August 15, 2011

HRCarbon Launches Corporate Sustainability Recruitment Practice

Sustainability RecruitmentHR Carbon launches Corporate Sustainability Recruitment Practice. The HRCarbon Sustainability Resources Management (SRM) service is aimed at the c-Level (CFO, CSO, COO, etc.) and executive/senior managers who are attempting to recruit the best Corporate Sustainability talent from the very limited pool of Sustainability Practitioners that exist.

Most Fortune 500 firms, many private corporations and large government organizations are building out their Corporate Sustainability groups. Some have decided to define a whole new silo with the Chief Sustainability Officer on top. Others have decided to embed sustainability practitioners within existing functional groups. Both strategies work and both strategies are dependent on the quality of personnel charged with navigating the path towards a maturity level that enables the organization to deliver goods, services and profits to all stakeholders in a sustainable manner.

Many organizations are compelled either by Boards, Shareholder Resolutions [See “Climate and Energy Resolutions 2011”] or Stakeholder demands to define, manage and report the organization’s opportunities and risks to climate change. In order to internalize and institutionalize sustainability in an organization, the right people have to be recruited, hired and trained.

Firms such as HR Carbon have recognized that many Human Resource departments have not had time to effectively scribe the required climate-risk management or sustainability expertise into job descriptions since they don’t have a good understanding of sustainability. This often leads to the hiring of the wrong individuals, who can negate the organization’s sustainability efforts. Corporate sustainability initiatives may not yield the potential benefits because of investments in incorrect projects recommended by those inexperienced sustainability professionals.

Many individuals are calling themselves sustainability experts, very few truly exist. Those that are experts in this arena are recognized for their past experiences and expertise in Business Process Management, and their ability to improve ROI while still embedding climate-risk factors into process improvement and sustainability initiatives. There exists a great demand for these sustainability professionals globally. [See “Sustainability-Recruitment Battle Looms in Brazil, Russia, India, China”]

The ability to recruit the right person for the right role requires a disciplined skill. The recruitment process, at the very least, demands knowledge of the function, the organization and experience of what constitutes Corporate Sustainability as it evolves.

Firms like HR Carbon who provide sustainability education, training and consulting services are best positioned to use their network to identify the small pool of talent that exists in the Sustainability arena. These individuals are motivated both by traditional employment factors and some factors that relate to organization’s engagement in Corporate Sustainability. Knowledgeable recruiter can match the demands of both a hiring organization and a sustainability practitioner.

As with all emerging professions, there exist many risks and opportunities. Corporate Sustainability is no different. The growing pains could prove to be expensive and potentially harmful to all the stakeholders, not just shareholders.

Organizations can benefit from resorting to sustainability recruitment best practices, resources and tools that contribute to the development of a better business model. By taking advantage of sustainability recruiting services, organizations can attract and retain talented and engaged professionals. These sustainability professionals will navigate a path that allows their organization to retain its social license to practice and to do so in a sustainable and balanced manner.

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Marie is a writer for covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.