Is Your Recruiting Partner Sustainable?

Offered By Andrew Gadomski, Founder & Northeast Advisor

As we know, partners in recruiting are so critical, as they provide core competencies that typically do not reside within a corporate recruiting function. Partners are not limited to those that provide human capital (like RPO, executive search, or contract recruiting). Partners include any third party that you engage for a service to add value to your recruiting process. Employment advertising and branding companies, ATS providers, and CRM systems are partners as they execute tasks that are not performed by the recruiter.

So what is a “Sustainable Partner”? The word sustainable has several meanings, but in Green Recruiting, it refers to how your partners perform their work with a minimum long-term effect on the environment.

Recruiting requires a lot of energy (sometimes more than we all would like). Specifically though, the actual hiring of an employee can produce a tremendous amount of carbon emissions and nonrecycled waste. Companies can make changes with their own practices as well as their partners without negative impact to results. In fact, incorporating this type of thinking tends to yield improvements, as processes are reviewed and changes are made.

An opportunity for sustainability is how the partner delivers work product to you, and markets to you. Maybe they send you a nice brochure once or twice a year and a few mailers about new products. Maybe your executive recruiter prints up beautiful candidate profiles in a binder and send via FedEx. As nice as all that looks and feels, realize they are probably doing that to several hundred times over. How much waste does that produce? Companies with a practice of creating a simple brochure with about a dozen pages and a few slicks a year kills 1 tree, wastes 727 gallons of water, create 27 pounds of solid waste, releases 75 pounds of CO2 into the air, and burns 311 kilowatts of energy.

In comparison, that is equivalent to them keeping a low flow showerhead running for 8 hours straight, throwing 7 large trash bags of waste into a landfill, and keeping a 60W lamp on for about 6000 hours. Ask them to send you a PDF version, and don’t print it. Request to be off the postal mailing list. Make sure they use online tools, downloads and docs to communicate. Many firms have already made that leap – but the question is “have yours”?

Here are other questions you should ask. Remember, the partner is working for you, and helping your company acquire talent, so their efficiency has a direct impact on the results of your staffing. When in doubt, go local, virtual, and recycle as much as possible. 

  • What technologies and virtual tools does my partner use? What practices have those tools replaced?
  • Do my executive recruiters use local offices or videoconferencing, or do they get on a plane?
  • Do they use public transportation within their cities to interview candidates?
  • How do my relocation partners conduct business? Is it environmentally friendly?
  • Do my realtors focus on getting my employees into energy efficient homes? Sustainable neighborhoods?
  • Does my company have an energy efficiency policy about new home builds? Do we have a partner?
  • Does my relocation policy / company offer incentives for LEED compliance in a build or move in?
  • Do we / our relocation company offer incentives for buying a home versus building?
  • What percentage of the candidates provided by recruiters are local so we can reduce relocation?
  • How efficient is our travel agent? Do we do direct flights or connections?
  • How many times does our recruiting team (external or internal) have us flying in candidates or managers
  • What is the sustainability policy of the hotels and transportation companies we use for recruiting?
  • What facilities do all my partners use? Are they energy efficient?
  • Do we use virtual or home-based partners?
  • How does my partner operate? Is it efficient? Do I even know?
  • How many of my partner representatives can I see in the next 60 minutes? Are they local – can they be?
  • How does my advertising agency use / recommend virtual tools? Paper tools? Why?
  • How do I get support? Online? In-person? Locally?
  • How does my ATS or and on-boarding process reduce printing and candidate travel? Does it at all? Do I use it?
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