Green Jobs to Save the World! (or at least the economy?)

Last months’s State of the Union address included a myriad of partisan and bi-partisan talking points - with cheers from one side and stoic faces from the other. But through and through, nothing was as pertinent to both sides of the general public, and coincidently the HR community, as the budgetary blueprint for 2011, or more specifically, the $100 billion designed to create more jobs. Specifically cited in the big budget was the focus on and education of green energy and thus, creation of green jobs.

With green job prep programs popping up across the country, the clean-industry is expected to experience exponential growth in 2010 and beyond. With that being said, those green companies already in existence are preparing for an onslaught of hiring. Just yesterday, New Haven, Connecticut’s, "green" agency, or the "Office of Sustainability" sought to hire a fearless leader, but after an overwhelming 200 candidates responded to the post, the city had to stop taking applications and remove the job post from its’ website.

"Any resumes that came in, we wouldn’t be able to get to," said Administrative Officer Robert Smuts to NBC Connecticut.

If this case is any indicator, green companies have a lot of preparing to do. But how does an eco-friendly company recruit candidates in a green manner? Companies of all industries and sizes know that HR isn’t the most environmentally-friendly sector of an organization. From the paper-intensive onboarding process to filing cabinets full of compliance documents – many green companies are struggling to align their core organizational missions with their human resource initiatives. W-4 forms, employee surveys, performance appraisals, exit interviews…the list goes on and on. Aside from wasting hours on manual data entry and filing old resumes – these paper processes are using an exuberant amount of unnecessary paper. Let’s take just one aspect of the talent lifecycle – onboarding. A new hire-packet alone includes endless amounts of heath insurance forms, compliance docs, 401k packages, company handbooks and more. Aside from the time it takes to print and
collect these documents – they are taking their toll on our eco-system's natural resources – mainly, trees. Wondering how your organization is treating the rainforest? Take a look at the Rainforest Maker’s Business Paper Calculator. Feeling guilty yet?

So how can green companies (or really any business) keep their carbon footprint (see greenhouse gas emission refresher course here) to a minimum while hiring and retaining top talent?

Eliminate all those paper processes through automation! Talent management systems can spearhead businesses’ green HR initiatives by eliminating time-consuming, paper-intensive recruiting tasks and replacing them with efficient, eco-friendly HR solutions. And don’t let your organization’s commitment to the environment go without reward, get something back! As part of their corporate responsibility program, some organizations offer discounts to firms that clearly commit to reducing reliance on non-renewable energy. For example, organizations that demonstrate a commitment to solar, wind, and ethanol energy sources are eligible for iCARE contract discounts when they partner with iCIMS for their HR technology needs.

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