BE Blogs: A Voice for Responsible Business
As part of our sustainability pledge to discuss best practices openly and honestly, we share insights that allow others to effect change in their community. While companies have responsibility to drive change internally, we believe they also can add to their insights and impact by sharing their experience with others.
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A few weeks ago, this article came out, and I figured it was worth another share. It’s a nice corporate sustainability primer, and it also shows some really interesting insights, such as:
- “High sustainability” companies outperformed their competitors by 4.8% when looking at long-term stock returns.
- “Leaders at 72% of the sustainable companies are willing to take measured risks in pursuit of sustainability, in contrast to 40% at traditional companies.”
- Companies need both sustainable leadership AND culture to be successful.
Read the full article on the MIT Sloan Management Review.
One of our goals at BusinessEarth is to prove that socially and environmentally responsible business is possible and profitable. When we find a company that embodies these principles, we highlight their achievements and challenges so you can apply their lessons to your business. BusinessEarth invested in HireBetter in early 2011, and with it has shown how a unique company structure allows them to deliver more value to their clients while enriching their employees’ lives.
From the very beginning, HireBetter was a unique company. Jonathan Davis, the company’s founder, set out to create an organization that focused only on things that added value. By eschewing many “normal” business ideas and honing down on what truly matters, HireBetter has been delivering top-notch service to its clients while enriching the lives of its stakeholders since 2004. Their business model is rewarding to their employees, good for the environment, and most importantly, highly effective.
HireBetter is, at its core, a recruitment process outsourcing – or RPO firm. HireBetter works with fast growing, middle market companies to determine how their workforce can be improved, and it helps clients promote, recruit and hire the A-players that they need (and rave about) to grow to the “next level.”
“Always add value. Always.”
When they started, Jonathan took a holistic look at what the business would and wouldn’t need to be successful. He knew that HireBetter’s workforce needed to be dependable, flexible, and creative. He also realized that in order to serve it’s clients needs across the U.S. and at all hours of the day, HireBetter would benefit from a team that was geographically dispersed across the country.
Jonathan also noticed a few things that HireBetter didn’t need. Many companies would, without even considering the alternatives, build their business around a centralized office with conventional hours. But HireBetter concluded that their clients didn’t really get any value out of that. The Internet made it possible for most of the work to be done from just about anywhere. So instead using an outdated, expensive, and inefficient model, he structured the company so that telecommuters could do the majority of the day-to-day client service.
The work at home mom phenomenon
In order to staff this unique company, HireBetter needed a different kind of workforce. They found that “work at home moms” (WAHMs) had just the right make-up and skillset that HireBetter desired. Moms are naturally creative, organized, and dependable, which is just what the young company needed. And HireBetter’s virtual model was perfect for moms who may need to work unconventional hours to continue to be “on-call” for their families.
The WAHM phenomenon has allowed thousands of women who would have otherwise been left out of the workforce to enjoy real, meaningful employment while still being available for their families. HireBetter’s expertise is based on making sure that top talent is used in the most productive way, and WAHMs possess a wealth of talent that is too amazing to let idle away.
No success at work is worth failure at home*
In order to make a great working environment for WAHMs, HireBetter places work-life balance as a top priority. Family always comes before work, period. HireBetter has figured out that placing family first actually results in outstanding service for its clients. In fact, because HireBetter’s employees know that they have the company’s support, they are happier, more creative, and more productive…and clients rave about its service. A company that truly cares creates value for its employees, its clients, and itself.
Telecommuting is lean, green, and it works!
By employing a workforce centered on telecommuting, HireBetter saves time, money, and the environment. Employees spend the thousands of hours that would have otherwise been wasted in traffic, serving clients and their families. Traditional commuting is also expensive and, often, very harmful to the environment. By not needing an office big enough to house all of their employees, HireBetter also saves money (and carbon) in facilities costs; savings which it passes along to clients.
Though HireBetter’s management team meets in person and will travel to work with clients, most of the employees work exclusively out of their homes. In order to keep everyone in touch, the team has group phone calls, shares pictures and stories via a team intranet, and stays in close contact with each other by instant messaging every day. Many of HireBetter’s employees have never even met in person, but the collaborative nature of the company and the work has created a very tight-knit group.
How values add value
Today, with BusinessEarth’s Founder, Kurt Wilkin, serving as its Managing Partner, HireBetter enables work at home moms to use their unique professional skills and situations, while their clients get to reap the benefits. The company’s low-overhead, highly flexible model allows them to deliver top-notch service to every client in a cost-effective way. While minimizing wasted resources and maximizing work-life balance, they have and continue to help companies around the country hire better.
If you’re interested in getting a better talent management strategy, or you just want to learn more about the company, contact HireBetter.
*This is the mantra of Maxwell, Locke, & Ritter, an Austin-based accounting firm.
We’ve talked about how CSR helps companies before on the BE blog, especially with regard to Gen-Y employees. Responsible companies are much better at recruiting, engaging, and retaining employees than ones without a sustainable focus.
I got to interview Aman Singh of In Good Company about this very idea for HireBetter’s blog. (HireBetter is one of BusinessEarth’s portfolio companies.) In our interview, she laid out how good corporate citizenship helps firms recruit and engage top talent more than ever.