3 Eco-Friendly Ways to Hire For Your Startup

We only have one Earth, and until we start making Star Trek-style spaceships, we should be concerned with taking care of our home planet. This should explain the recent jump in green products, green technology, and good ol’ recycling.

In today’s modern office, plenty of tasks performed everyday are less than environmentally friendly. Think of the reams of paper you need to print, photocopy, and shred – not to mention the carbon footprint you leave as you commute back and forth from home to the office. Even when the office is as free form and chaotic as an early-stage startup, there’s still plenty of waste. This can be especially true in the hiring process.

Think of all the resumes you print, the networking events you attend, and the interviewees who come from far and wide because they’re attracted to your company culture and the innovative vision of your startup. The hiring process can be a real bummer for Mother Earth.

Millions of Americans care about our planet, and it’s a good bet that your applicants care, too. Branding your company as environmentally friendly isn’t just a good deed, it’s also a good way to bring top talent into your organization. After all, in the last presidential election 67 percent of voters ranked environmental policies as important for their votes. A larger number, 77 percent, said the same about energy policies.

So how can you still hire the best people for your startup while giving nature a break? Here are some eco-friendly methods of hiring the best people:

Network without shaking any hands
Networking can be a great way to find the right talent for your startup company. You need great people to help your new company continue to innovate and to establish a positive company culture. But going to traditional networking events can be a real strain on your team and the environment.

These events are time-consuming, can often be out of town, and require turning a lot of trees into paper. Think of all the business cards you’ll exchange and resumes you’ll receive. Instead, consider utilizing the social web to take the place of some of your traditional in-person networking.

You can join relevant LinkedIn groups and add to industry-specific discussions. You can create your own talent community on your corporate career site. Best of all, you can take to social media to join the conversation happening within your industry. Isolate relevant Twitter chats and discussion groups and add to the conversation. This way you’ll find the top thinkers in your field and connect with them in a personal manner, all without stepping from behind your desk!

Forget the paper resume! (Or just don’t print it out)
The “traditional paper resume” doesn’t actually have to be a piece of paper in your hands. Most candidates will apply by sending along their resume as an email attachment, PDF document, or even inputting it into your applicant tracking system (ATS). Still, many hiring managers feel the need to print out the document before meeting face-to-face with a talented candidate, even if the job seeker is sitting across your computer desk and you could easily pull the document up on your monitor.

Another way is to suggest candidates record a video resume. In a video resume, candidates can show you their communication skills, personality, and passion for the job. It can certainly help you see if candidates are a good fit for your company culture, without using any paper.

The top tip here is to review the resume before a talented candidate is sitting across the desk (or webcam, but we’ll get to that in a second!) from you. So many hiring managers wait to peruse a candidate’s resume until the candidate is there to tell you all the information it contains. Do your homework before the interview and you’ll have plenty of specific questions to ask, all without ever hitting the print button.

Erase your candidate’s carbon footprint with video interviews
When it comes to hiring top talent for your startup, you have to look far and wide for the best people. But what if you look so far that a plane will be required for an in-person sit down? Not only are flights expensive, they’re also bad for Mother Nature. Instead of buying both a plane ticket and carbon offsets, why not settle for a video interview instead?

Now candidates can connect with you live and in-person through their webcam without buckling up for takeoff. The benefits of embracing the video interview for the environment are easy to see, but it’s also great at cutting down on wasted time in the hiring process. Think of how tough it can be to schedule interviews with the best people. Now imagine how easy it could be if the candidate could perform the interview from anywhere, at any time. Best of all, the environment gets a reprieve.

We all need to take care of our planet, which is why green is the best color for your startup company. These simple hiring tips will help you save time, money, and maybe even the planet. So what are you waiting for?

What are some ways you can make the startup hiring process more eco-friendly? Share your ideas in the comments!

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

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