Millennials Seek Out Companies That Care About the Environment

2/8/2008 By Glenn Hasek

Attracting the best and brightest talent that schools have to offer has always been a challenge for the lodging industry. The industry has a reputation, whether accurate or not, for demanding long hours and not offering competitive salaries. According to some experts, it is not going to get any easier, especially if your company fails to convince prospective employees of your commitment to environmental responsibility.

According to a survey on green employment conducted by MonsterTRAK.com, a job Web site targeted at students and entry-level hires, 80 percent of young professionals are interested in securing a job that has a positive impact on the environment, and 92 percent would be more inclined to work for a company that is environmentally friendly. How has your company changed its recruiting efforts to attract this generation of green thinkers? I would not advise ignoring them.

Lindsey Pollak, author of “Getting from College to Career,” says millennials—those born after 1982—now account for about 25 percent of the U.S. population. There are 76 million of them. “You would be wise to consider their clout because they are taking over,” Pollak says. Millennials have grown up in a different world than Baby Boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964. Thanks to the Internet, they are used to getting information fast and they have a great awareness of what is going on in the world. “They believe it is their duty to do something about the environment,” Pollak says.

What can you do to better attract this talent pool that cares so deeply about the planet? Pollak says it is critical that you walk your talk when it comes to environmental responsibility. Millennials can see through a claim that is not real. Authenticity is important. Before talking about your company’s environmental programs in your recruiting materials, make sure there is buy-in from every executive and employee that already works for your company. Green initiatives producing measurable results should already be in place.

Create a Competitive Advantage

Once you are ready to tout your company’s accomplishments in the areas of environmental and social responsibility, do so in a way that separates your company from your competitors.

“Make sure your message is prominent on your Web site’s home page,” Pollak says. “Don’t make people look for it. Post case studies that detail your accomplishments. Include a form to enable a site visitor to ask questions. Get a presence on sites like Facebook. Be active in environmental organizations. Talk about your environmental programs during interviews. If you want to attract the best, at least show your company has an interest. I would be really careful not to be the worst example in your industry.”

Even as students demand more from their prospective employers, so too should employers look for signs that a prospective employee is the type of person who would fit well into a green hotel environment. When values match up, there is a greater likelihood that employees will stay longer. That is critical because, as Pollak says, “Millennials have no interest in working for the same company all of their lives.”

My sense is that our industry still has a long way to go before millennials start lining up in droves to apply for jobs because of environmentally progressive business practices. Make it your goal in 2008 to work toward creating a workplace that is attractive to not only millennials, but anyone with an interest in environmental responsibility.

GLN Welcomes Fox Wastepack Systems as Directory Partner

Green Lodging News welcomes Fox Wastepack Systems, Inc. as a Green Product & Service Directory Partner. Compactors from Fox Wastepack Systems can be used to compact recyclable plastic bottles, cardboard and cans. By using a compactor, a property can go from having trash picked up three to four times a week to once a week. Savings can amount to $300 to $500/month or more. Fox compactors enable hotels to reduce dumpster size and pickup frequency while eliminating overflowing dumpsters.

Call (952) 996-0040, e-mail tim.hardwick@wastepacksystems.com, or go to www.wastepacksystems.com.

Marriott Video Worth Watching

Marriott International’s communications team recently produced a “Top 10 ‘Green’ Resolutions 2008” video for its own department. Click here to watch it.

As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.


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