Whether in times of economic rain or shine, employee recruitment is a major consideration for many companies in the environmental sector. In Defining the Green Economy's survey of green businesses following the recent economic downturn, roughly two-thirds (64%) of green employers still expected to hire more full-time employees in the future, with 49% of these companies planning to recruit between one to ten net additional staff.
Furthermore, employers in several industries reported greater hiring difficulties. Based on the 2010 Profile of Canadian Environmental Employment, one in five environmental firms in administration, waste management and remediation, professional services, finance and information industries experienced difficulty hiring workers. Amongst all environmental employers who reported trouble filling their employment vacancies, the most commonly cited reason was a lack of candidates with the appropriate skills.
Clearly, finding the right environmental employee for the job is a critical, but difficult task. What methods work best?
In the 2010 Profile
’s examination of different recruitment approaches, the top-rated methods all involved a relational component, in which environmental companies relied on existing relationships with workers to successfully recruit qualified staff. Employers reported that the most effective recruiting options for them involved internal recruitment (66% found this effective), personal contacts or referrals (64%) and co-op programs (57%).
Surprisingly, even though several of these recruitment strategies proved to be quite successful, employers were not using them consistently. While 57% of employers found that recruiting new staff through co-op programs was effective, only 23% of them commonly used this recruitment method.
Since environmental employers experience the most success with any recruitment method that involves tapping into existing relationships, networking
is particularly key. Online social networking is one major trend in which companies can connect with a pool of great available talent.
Along with these relational recruitment methods, environmental firms also find that having a reputation as an employer of choice is one of the most important factors that affects their ability to recruit well-qualified employees. Sixty-four percent of the companies in the 2010 Profile
survey indicated that their reputation as an employer of choice was essential to their success in attracting strong candidates. An excellent current opportunity for environmental employers to build this type of brand can be found here
Success in employee recruitment ultimately translates into success for a company overall, as skilled new employees contribute a wealth of expertise and innovative ideas to their employers.
What are the recruitment strategies that have worked well for you?