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Harness ESG to Boost your Employer Brand

Jennifer Jackson, senior content editor

Jennifer Jackson, senior content editor, PRWeek Jobs, explores how an authentic commitment to ESG can help you stand out as an employer during the talent shortage.

What is ESG and why does it matter in recruitment?

ESG stands for environmental, social and governance management. In broad terms it covers socially responsible investing, ethical investing, sustainable investing and impact investing. 

Your communications around ESG affects all areas of your business, including talent attraction, recruitment and retention. Your existing and potential future employees want to see your commitment to diversity and inclusion, your sustainability initiatives and your social impact. 

So, where do you start and how can you leverage your ESG initiatives to attract and retain staff?

1. Be authentic

Saying you’re committed to ESG does not automatically mean people will buy into this message. A recent PRWeek panel discussion on Bridging the say-do gap in ESG and communications, in partnership with ASDA’A BCW, revealed a “say-do gap” where companies are struggling to live up to the ESG ideals that they espouse and to articulate them to their audiences.

It is vital to set clear and achievable goals and be transparent about your achievements, which should be based on facts. People are increasingly looking for workplaces that are helping to have a positive impact on society. What is your business about and how does it link to social purpose? Keep the message simple, true and human-centric.

2. Bring your stories to life

Whether it be your website, social media channels or publications your audience is reading, position yourselves as thought leaders and bring to life the initiatives that are driving positive environmental and social changes. 

“Don’t wait for your annual report and accounts or sustainability report to communicate this – get your stories out there in real time and share your learnings,” said Julia Giannini, head of environment and climate action at Bupa, in a PRWeek panel discussion on The power of comms to build a sustainable future, in partnership with Investis Digital.

By sharing your successes you will be front of mind with potential employees, improve morale amongst employees within the business and set an example for other companies to follow.

3. Gauge perceptions

Do you know how your existing and future employees perceive your organisation’s commitment to ESG? Conduct perception surveys to find out what they think, what they want and any ideas for initiatives they might want to contribute. By engaging your audience you will bring them on the ESG journey with you and result in a more collaborative workforce. 

In this candidate-driven market, at a time when employees are increasingly looking for careers with meaning, it is important to invest time and energy into your ESG strategy, not just for the good of the environment but also for your business to thrive. 

Learn how to rethink your employer brand in this downloadable ebook: Employer Branding Reboot: A guide for employers throughout the pandemic and beyond

To talk to us about your talent attraction and retention strategy and how PRWeek can help you build and communicate your employer brand or recruitment marketing, email to book a consultation to discuss your needs.