Communication, emotional intelligence and problem-solving are just some of the attributes companies currently prize when looking for talent. However, it’s recently emerged that sustainability recruitment is being overlooked in the interview room, which could come at a real cost for any company not making it a procurement priority.
The disconnect has been highlighted by research released earlier this year by executive recruitment specialists Russell Reynolds, which revealed that out of 1,500 appointments in 2019, only 2 per cent of role profiles specified a need for sustainability credentials as a candidate requirement.
“Conversations around sustainability have never been louder, yet this is not always translating into action on the ground,” says chief executive Clarke Murphy.
“Sustainable business cannot happen without sustainable leadership and change will only occur if companies find leaders with the right skills and motivations to drive sustainability outcomes alongside financial success. This will require a radical rethink in the way board and C-suite leaders are selected.”
Of course, the rise of the chief sustainability officer role in the C-suite has been marked of late, but Murphy believes that to create a truly sustainable company, boards must go further.
“Increasingly, companies that do not live and breathe their values are called to task by their own employees. This is not just grumbling around the watercooler. When employees complain today, they do it on social media, for everyone to see. If a company brands itself as supporting the environment, but employees know executives do not act that way, they are going to tell the world,” he warns.