Career fairs are nothing if not controversial. While some recruiters see them as an opportunity to connect with a variety of non-traditional candidates in one place, others believe that the crowds, pace, and format set both companies and job seekers up to fail.
Are career fairs a waste of time? Maybe. Are they a waste of paper? Without a doubt.
From resumes to pamphlets, the sheer volume of printed collateral at these events boggles the mind, inspiring the talent acquisition team at Palladium in Washington, DC to take a different approach.
The team, led by Craig Staples, decided to launch what they’re calling their Green Recruiting Initiative, showing up at career fairs across the city with nothing but QR codes in hand.
Instead of taking paper resumes, candidates are being asked to submit their documents digitally. To avoid paper hand-outs and corporate brochures, a slide show cycles on a screen with the option to download via QR code (a type of barcode that can be read with any smartphone).
Even the company swag, a popular way to keep a brand top of mind for candidates, has been given a green makeover, with biodegradable pens made from sugar cane and cornstarch, and re-usable silicone straws.
Staples, Senior Recruiter at Palladium, believes the approach is setting the company apart from other employers. “We’ve had an absolutely great turn out of recent and soon to be graduates,” he says. “Attendees are definitely taking notice of our efforts to reduce our environmental impact.”
These efforts come at a time when environmental sustainability is quickly moving from No. 11 on every CEO’s top-10 list of priorities, to a business imperative.
“We know that consumers are demanding more from companies, but the same is true of employees,” says Christina Shim, Palladium Managing Director based in New York. As Shim’s team helps corporations implement strategies that benefit all stakeholders (what many are calling “stakeholder capitalism” or “inclusive growth”), she’s quick to point out that employees are a key stakeholder group for any organisation.
“Employee activism is real,” she says. “Companies are constantly making public commitments to embrace sustainability, but people want to see them walk the talk.”
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