick, Jabbour,& Muller-Camen, 2011).
Distinguished policies in the field of recruitment, performance andappraisal management, training and personnel development, employee relations, and rewardsystems are considered powerful tools for aligning employees with a company’s environmentalstrategy (Renwick, 2008).
Distinguished policies in the field of recruitment, performance andappraisal management, training and personnel development, employee relations, and rewardsystems are considered powerful tools for aligning employees with a company’s environmentalstrategy (Renwick, 2008).It becomes definitive to have effective human resource management practices including presentationof strict recruitment strategies (Grolleau, Mzoughi, &Pekovic, 2012)
GREEN RECRUITMENT & SELECTION (HRM) : TOP 10 INDIAN COMPANIES
FINDINGS - OPPORTUNITIES IN INDIA
o Auditing the energy efficiency and energy conservation activities and initiatives in the organization on a regular basis. This will create a mandate sense of energy conservation within the organization helping in molding green employees.
o Buying raw materials that has undergone recycling, or purchases to be made from green companies
o Six - sigma is a data driven approach and methodology to eliminate defects.
o Leans six sigma is a managerial approach that combines six sigma methods & tools and the lean manufacturing to eliminate waste of physical resources, time, effort and talent while not compromising on quality in production and organizational process.
o Green sigma is the adaption of Lean Six Sigma to environmental and climate protection.
o The principle of Green Sigma: 1. combination of methods (outcomes and results are stronger when a combination of methods is applied rather than specific methods), 2. Continual improvement, 3. Fact based decision making (concentrate on the vital few things), 4. Accountability and responsibility, 5. Everybody can contribute.
IBM’s Green Sigma solution, which applies Lean Six Sigma principles and practices to energy, water, waste and greenhouse gas emissions throughout a company’s operations. The solution combines real-time metering and monitoring with advanced analytics and dashboards that allow clients to make better decisions about energy and water usage, waste and greenhouse gas emissions to improve efficiency, lower costs and reduce environmental impact.
o Under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, the state of Gujarat had brilliant idea to cover its canals with solar panels.
o The Andhra Pradesh state Cabinet has now gone paperless. It has conducted a meeting of what is being called “eCabinet”, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country. This is expected to become a permanent feature of the Cabinet meetings.
SUGGESTED ACTION STEPS
If you can’t show that a large number of quality applicants consider a firm’s environmental record as one of their primary criteria for selecting a job, you’ll never get senior management to buy in to a major green recruiting effort. Start by holding focus groups at industry conferences to identify what “green” factors would be important to individuals seeking a new job. Next, ask candidates during interviews and on the website to list their decision criteria. During orientation, ask those who accepted the job what criteria they used to make the decision. Finally, contact those who rejected your offers three to six months down the line to identify positives and negatives. Use this information to modify your recruiting processes and focus.
Search the Web, benchmark with college recruiters, and work with recruiting consultants to identify the best practices of other firms. Use this competitive analysis to gauge your success and to plan your future actions.
Make sure that both “what you do” and the results of those efforts are prominent on your corporate careers website. Include your recycling statistics, as well as whether you are carbon neutral, limit greenhouse gases, or win environmental awards. Include narrative or video profiles of your environmentally conscious employees. If your company policies allow, link your corporate jobs site on major (but primarily nonpolitical) environmental websites.
Advertise in magazines that candidates who are sensitive to the environment are likely to read. Highlight a few “eye catching” facts and any environmental awards you might have won in your recruitment ads. If you use brochures or paper recruiting materials, make sure it’s from recyclable stock and that it says so on the document.
Make sure that, where possible, job descriptions for high volume hiring positions include responsibilities for minimizing negative environmental impacts. This is critical because if they don’t see being environmentally friendly integrated into “every job” at the company, they might see your “green recruiting” as merely a PR effort. If you’re really serious,
Provide managers with “green” fact sheets to use during interviews. If you are really aggressive, provide candidates with a side by side comparison showing how your firm’s environmental record is superior to other firms they might be considering.
One of the best ways to strengthen your environmental image is to hire lots of environmentally friendly employees who can spread your “green” story through word of mouth. Have your recruiting team identify the sources that produce the highest quality
environmental friendly candidates. Source at environmental organizations (i.e., Sierra Club). Also, recruit at environmental events and use subscription lists from green publications or email and direct mail recruiting.
Having your employees spreading the word will help both recruiting and product sales. If you have the resources, proactively seek out employees who are highly visible in environmental circles and ask them specifically to talk up your firm, to seek out candidates, and to provide you with names.
Winning awards for excellence is always a major element of building an employment brand, so obviously winning “environmental” awards should be a major element of your strategy.
Ask the advice of six to eight environmentally friendly employees, measuring the quality of the message you’re sending and how to reach and convince more applicants of your strong “green” record.
Obviously, applicants want to know that the products they are helping to produce are environmentally friendly. This means putting pressure on product advertising and marketing to include the fact that your products are eco friendly in your product ads and packaging. In some industries, how you treat vendors and outsourced work can be important (i.e., Starbucks, Nike).
Make sure that your corporate goals, values, and even corporate business objectives include environmental elements.
Because some applicants take the time to read your annual report, make sure it includes sections that highlight your environmental record and the fact that you recruit environmentally friendly employees. If your firm uses biodiesel fuel, pays fair market value to suppliers, is energy efficient, or if it buys “carbon offsets,” highlight these selling points.
Consider adding holistic health options, paid time to volunteer for environmental causes, matching donations to green causes, and support for alternative transportation options to your benefit package.
Include this factor in the performance appraisal system for all employees. Obviously, use it as a hiring criterion, but also use it as a critical element in promotions, bonuses, and pay increases.
Because whatever you measure improves and whenever you add rewards to the equation the behavior improves even faster, your green recruiting effort must have metrics and rewards tied to it. Some of the metrics you want to include are the percentage of candidates aware of your strong environmental record, the number who reject offers because of a poor record, and the percentage of new hires who say your environmental record was one of their top five reasons for accepting the offer. Hold post exit interviews with your top performers to identify whether environmental factors contributed to their exit.
GREEN RECRUITMENT & SELECTION – SUGGESTED PRACTICES:
Green HRM is still at a nascent stage in India. It has a lot more to expand. The major bottlenecks to be cleared include:
Environmental issues are on most everyone’s mind, so if your firm has a competitive advantage in this area (or it can develop one quickly), it’s incumbent on both individual recruiters and recruiting managers to integrate that message into your recruiting processes and your employment brand. This is especially true if you don’t pay at the top of scale, if you are in a crummy location, or if you’re not a well-known company. Green recruiting is a chance to differentiate you in a recruiting marketplace where standing out from the crowd is already extremely difficult. Incidentally, not only does green recruiting improve your chances of tracking and selling candidates, it’s also your chance as a recruiter to do your part to improve the environment by showing senior management the dollar impact it has on recruiting, retention, and product sales.