Going Green Companies – Environment Hiring & the HR Side of Green

‘Going Green’ is a consumer strategy that has been in place for a few decades.  However, ‘Going Green’ seems to have migrated to companies as employers place special emphasis on a ‘green attitude’ while hiring new employees in this highly competitive marketplace.

Honestly, I didn’t think of promoting our business as one of the Going Green Companies until a new intern showed up and on his first day in the office he asked, “Where’s the recycling”. 

A bit embarrassed that I hadn’t taken steps to ensure that our landlord provided recycling containers and a recycling disposal service, I gulped and said, “I’ll take care of that.”

Then, I began a mission to have our landlord become one of the ‘Going Green Landlords’ in the area and to promote our business as one of the Going Green Companies in the region.

Going Green Companies which are interested in leveraging every distinction possible in the war for talent can greatly influence respect for the earth and the environment.  The strategy is to get the ‘best and the brightest’ through policies that are established for employees of Going Green Companies.

To encourage Going Green Companies attitudes:

  • Establish company values and programs to create great employees, great service and great products while preserving the environment;
  • Thank employees for their daily ‘earth-friendly’ behaviors such as reusing paper for scrap, or turning off lights while not in use;
  • Ask interview questions that focus both on the candidate’s ability to do the work and to work within the company’s values; and
  • Hold employees accountable through an annual performance program which focuses on work accomplished and company–wide projects such as recycling, spring clean up days and adopt-a-highway commitments.

A side note: The first day with our new intern ended humorously as he quickly understood that we are one of the Going Green Companies in the region.  It seems he needed a piece of paper to take notes on and couldn’t find one (even scrap paper) in the office.

I grabbed the only three sheets that I knew of which were the back of the instructions for completing his I-9 Form and W-4 Form.

The next intern won’t be so lucky as we are scheduled to convert our W-4 and I-9 forms to an electronic recordkeeping system later this year—thus becoming 100% paperless in our HR administration.

But for now, our intern has three sheets of paper and a summer of work ahead of him.

Written by: Victoria Mavis, SPHR

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