Recruit and select sustainability-driven talent
To ensure your team has the experience and sustainability competencies you need, diversify your talent search to include a broader mix of backgrounds and experiences. Emphasise your commitment to sustainability throughout the recruitment process. Seek candidates with holistic competencies, such as critical reflection and analysis, strategic and systems thinking, creativity, relationship building, and understanding of sustainability issues.¹ ² ³ ⁴ Reflect these skills in your recruitment materials and job descriptions, highlighting sustainability-related tasks and expectations. Incorporate sustainability competencies into your evaluation criteria. Consider how employees from other departments with transferable skills could bolster your sustainable procurement team.
EXAMPLE: Recruitment for sustainability alignment
CPO and SPP Ambassador Rob Alexander highlights the value of integrating sustainability into recruitment.⁵ He ensures that new hires will drive the company's sustainable supply chain goals: "We were looking for people that absolutely loved the sustainability agenda, understood what was happening, but had the passion, had the soft skills around partnering... asking how we take this agenda and actually make it work with our supply chain."
EXAMPLE: Scenario-based recruitment
A large grocery chain recruits for procurement roles emphasising the "3 Ps": people, processes, and how to develop a change program and seeks out resilience and diversity in teams.⁶ Using scenario-based interviews, candidates were asked to reflect on personal buying decisions (such as how they would go about buying a new car), engaging in thoughtful research and considering sustainability were considered indicators of effective procurement skills.
EXAMPLE: Hiring for sustainability fit
An apparel company with a strong sustainability reputation hires almost exclusively based on alignment with a sustainability-driven culture by seeking candidates who demonstrate conviction in the sustainability-focused business purpose and vision.⁷