Attracting ‘Green’ Talent: Without an SOI® the best talent will walk on by

The pandemic has been a real game changer when it comes to recruiting top talent. It has led to a mass awakening across multiple generations of workers who are now asking themselves ‘what do I actually want to do, and what jobs will make me feel fulfilled’? They are now choosing to work for organisations where their job feels like a natural extension of their lives, who they are, what they believe in and what values they hold close. 

Recent research has revealed that over half of those surveyed considered sustainability as a key factor when deciding what company to work for, but 1 in 4 don’t believe it is a priority for their employer. Attracting green talent, particularly Gen Z’rs, is no longer something which can be bluffed with fluffy purpose promises, some slick branding and a bit of ‘do gooding’. These candidates have their eyes wide open and are attracted to businesses that are genuinely making a difference in the world, and to roles where what they do makes a difference, where they can make an impact. 

Many organisations are making a concerted effort to move towards more sustainable operations, but in the vast majority of cases, it’s simply not enough to tip the balance. If an organisation doesn’t have sustainability at their very core, they simply won’t pass the litmus test with their dream candidates. 

Fundamentally, the reason why many big businesses are not attracting green talent is because they are either being led by the objective of making money at all cost, or they are being tied in knots by trying to achieve that outcome whilst, at the same time, managing part of the business which are intent on pursuing an entirely separate strategy. History has shown that this is well worn ground, and it continues to be a recipe for disaster. 

The good news is that almost any business can change and be a force for good if the people who run it so desire. The secret to success comes with placing sustainability at the very core of the business in the form of a Single Organizing Idea (SOI ® ). 

A Single Organizing Idea (SOI ® ) ties both the economic and social strategies into one single strategy, the outcome of which is not only commercially sustainable but also meaningful for those wishing to find fulfilment in what the business does.

What’s perhaps most significant for attracting green talent is that, a SOI ® replaces the CEO as the organising principle. It flattens the pyramid and redistributes power across the entire business and the ecosystem that it supports. In doing so, SOI ® liberates people, enabling them to pursue a sustainable objective that comes from the beating heart of the business and not the temps at the top of it. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a need for leadership - there is, in spades! But the bottom line is that people organise themselves around an SOI ®, not under a boss.

No matter the size of your business, with a sustainable idea at the core you have the opportunity to change the world and to change people’s lives. And what could be more compelling to a potential new employee than that?


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