Making a positive impact on the world is increasingly acknowledged as a key role of business. Because of this Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has matured beyond charity partnerships, inclusion activities and carbon disclosure scores.
Sustainable procurement is now a growing topic amongst forward-thinking business leaders and is high on the agenda of many organisations. It involves a purchasing and investment decision-making process that not only takes into account price and quality but also considers the environmental and social impacts of procurement partnerships.
But what does this mean for the recruitment industry?
According to research by EcoVadis, the leading provider of business sustainability ratings for global supply-chains, 97% of supply-chain professionals surveyed believe that sustainable procurement is important to their businesses.
New regulations, an increased commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and changes in public opinion are influencing the corporate world and driving business leaders to consider ethical supply-chain management.
As trusted partners in supply chains, recruitment agencies play a critical role in this change and we have a duty to ensure our own supply chains are ethical. We can perhaps go a step further and champion social procurement by incorporating social enterprises in our supply chains.
“97% of supply-chain professionals surveyed believe that sustainable procurement is important to their businesses.”
We can also influence and contribute to ethical practices among those we supply. Ensuring candidates are accessing a fair and ethical workplace is a fundamental pillar in any recruiter’s practices.
On a very basic level, we have a responsibility to the candidates we place to ensure they are safe from bribery, corruption, exploitation, forced labour or modern slavery at the companies they are joining.
Helping to plug the workforce skills gap through CSR
It’s important that business leaders recognise the role that their companies can play in driving ethical standards.
We know that across the UK, there is a talent shortfall of around 60,000 people in the STEM industries we serve as well as challenges with diversity. Unemployment, particularly amongst the young in underserved communities is another major issue, not just in the UK, but across the globe.
With these challenges comes an opportunity to focus our CSR initiatives on supporting people from underserved communities to develop the skills required to thrive in the STEM sectors.
Leading sustainable procurement in the supply-chain
The recruitment industry has a unique opportunity to lead in sustainable procurement as we influence the full cycle of supply-chain management. We have a critical role in influencing the supply of talent – a position that allows our social impact to go beyond the norm.
Legislation is starting to drive sustainable procurement; however, many multinational companies are now employing experts in procurement and compliance and making ethical supply-chain management a key pillar within the CSR function.
It is this continued move towards driving up standards that will ensure recruitment businesses lead the way in driving sustainable procurement to provide the very best service to our clients.
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