Jobseekers want employers to commit to meaningful social impact – Financial Times

Written by Sarah Murray

During interviews with job candidates at Novozymes, a Danish biotechnology company, Anne Sophie Bisbjerg Lee finds two questions being asked far more frequently than in the past: how is the company making a positive impact on society and how can individual employees make their own social impact at the company?

“The sustainability agenda is definitely climbing up the ranks of the topics they want to discuss,” says Ms Bisbjerg Lee, who is the company’s vice-president of people and organisation. “They’re looking for meaningful work.”

For a company like Novozymes — which uses the UN Sustainable Development Goals to guide everything from innovation and product development to the setting of targets and corporate strategy — providing answers is not difficult. But for recruiters whose company has yet to have internal discussions about corporate purpose or sustainability strategies, candidates’ questions can be tougher to answer.

Business school graduates — particularly if they have taken courses on environmental sustainability or ethical business — can spot the difference between what is PR hype and what is genuine.

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