8th August 2022

Why is ESG vital to hiring in a market where talent is in short supply?


ESG: A key battleground for new hires and retention

As the worst effects of the pandemic continue to recede, it does however, remain top of the watchlist, with many aware of just how quickly things can change. Just days ago, Wuhan, China, the city where Covid began, is under partial lockdown for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Covid 19 casts a long shadow, not least over the jobs market, with many workers very strongly affected. Mental health, work-life balance and hybrid working are now key considerations for candidates seeking new opportunities.

But there’s more to it than that. Candidates also seem to have become much more ethically conscious as well, so much so that they prefer to work for organisations that make positive impacts where matters of sustainability and social influence are concerned.

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) brings these threads together. It also unites issues such as organisational purpose, wellbeing support and equality, diversity and inclusion. If agencies and employers are to attract and retain the skills needed, it’s important to have policies and practices that capture hearts and minds by matching employee and temporary worker expectations.

Oil and gas, renewables and Fintech

With shortages in some key areas holding back companies, and indeed forcing growth predictions to be hauled back in, some workers with transferable skill sets that also have the ability to move around the world are using ESG to identify companies they morally agree with and for which they want to work.

One of the hottest industries where ESG is front and centre is in the energy sector, with as many as 80% of workers indicating that ESG is a factor in determining their future employer career path. As many as 54% in oil and gas are interested in moving over to renewable energy.

Finance is another sector where candidates are influenced by ESG issues, moving from traditional financial industry businesses into exciting, innovative and sometimes disruptive newer areas, such as cryptocurrency and FinTech.

Something for Australian and UK agencies to think about?

There has long been something of an unwritten bilateral agreement between the UK and Australian job markets, where Aussies and Brits have been doing something akin to a cultural exchange, working in stints on the other side of the world.

The employer choices made by the UK and Australian workers are also likely to be influenced by ESG policy and practice, as the effects of extreme weather on human society resulting from climate change become more pronounced in both nations.

The influence of ESG on employee career decisions is unlikely to remain restricted to the direct employer. It is also going to be about the companies with which businesses partner, their wider supply chains and quite possibly their entire business ecosystems.

It’s clear that agencies need to work with their clients to advise and agree on robust ESG policies. In today’s world, where platforms such as Glassdoor shine a light on insider insights that were once difficult to come by, policy must translate into effective and trustworthy practice.

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