Home Moral guidelines Want to attract new tech talent? Start thinking green

Want to attract new tech talent? Start thinking green


Companies committed to improving the world will find it easier to hire the talent they need.

Image: Peach_iStock/GETTY

Employers hoping to meet demand by expanding their digital divisions in 2022 face a rocky road. Whether you call it the big quit, the big bargain, or the big shakeup, the underlying premise is the same: Millions of workers are planning to quit their jobs this year, lured by better pay and the promise of more work. flexible. This threatens to sabotage tech projects, widen organizational talent gaps, and make recruiting in the tech industry fiercer than ever.

Offering higher salaries and a more generous benefits package is all well and good, but to really attract the digital talent they need, companies will need to stand out. We already know that there is a disconnect between companies and young workers, which could be partly responsible for discouraging young people from pursuing tech careers. To close this gap, organizations need to start reaching out to the young workers they are trying to attract. One way to do this is to think green.

Environmental awareness has peaked in recent years and businesses have found themselves in the spotlight. Not only do organizations need to reduce their emissions to comply with new global guidelines – in some cases drastically – but they also risk being snubbed by younger generations of environmentally conscious young workers who expect their employers to they play their part in the fight against climate change.

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A survey of 2,000 UK workers by recruitment consultancy Robert Half found that 38% of employees would seek a new role if they believed their organization was not doing enough on ESG (environmental, social and governance), such as carbon reduction or exploitation. ethically. Workers aged 18-34 are the most likely to hold companies accountable for ESG issues, with 47% of respondents in this age group telling Robert Half that they would look for a new role if they thought their employer was not involved in the cause.

Research by IT services and consulting firm Cognizant also found that ESG is becoming a key part of recruiting and retaining young workers.

His study of 500 Millennials and Gen Z workers found that 65% of them consider it very important that their employer has a positive impact on society, whether by upholding ethical operating principles, protecting the environment or demonstrating progressive societal goals. When it came to choosing an employer to work for, 76% of Gen Z workers (aged 20-26) and 71% of Gen Y (aged 27-40) said protection environment and sustainability were important to them.

Clearly, young professionals want to have a positive impact on the world and represent a company that shares their values. For companies that adopt green credentials, young workers remain skeptical: Cognizant found that only 24% of respondents believe their employer’s stance on the environment and climate change is genuine, while nearly half ( 46%) see their commitments as lukewarm. .

In a tight recruitment market where ambitious young tech workers have multiple offers on their plate, a clear environmental strategy could become a key differentiator for employers. Robert Half found that if it were two jobs with the same salary, 69% of people aged 18 to 34 would base their decision on each company’s corporate values.

Creating new green jobs also has a role to play in both engaging with young workers and moving the tech industry towards greater sustainability. With electric vehicles, smart cities, hydrogen and automation moving from concept to reality, new skills will be needed to take businesses into the future. According to a 2021 report by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, some 400,000 new hires will be needed to help the energy industry reach its net zero goals by 2050. Many of them will fill roles – and therefore skills – which don’t even exist yet.

It would be a mistake to regard the conscientious moral principles of young workers as the idealism of youth. Many of those now entering the workforce spent their teenage years witnessing – and in many cases participating in – generation-defining social justice movements, meaning the values ​​they now hold will likely shape their adult life.

Organizations that can demonstrate their commitment to improving society have the best chance of tapping into a new generation of digital talent eager to leave the world a better place than they found it.


ZDNet’s Monday morning opener is our first tech release of the week, written by members of our editorial team. We are a global team, so this editorial is published Mondays at 8:00 a.m. AEST in Sydney, Australia, which is 6:00 p.m. Eastern Sunday in the US and 10:00 p.m. GMT in London.