Leading change, one recruit at a time
Talent Nation is an executive search and recruitment company with a strong focus on the environmental and sustainability sectors. Established with the objective of working with purpose driven people and organisations, they aim to create positive environmental and social outcomes through the roles and companies they engage with.
Why is Talent Nation a force for good?
There are a number around the globe but Talent Nation is the only recruitment company in Australia to achieve B Corp status, and in doing so we endure to create a new benchmark for determining success within our industry. Understanding what it’s like to be involved with profit driven organisations, we have created a space for ourselves that is counteractive to this, driven by purpose and creating a positive impact.
Keeping our focus within a niche market has enabled us to stay true to our values and ethics, every role engaged by us done so with environmental, social and economic outcomes in mind. Our focus on purpose driven roles has extended our services past just sustainability to incorporate social enterprise, not-for-profit, energy, and health and safety areas. We want to be a part of a future that encompasses sustainability and equality, with a strong belief that we can use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
Since certification, how has decision making around aspects of the business changed or been influenced?
We have always had a strong focus on our services creating positive impacts externally, however becoming a B Corp led us to evaluate our internal practices as well. Transparency is something we value highly, not only with our clients but within our own business operations. The certification process provided a chance to evaluate our supply chains and in house policies, small changes made to better incorporate supporting ethical, sustainable and local organisations, as well as other B Corporations. We created a Supplier Code of Conduct, increased our charitable donations, and implemented many more smaller sustainable practices in our office with new recycling and energy efficiency programs.
What are some tangible outcomes that have resulted from Talent Nation certifying as a B Corp?
A B Corp Certified Recruitment Agency… sounds like an oxymoron. Most people in our space will tell you they are ethical and caring and this 3rd party endorsement means that we don’t have to be the ones doing the telling. It is a clear differentiator and given the space that we operate in it demonstrates that we walk the talk. We find our clients and candidates often note that are drawn to our certification status, as it provides reassurance that we are actively living out the ethics and values that we put forward. It demonstrates our competency and knowledge to clients, giving us a competitive edge within our niche markets.
For us it is more about the intangibles than the tangibles in terms of the affinity we have with the rest of the community. The inclusive nature of the B Corp community has given us the chance to meet and network with a range of organisations. It has been not only refreshing to meet like-minded people, but has provided us with some incredible opportunities, notably Talent Nation recruiting the new B Lab Executive Director, Andrea De Almeida. We travelled to Portland for the Champions Retreat in 2015 and as a result of the relationships built on that trip we have joined up with another two B Corps to form a co-working hub in South Melbourne.
It is important to lead by example in solving the problems you wish to eradicate and to accelerate change. What are you doing as a leader in the recruitment sector?
We hope to inspire other businesses in this sector to focus on projects that provide a positive impact, doing this through our reinforcement of ethics and values within every assignment we undertake. We believe we play a key role in enabling organisations that are making an impact by obtaining the best possible candidates for them so that they can accelerate their own impact. This is our core area of impact however we also ensure that we contribute directly to the sector in the form of donations (for every role completed), low bono and pro bono activity; in 2017 we contributed over $100K to the sector through these channels. In addition to this we also leverage our extensive networks to facilitate introductions between organisations and individuals that have synergies in terms of the impact they are creating. We subscribe to the notion of ‘what goes around, comes around’ and a key factor in our continued growth is that we play a long game and look at how we can contribute broadly to the sector.
Talent Nation is currently the only Recruitment agency in Australia registered as a B Corp. What advice do you have for those who may be aspiring for certification?
Take your time with the certification process and don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t score as high as you think you should. The ‘Measure what Matters” tool is a fantastic way to assess your business and identify areas that require additional focus; for Talent Nation we found that although our actions were consistent with a B Corp we did not necessarily have the policies to back it up such as a Local Sourcing Policy. While it is not easy it is worthwhile, more and more clients and candidates valuing transparency, and established standards of practice when choosing who to work with. We spoke to a newly certified B Corp at the most recent Community Drinks who shared with us that it took them 12 months to achieve certification; our advice here being don’t give up!
‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ - Mahatma Gandhi
What are your own lived experiences of the values in your work and your everyday?
Talent Nation understands that it is important to practise what you preach, every decision we make on who to engage with based on an assessment of our aligned values, as well as the impact of the roles completed. We prioritise our ethical standpoint over financial gain, our team members sharing the same long-term goals of wanting to do good. We let certain work practices translate to our personal lives, such as the commitment to a low carbon footprint, the choices we make as individuals working to create positive impact in every little thing we do.