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Job candidates becoming more selective about their employers

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A good environmental reputation is becoming necessary for companies hoping to draw top graduates

Job candidates are becoming more selective about their potential employers’ environmental credentials, according to the first findings from IEMA’s annual practitioner survey. The findings are based on 216 responses to the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment’s (IEMA ) survey from environmental professionals who have less than five years’ experience.

Dubbed “Generation S” by IEMA, these candidates would refuse to work for employers who have a poor environmental record, employ unsafe working conditions, make questionable investments or carry out unethical practices, such as slave labour, it says.

Tim Balcon, chief executive of IEMA, said: “We are now looking at new a generation of savvy career movers. “Generation S” candidates are refusing to work for unethical employers. “These career movers are typically extremely well qualified and employers who don’t have a sound reputation for good environment and sustainability performance are missing out on the pick of the crop, whether they are new graduates or career movers.

“Instead “Generation S” are looking for employers that offer opportunities to advance their career in a role that can make a positive difference to the planet, the economy and society.”

According to IEMA, “Generation S” workers are typically in their mid-thirties, equally male and female and above average in their qualifications, with 45% having a Masters degree or doctorate.

IEMA says they are looking for “more than just a career and earning money”. It says the leading motivator for those seeking a new career in the environment and sustainability was that they wanted to add more value than other jobs offer.

Over one third them say they are concerned about the negative impact that some industries and organisations have on the environment.

According to IEMA, they developed their interest in sustainability in response to environmental issues rising up business, political, and consumer agendas, “with more climate change related events reshaping our world and increasing concern about high levels of pollution”.

Those that move into environmental careers want to stay.

IEMA’s survey reveals that 90% of IEMA members who have moved into the profession report high

levels of satisfaction with their choice of new career.

And 42% of professionals who now work in these roles consider themselves “career changers”. Those entering the profession come from a wide variety of backgrounds including finance, operations, marketing and communications and R&D.

IEMA has also compiled a list of top tips for those looking to change career into the sustainability sector. This includes:

  • Do voluntary experience/an internship within the industry.
  • Study for an environment/sustainability related degree.
  • Get the right qualifications eg. IEMA Associate Certificate
  • Look at your existing transferable skills and assess what kind of role would best suit you.
  • Seek mentoring from someone already doing the job you want.

Use IEMA’s Environment Skills Map to plot your career path – www.iema.net/skills Network, network and network again!

IEMA is currently analysing the entire results of its 2015 Practitioner Survey, which was carried out between 21 December 2015 and 15 January 2016. The survey gained 1,047 responses and IEMA intends to release a full report in March.

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