The Environmental Impact of In-Person Job Interviews: 6 Stats That Might Surprise You

Written by
Shannon Douglas
Last updated:
Created on:
August 8, 2022

In-person interviews are a business’ worst (environmental) nightmare. 

Willo’s platform alone facilitated 180,000 remote interviews from January to August 2022. That doesn’t include all the other video interview software platforms, to say nothing of the recruiters hacking it together with Zoom or Google Meet. 

But what if all those interviews had been in-person? What would be the environmental impact? 

It seems so small, but the impact is huge across every candidate and every company. Virtual hiring is not only more efficient for companies (and something many candidates prefer), but it’s also a boon to the environment in a few different ways.

How in-person job interviews impact the environment

1. The average person driving to a job interview emits 10 kilograms of CO2 into the environment (source: Carbon Footprint Calculator). 

2. Employees commuting into the office for an in-person job interview doubles the carbon emissions produced for that interview (i.e. both the candidate and the recruiter have to commute).

3. Cups used for coffee or water in an office often cannot be recycled, contributing to the massive problem of non-recyclable waste.

How virtual interviews are better the environment

1. From January to August 2022 alone, Willo virtual interviews offset 1,800 metric tons of CO2 across our customer base.

2. Willo plants a tree for every new customer and more to offset our business carbon footprint, done in partnership with TreeSisters

So far we’ve planted over 10,700 trees resulting in over 200 metric tons of CO2 offset (and growing every day—no pun intended).

3. The Willo team operates hybrid remote, meaning our 10+ employees only come into the office once per week. Compared to a traditional Monday-Friday in-office, we offset over 83 metric tons of CO2 from limiting employee commutes per year.

It’s on companies to make a change

Companies are some of the largest spenders in the economy and set the tone for employee behaviour. And small activities you barely think of—like commuting for job interviews—contribute immensely to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Caring about the environment needs to be part of the business equation going forward. And leveraging more virtual interviews is a great way to offset carbon footprints while making your processes more efficient internally (and better for candidates). This is particularly true with high volume hiring where many candidates might have jobs already, so scheduling interviews is a difficult task.

The best part is that businesses of all sizes can leverage virtual interviewing. Video interview platforms start at free, so there’s no barrier to giving it a try and seeing how it works in your company.

Shannon Douglas
Marketing Executive
LinkedIn profile

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