Resumes, applications, references and offer letters all lead to piles and piles of PAPER! It seems we have to kill a whole forest of trees to hire one employee. And it’s not just trees that go in to making paper – the amount of energy required to make one sheet of paper could power a 60-watt light bulb for an hour. Add to that the environmental impact of applicants driving to workplaces to fill out applications and hold face to face interviews, and a paper-based hiring process is a huge opportunity to become more environmentally friendly. AND employees feel good about working for an organization that cares about conservation, which has been shown to increase retention and engagement and makes for positive word-of-mouth as well.
So how do we “green up” the hiring process?
Here are some simple steps which might work for your business:
- Utilize an online job posting and application system – An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application that electronically handles job posting and responses. Not only will this eliminate a ton of paper from your hiring process, you will receive applications more quickly, and can utilize screening questions, keywords and filters to quickly sift through candidates to identify those with the qualification you need. All of this will save you hours over the traditional method of reading through that giant stack of resumes sitting on your desk.
- Post your job ads on your social media accounts – using the web to replace some of your in-person networking reduces the number of printed resumes you receive (which may not even remotely fit your job criteria), business cards you hand out, and pollution you create driving or even flying to events.
- Do initial interviews by phone, and conduct face-to-face interviews via Skype or Facetime. You can talk to candidates live through their webcam. The environmental benefits are easy to see, but it’s also great at cutting down on wasted time in the hiring process. Or even suggest candidates submit a video resume, particularly for jobs that require effective communication skills and a certain level of professionalism. It can also help you determine if candidates are aligned with your company culture, without using any paper.
- Use electronic interview guides, and record your notes electronically. This not only saves paper, but makes it much easier to share feedback about candidate to others on the hiring team. It also makes it easier to keep organized and to retrieve information in the future, as your electronic files are searchable.
- Email offer letters. Convert that offer letter to a PDF file and shoot it to the selected candidate by email. Instruct the candidate to sign, scan, and email it back to you. Not only are you saving paper, but also you’ll have an acceptance that much faster.
Overall, having an eco-friendly hiring process keeps your company more organized, efficient, and technologically advanced, all while giving the environment a break.
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