Sustainability, a must also in Italy for those who want to attract talent

Author: Lucilla Incorvati  (Il Sole 24 Ore)
More and more Millennials and young people of Generation Z are informing themselves about corporate sustainability policies before applying for a job and asking their employer to ‘do the right things’.

A strong integration of governance, social and environmental (ESG) criteria into remuneration policies generates long-term sustainable value for customers, shareholders and a competitive advantage for the company. And it translates into a path of continuous improvement to make companies ‘the best place to be’ for employees. The latter is a priority in order to become attractive to those applying to join a company. Emerging market trends include not only companies looking for ‘sustainable figures’. The opposite phenomenon is also taking place: more and more candidates are finding out about the sustainability policies implemented by companies and asking their employer to ‘do the right things’. A recent analysis carried out in Italy by Kilpatrick, an international leader in recruitment and selection of personnel, surveyed 178 young people of the generation Z and Millennials.

Objective? To understand which fundamental aspects are considered when choosing a job. Answer: in pole position, right after salary and quality of life, both generations indicated the aspect of mission and vision of the company. It is indeed crucial for both generations to understand what the company they work in, or intend to work in, is doing for the planet. In the percentages revealed by the survey, ‘Mission’ takes a solid third position out of six options.

The value of the company policy on diversity and inclusion

Young people also want to understand what actions are taken for diversity and inclusion. “The path that companies in this sense must take,” emphasises Cristina Spagna, CEO of Kilpatrick, “is not a choice but it is vital, and in this young people are essential, because the world we are creating is their future world and we must actively involve them. Companies’ commitment to a sustainable future requires investing in young people and promoting diversity as a resource and added value’.

She adds: ‘The path to become more sustainable certainly creates more jobs, but it also requires the right skills and training to master them. We are in the process of implementing the same questionnaire in all our international locations’.

Alongside the corporate mission, another element that both Millennials and Generation Z members value most is the so-called work life balance. The pandemic, in fact, has made this crucial for other generations as well, but young people are no longer willing to make sacrifices and give up their free time

Companies in the field

In analysing this issue, Kilpatrick can avail itself of a privileged observatory thanks to the evaluation of best practices, cases of companies that are moving in this direction in Italy and abroad.

These include the cases of Enel Green Power, Engineering, Branca International, Webuild, Prysmian and Prometeon. These are companies that have done and are doing a great deal in terms of sustainability, consisting of a set of projects that must aim to bring the entire social ecosystem into balance and where respect for the individual, the need to listen to them in order to understand their needs and requirements have become a priority, as has the balance between the personal and professional spheres.

Kilpatrick also adopts a selection method aimed at enhancing skills, diversity and identifying candidates aligned to the company’s objectives and values,’ Spain concludes. ‘We base our values on reliability, meritocracy, trust, transparency and ethics. Today, many of Kilpatrick’s consultants dedicate part of their time to trying to create a work culture among young people by supporting them on orientation issues; they support institutions in identifying the skill mismatch in order to intervene to bridge it; and they try to bring universities, institutions, and companies closer together, as they still speak different languages’.

Source: Sole 24 Ore