In the wake of negative press, water companies may find themselves grappling with a tarnished reputation. This not only affects their customer base but also their ability to attract top talent. Recruitment agencies, with their expertise and resources, can play a pivotal role in helping them rebuild and enhance their image, and therefore make them more appealing to both potential candidates and the broader community.
In essence, agencies can offer a holistic approach that goes beyond just hiring. They can provide strategic insights, training resources, and community engagement strategies to help water companies regain public trust, and position themselves as responsible and committed entities in the industry.
Please see below for a non-exhaustive breakdown of suggestions of how a recruitment partner can help revitalise the image of water companies:
Strategic talent acquisition and talent management
Targeted recruitment events
Can organise a “Green Innovators Job Fair” that focuses on attracting professionals who have a track record of sustainable practices or innovations in their previous roles. This event can be publicised in eco-friendly communities, emphasising the water company’s commitment to sustainability.
Diverse talent pool
By tapping into a diverse talent pool, recruitment agencies can bring in fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to address image challenges. Currently the UK’s water workforce is less diverse than the wider UK workforce in terms of gender, ethnicity and disability.
Crisis management professionals
Can identify and bring onboard experts in crisis management and public relations or professionals who have successfully managed brand image transformations in the past. These professionals can help water companies navigate the negative press, devise damage control strategies, and rebuild their public image.
Environmental and sustainability experts
Can design campaigns that highlight a water company’s commitment to sustainability and that demonstrate their commitment to addressing the core issues that led to the negative press. For instance, they can promote roles specifically focused on environmental conservation, such as ‘Water Conservation Specialist’, ‘Sustainable Infrastructure Engineer’ or a team dedicated to eco-friendly innovations.
Engaging job descriptions
Write job descriptions that emphasise the company’s use of cutting-edge technology to ensure clean water, highlighting the company’s forward-thinking approach and that will appeal to in-demand digital-savvy candidates.
Organisational culture enhancement
Can play a role in fostering a positive organisational culture by helping water companies hire individuals who align with the company’s values and vision.
Highlighting and rewarding employees who go above and beyond in their roles can also motivate the workforce and foster a positive internal culture, especially during challenging times.
Can set up feedback mechanisms for candidates and new hires. This feedback can provide insights into the public perception of the water company and areas of improvement. This feedback can then be used to make visible improvements, showcasing the company’s commitment to transparency and growth.
Moreover, agencies can also be involved in establishing internal portals where employees can suggest improvements or voice concerns, ensuring they feel heard and valued improving their employee experience. This can also help in the early identification of potential issues and foster a sense of belonging.
Additionally, agencies can provide guidance on internal communication strategies to keep employees informed, engaged, and motivated, and to ensure they are kept in the loop about the company’s efforts to address the negative press. This can prevent internal rumours and boost morale.
Employer branding initiatives
Conduct a thorough audit of the water company’s current employer brand perception. Use surveys, focus groups, and social media analysis to understand the prevailing sentiments.
Crafting a positive narrative
Agencies can assist in crafting a narrative that highlights a water company’s strengths including its positive initiatives and achievements. For example, community initiatives and environmental conservation efforts, investments in sustainable technologies, as well as employee welfare initiatives.
Encourage current employees to share positive stories and experiences on social media platforms as this can humanise an organisation. Their testimonials also serve as authentic endorsements of the company’s values and work culture.
Create an alumni network for former employees of the water company. Organise regular meetups and encourage them to share positive experiences, which can serve as testimonials to counteract any negative press.
Highlight employee benefits
Create a campaign around the water company’s employee health and wellness programs, emphasising the company’s dedication to its workforce’s well-being.
In response to negative press, agencies can gather testimonials from satisfied employees and clients, then strategically share these on platforms where the company’s reputation is being challenged.
Organise workshops where company leaders and HR teams are trained on the nuances of employer branding, from crafting a compelling EVP (Employee Value Proposition) to effective storytelling techniques.
Can help with a rebranding initiative that emphasises the company’s commitment to the environment. This could include a new logo, eco-friendly packaging for products, or a revamped company mission statement focused on sustainability.
Eco-friendly onboarding kits
For every new hire, provide an eco-friendly onboarding kit, including items like a reusable water bottle with the company’s logo, a plant for their desk, and literature on the company’s sustainability initiatives.
Manage and support a process offering scholarships for students pursuing degrees in environmental science, water conservation, or related fields. This not only supports education but also positions the company as an industry leader investing in the future.
Training and development
Ethical and environmental training
By promoting and organising training sessions that educate employees about best practices in environmental conservation, ethical decision-making, and community engagement, agencies can help water companies demonstrate their commitment to positive change.
Train employees to become brand ambassadors. Equip them with the knowledge and tools to positively represent the company at industry events, on social media, or in community interactions.
Collaborative events and partnerships
University and research partnerships
Collaborate with universities to organise ‘Water Conservation Hackathons’ or ‘Sustainable Engineering Challenges’ or with research institutions on projects related to water conservation, purification technologies, or environmental impact studies and sustainable practices. This not only promotes the company’s commitment to innovation and as a forward-thinking entity invested in long-term solutions, but also attracts younger talent passionate about sustainability.
Collaborate with environmental NGOs on specific projects, such as river clean-up drives, water education in schools, or water conservation awareness campaigns / workshops. Agencies can facilitate these partnerships and promote them to enhance the company’s image and showcase its hands-on approach to environmental care.
Engagement with regulatory bodies
Maintain open communication with regulatory authorities, showcasing compliance and proactive measures taken to address concerns.
An agency can produce a series of articles or videos featuring the water company's sustainability projects, employee testimonials, and behind-the-scenes looks at innovative water treatment processes.
Engaging video content
Produce video content or even a mini-documentary series showcasing the day-to-day operations of the water company, emphasising their eco-friendly practices, innovations, and community involvement. Get employees on camera discussing their positive experiences with the company, especially focusing on the company’s green initiatives or community outreach programmes. Share these videos on platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.
Publish detailed whitepapers on the company’s sustainability efforts, technological advancements in water treatment, or community partnerships. This positions the company as a thought leader in the industry.
Collaborate with water companies to create case studies showcasing successful eco-friendly projects or community initiatives. Share these on industry websites, social media, and in press releases.
Webinars and podcasts
Can organise / host monthly webinars and / or podcasts titled “Water Talks” where industry experts, including some of the water company’s top professionals, discuss the latest sustainable water management techniques or the company’s community initiatives. This not only educates the public but also positions the company as a thought leader in the sector.
Social media campaigns
Can launch a “#WaterHeroes” campaign on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Highlight stories of employees who’ve made significant contributions to water conservation or sustainable practices within the company.
Agencies can design and promote Corporate Social Responsibility campaigns where employees volunteer for environmental causes, showcasing the company’s commitment to the community and environment. For example, they can partner with environmental NGOs to initiate a tree planting event for every new hire the company brings on board. This not only boosts the company’s green credentials but also offers a unique selling point for potential employees. Or the agency can partner with the water company to initiate a “Clean River Day” where employees and potential candidates come together to clean a local riverbank. This event can be publicised, showcasing the company’s dedication to the environment.
Can help facilitate ‘Behind the Scenes’ days where the public can tour facilities, understand the processes, and meet the teams ensuring water quality and safety.
Town hall meetings
Facilitate regular meetings where company representatives can directly address public concerns, answer questions, clarify misconceptions, and showcase their initiatives. This can help in rebuilding trust with the community.
Implement channels for customers and the public to provide feedback. This can help the company identify areas of improvement and demonstrate a willingness to listen and adapt.
Community outreach programmes
Organise school visits where company representatives educate students about water conservation, the importance of clean water, and the company’s role in ensuring it. This not only educates the younger generation but also builds a positive community image.
Real-time data dashboards
Implement dashboards on the company website showing real-time data on water quality, conservation efforts, and other relevant metrics. This transparency can build trust with both the public and potential hires.
Release annual transparency reports detailing the company’s environmental impact, sustainability initiatives, and future goals. This showcases the company’s commitment to accountability and progress.
Conduct regular internal and external audits to ensure compliance with environmental and ethical standards. Share the findings transparently with stakeholders.
Commenting, Laura Korobejko, Rullion Senior Recruitment Consultant, Infrastructure, Process and Utilities, and seasoned expert in the field said: “In my years of experience, I’ve observed that the most resilient companies are those that face challenges head-on, learn from them, and evolve. Water companies have a golden opportunity now to not just address the concerns raised but to also set new industry standards. With the right talent and strategies in place, they can transform this challenge into a defining moment of positive change.”
By implementing these specific initiatives, recruitment agencies can serve as strategic partners for water companies guiding them in building a positive image that resonates with both potential candidates and the broader community. An image that ensures they are seen as responsible, proactive, and deeply committed to their employees, customers, and the environment.
Are you eager to rebuild your image, attract top talent, and show your commitment to responsible practices and sustainability? Let’s talk today and turn your challenges into opportunities. Fill out our contact form below and one of our experts will get back to you.