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Can sustainable hiring help the environment?

It is firmly established that the drive towards a sustainable future for the environment will create jobs, as research from the LSE shows. The so-called ‘green new deals’ being tabled in many countries across the world involve reorganizing the economy to meet the demands of a changing climate. In part, this will mean creating jobs across the labour market that will make this reorganization a reality.

In order for this to happen, there must be a concerted effort from the education and labour sectors to retrain and reskill the workforce to support new green roles. By ‘green roles’ we refer to jobs that are specifically geared towards stopping climate change and exploring new manufacturing, transportation and energy production technologies.

Research shows that this movement towards a green economy will be most effective at reducing emissions in developing countries, as they have higher emission statistics, however developing countries will likely be the hardest places to make this transition occur, because the leaders of such countries will be reluctant to slow their economic growth temporarily for the sake of a greener future. Many speculate that for this reason it will be down to developed countries to make the switch to green economies, and to lead the way for other nations to do the same. So we know that the movement towards greener economies can yield more jobs, but what about the inverse? Can sustainable hiring help the environment? Is it possible that greener hiring practices can be a part of the green economy?

Of course, job creation and hiring are themselves environmental issues. Indeed, finding the right person for the job minimizes the need to rehire, which saves time, money and energy. Furthermore, the potential people have in different roles is variable, and it is in the interest of both the employer and the individual (and the environment) to minimize the number of times someone switches jobs, as this process wastes time and energy that would be better spent on other things.

However, the notion of ‘green recruitment’ is still in its infancy. Green recruitment encompasses a variety of approaches towards recruitment, some of which are practical and others that are ethical. The practical approaches include moving away from paper-based recruitment, interviewing candidates over zoom rather than in person, and cutting back on unnecessary, lavish business trips. Then there are green measures that companies themselves can take to attract potential candidates, such as offering flexible working arrangements, and green travel initiatives (e.g. cycle to work schemes). The ethical measures tend to be directed towards attracting candidates who care about green issues, and promoting your company’s standing as a green-friendly employer.

Inversely, as reskilling becomes more and more common in people’s professional lives, it may be the case that people can undertake multiple jobs, maximising their contribution to the economy, making them more efficient contributors. Part of this will involve increasing the capability of individuals to learn formally and informally, by giving them access to learning and ability assessment resources.

Of course, there are as many aspects to be considered going forward into a greener future, and green recruitment has yet to become standard practice in hiring, but it will undoubtedly play its part. At TiiQu, the team sees green recruitment as complementary to their mission. They want a future in which trust can be an instant and objective fact, not a subjective decision. The reputation scoring system (the TiiQu score) enables people to take back control of their professional and educational lives by allowing them to objectively and accurately represent their skills, work history and capabilities.

Will it drive the labour market towards fairer, greener and more meritocratic recruitment? That’s the hope at TiiQu. But what is certain is that one of its functionalities - the self-assessment tool - fills the gap represented by non-verifiable skills derived from informal and self-learning, and would represent a game-changing element in emerging countries where a vast young population struggles to gain trust, to get a job and improve their lives. In developed countries, the major difficulty in reaching greener policies and practices is the result of a lack of willingness to change legacy systems, but the problem in emerging countries is that of building infrastructure that enables green economic growth.

5G is green, but it’s not for everyone. The latest generation of wireless mobile technology is said to be 100 times faster than the current standard, allowing us to use less energy to transmit data, to work remotely, and most importantly, bring self-education and upskilling opportunities to anyone with a mobile device. If Qualcomm's CEO’s prediction of 2.8 billion 5G connections by 2025 includes Africa, this will significantly boost e-learning on the continent and accelerate the path to self-sustainment and growth for many of the 1 billion young people expected in the continent by 2050. When this happens, bridges of virtualized trust and equal opportunities would be the most green choice towards sustainable hiring and fair employment.

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Unknown member
Dec 16, 2021

Green recruitment is an important strategic pathway for organisations and I thank you @Will Fear for your article which has synergy with mine: 'The Importance of Sustaining People for Growth' and others I have had published by different companies available on my LinkedIn. Alignment around shared purpose and values is key for finding the right fit job but it is a social responsibility for leaders and businesses to instil trust and empower colleagues to feel trusted, resourceful and autonomous in fulfilling their roles. Research in the educator sector proves that these components are fundamental for retaining staff and are the fundamental reasons for teachers staying with commitment to a particular school and more importantly, flourishing.

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