Peter Weddle’s weekly column “What Caught My Eye” looks at outside-the-box news stories and the lessons they hold for recruiters. They’re a special feature of the TAtech Professional Member program, which is free for HR/TA professionals recruiting for enterprise employers and SMBs.
A recent news article reported that plastic debris kills 100,000 marine animals a year. Worse, the threat is growing more dire as we humans dump 8 million metric tons of plastic into the oceans annually. And perhaps worst of all, the stuff takes hundreds of years to biodegrade, so the danger lingers well beyond our own lifetimes.
The chief culprit in this environmental disaster is the six-pack plastic ring device used for carrying soda, beer and other beverages. It gets stuck around the noses, mouths and bodies of birds, mammals, turtles and other marine creatures. That’s not news; the danger has been well known for years, but nothing’s been done about it … at least until now.
Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, a Philadelphia-based bottling company, has decided to replace its standard plastic packaging with a fiber-based paper product. This new design is described by its creator as “small, compact and easy to recycle.” The beverage cans are just as easy for we consumers to carry, but they don’t pollute the planet or endanger wildlife.
More importantly, the decision to make this switch is a testament to the company’s values and culture. Implementing the new paper six-pack won’t result in greater sales for the company or increase its profits. What it will do is eliminate the 75,000 pounds of plastic the company had previously used every year. And, it just might make the company’s workers feel better about their employer and the product they bring to market.
What Lesson Does a New Six-Pack Offer Recruiters?
When job seekers read an employer’s job postings and the commentary on its career site, they almost always learn something about the organization. Most companies provide information on some or all of the following: the benefits they offer, the location of their facilities, the mission and values that shape their culture, and, more recently, their commitment to remote work.
More recently, they’ve begun to supplement such institutional characterizations with commentary by representative employees. These testimonials are provided via videos of the workplace that often show individuals or teams at work (or even play) and slide show depictions of “a day in the life of.” The goal, of course, is to humanize the employment opportunity offered by the organization, and that’s certainly a plus.
What’s frequently overlooked, however, is the commitment the company and/or its employees have made to improving their community or the planet we all share. And, those selfless acts can have a powerfully positive impact on a prospective new hire’s perception of an organization. As experience has repeatedly shown, “Doing good to do well” is an effective business strategy.
That’s not to say, the commitment is calculated or purposely self-serving. Instead, the existence of workers’ weekly trash pickup along a highway or their visits to senior living facilities to read books and talk with residents or even just an annual blood drive – whether it’s employee- or company-driven – is a full six-pack of insight into the character of the organization and the people who work there. Letting job seekers know about such commitments doesn’t diminish their intrinsic goodness, but rather sublimely invites job seekers to join the fun.
Food for Thought,
If you’ve enjoyed this edition of “What Caught My Eye,” read some of my other posts at the TAtech Blog.
Peter Weddle is the author or editor of over two dozen books and a former columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the founder and CEO of TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions. You can download his latest book – The Neonaissance – FOR FREE at OneStoryforAll.com. And, if you don't have time to read the entire book, just download a short excerpt of his inspirational message.