Sustainability and ESG Hiring: Purpose-driven company cultures and why they matter

June 10, 2021

Elizabeth Dahill

Many companies are under substantial pressure to prioritize and promote ESG hiring initiatives, creating teams and action plans focused on reducing their organization’s overall environmental impact, realizing the overall social implications of their company cultures and identifying where those cultures might establish best practices to avoid violations and maintain transparency. 

How do we find talented professionals to most effectively augment existing company cultures to meet these sustainability goals through new and innovative ESG hiring practices?

ESG hiring should be purpose-driven

A February 2021 study from Deloitte found that those businesses and organizations that prioritized a purpose-driven approach showed higher rates of market share growth and grew at up to three times the rate of those companies that had failed to implement significant environmental, social and governance investing initiatives. These entities also noted a significant increase in employee and customer satisfaction. 

We often talk about how perception affects a customer’s perception and interactions with a business, but the same can be said about that business’ workforce. Millennials and Gen Z want identifiable goals and practices centered around sustainable development goals, or SDGs, focused on equality, equity, prosperity, justice, positive environmental impact and overall prosperity.  

ESG messaging should be prominent

These generational demographics are placing equal if not greater importance on the impact employers have on the wider world than on monetary compensation alone. ESG- focused hiring initiatives should make a business’ core values and mission clearly visible in promotional literature, website messaging and even in job descriptions. These overviews can show what a company represents by what they are looking for in their workforce. 

The hiring process

In order to meet the ESG--centered goals set by workforce expectations or government regulations, a well-developed, data-driven hiring process designed to meet those goals must be in place. 

Modern environmental, social and corporate governance core competencies include collaboration, innovation, social literacy and a high degree of emotional intelligence. Your workforce must be able to work together to reimagine products and services in a way that navigates complex societal climates while still providing something of value. 

Identifying contributors intellectually flexible and resilient enough to engage this, at times, monumental task will require hiring managers and other decision-makers to ask questions and present scenarios that encourage candidates to show they have developed or are capable of developing a skill set that reflects the aforementioned core competencies. Both ESG hiring initiatives and your company cultures must be grown around these soft skills to enable your current workforce and to attract passionate future contributors.  

Progress requires investment

Meeting the goals your organization sets or the regulations a governing body imposes will require reorganization of resources and most likely the creation of new roles designed to facilitate the brand and cultural transformation you need. Businesses must invest time and resources to become a professional home that attracts the talented and highly skilled individuals necessary for visible and functional evolution. 

The Dahill Group has extensive experience in navigating the confusing waters surrounding ESG hiring. Our experience and energy industry knowledge are the resources you want when making transformative hiring decisions.