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Certified B Corporation®: How we are re-defining standards as a recruitment agency

In an industry that is notoriously money driven, I Love My Job is proud to be one of the first ten recruitment agencies in the UK to become a Certified B Corporation. Joining a community of 500+ UK companies who are collectively using their businesses as a force for good, ILMJ’s commitment to making a positive impact on our society and environment is now official, legal and verified.

As a company that has always been guided by doing the right thing, ILMJ’s Founder, Louisa, wanted to share how she successfully balances purpose with profit with the hope to inspire new companies to do the same.

In this interview with Frankie, a member of ILMJ’s Brand + Impact team, Louisa chats about ILMJ’s B Corp journey so far, why it means so much to her and the team, and why B Corp should be a considered route for all.

FF: Why do you think becoming B Corp means so much to you and the team at ILMJ? 

LM: More often, companies measure success by the money they make, the growth they have, and how many people work for them.

In recruitment, you are usually deemed a good recruiter if you have high billings, drive a nice car, and have expensive belongings - but for me this is not success. To me, success in business is about creating the perfect balance between the positive impact that you make and the profit you generate. It’s about being fair, loving what you do, and doing the right thing.

The difference with the B Corp Certification is that it takes the positive impact that you are making on people and the planet into account when measuring success. That’s why it means so much to me. I’m so proud to be part of this community of businesses coming together to ensure positive change happens. It’s our duty.

FF: How did going through the B Corp Certification help you expand the positive impact that you are making?

LM: Positive impact has always been our north star. I set up I Love My Job in 2010 to make genuine positive change to people’s lives. I felt that there were too many people in jobs that made them unhappy, working for companies that made them unhappy, and this made me unhappy. I wanted to help fix this. If I could help people say, “I love my job” and earn a living at the same time, then I was doing a good job.

Completing the assessment encourages you to think about and analyse every single aspect of your company, including the impact that you are making. During this process, we realised that we could help impact wider social issues – from reducing youth unemployment to tackling workplace discrimination and helping disadvantaged and underprivileged people find employment. And that’s what we are now committed to doing.

FF: How did it feel to finally get the news that you were certified?

LM: It’s been a two-year process to get to this point. The whole team has been on the B Corp journey since the start, so waiting to hear if we had been successful after our final audit was nerve wracking for us all.  We underestimated just how much this would eventually mean to us when we started the accreditation! I’ll never forget the moment we found out that we were certified – it must have sounded to other companies in our shared space that we had won the lottery. We told anyone who would listen that day that we are now a B Corp (and we haven’t stopped since).

It still feels so good to keep spreading the word; we’ve even had our own B Corp socks made, no joke!

FF: ILMJ is proud to be operating differently in the recruitment industry. Can you break down some of the ways that we are re-defining standards?

LM:  Yes of course, here are some of the main ways that we are operating differently:

1. We recently introduced a Brand + Impact team to ensure that ILMJ is making the most positive social and environmental impact possible, both on an individual and company level.

2. We measure internal success differently to most companies. ILMJ has always worked to a group revenue target, but this metric alone is not sufficient anymore. We now have targets connected to the number of people that we place in jobs they love, satisfaction of candidates/clients, our culture, our charity donation percentage, and the time we spend outside of the company volunteering. Only when we are hitting all these targets do we know that we are doing a good job!

3. We verify and measure the positive impact that we make to people’s lives through ILMJ’s Positive Impact Verification tool.

4. Our six company values (re-defining standards being one of them!) are considered in every company decision we make, every process we introduce, and all performances we review.

5. We have an active online community of people on our socials, sharing content, opinions, and blog posts tackling social issues that are close to our heart.

6. Oh, and in case you didn’t realise, we can now officially say we’re one of the first ten recruitment agencies in the UK to become a Certified B Corporation!

FF: What’s next for ILMJ?

LM: We have big plans for next year.

• Alongside staying focussed on what we do best (finding people new roles) we will be building personal, sustained relationships with community and charity projects within London.

• We’ve had some meaningful meetings with charities already and are looking forward to forming more permanent partnerships in the next few months.

• We are starting our environmental impact strategy planning.

• We’ll be scaling the ILMJ team further in 2022 and ensuring the people we hire are truly aligned with our impact, values, and goals.

• We’ll also be beginning our plans for international growth, so we have very exciting times ahead.

And just as importantly, we plan to inspire other companies to do the right thing and re-define standards with us, so that businesses balancing profit with purpose eventually become the norm! 

FF:  Any final words of advice to anyone considering starting their B Corp journey?

LM: Just go for it. Get started so it’s on your agenda. The initial B Corp assessment (BIA) comprises of 200 questions, across five different categories: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers. Block out a good 2-3 hours to complete this so you’re not rushed.

It might seem like a daunting project, but after receiving your score you can work at your own pace to increase this by implementing the positive changes that the framework guides you on.

It’s free to take the initial assessment so you have nothing to lose.

Good luck – you will not regret a single second you invest in this. It’s our duty to make positive impact and prioritise our communities and the planet. Come and join us!

I’m happy to speak with anyone who is considering this route, you can email me directly at louisa@ilovemyjob.co.uk. I’d love to chat.

You can visit the B Corp website here: https://bcorporation.uk/
+ our page on the B Corp directory here: https://bcorporation.net/directory/i-love-my-job-ltd