What Does a “Green” Employee Look Like?

image: green employeeThere is a new generation of professionals seeking to leverage their knowledge, experience, and passion to promote eco awareness and business sustainability.   Job seekers are seeking out opportunities that align with their career ambitions and personal beliefs.  This green workforce is enthusiastic about making a difference, but what skill sets should employers be looking for in these new “green” employees?

Green jobs have become synonymous with any job related to sustainability, climate change, alternative energy, the environment, and many other things.  They have also become a signal of a shift in employment criteria form people looking for: 

•    Work that fills a desire to take on action that makes a difference.
•    Work that transforms our environment, improves energy consumption, and gives back to the community.

As a professional consultant, I have expressed to clients that pursing "green-minded” employees is a natural extension of any business sustainability plan.   Businesses that are embracing eco awareness in their organizations are attracting top talent, and top talent is arguably the greatest business resource. 
However, employers often limit their searches by determining the skills required for a specific job function.  Sometimes overlooked are the long-term benefits a potential prospect might bring to the organization.   In searching for that “green” employee to add to the company, our professional consulting reminds clients that there are some additional characteristics to consider:

•    A genuine interest and passion for business sustainability
•    A record of accomplishment in applying sustainability concepts in business
•    Experience and credibility within the local community
•    Complementary environmental, social, and business experience
•    Not “too-green” for positions requiring commuting, travel, etc.

Organizations are served best with employees who understand how a business functions as well as apply sustainability concepts that add value.  In addition employers need to consider applicants who are also practical and realistic.  An ideal candidate is one who has a balanced perspective.

Many active job seekers are looking at green jobs as source of hope in these economic times.  They are inspired by the spread of eco awareness around the world and the shifts occurring in the business.  The business world has a unique opportunity to capture the inspiration of today’s green workforce.

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