You’re Missing Out if You’re Not Impact Sourcing: Here’s How It Can Benefit Your EX, CX and Bottom Line 

By Anne Bibb

More and more, consumers and employees alike are paying attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR). For corporations that respond accordingly, there’s a wealth of benefits to gain. For those who don’t, they’re missing out.


A few years ago, Harvard Business School compiled a list of CSR stats and found:


  • 77% of consumers are motivated to purchase from companies committed to making the world a better place
  • 41% of millennial investors put a significant amount of effort into understanding a company’s CSR practice
  • 70% of employees say they wouldn’t work for a company without a strong purpose
  • 92% of employees who work at a company with a strong sense of purpose say they would be more likely to recommend their employer to those in their network who are looking for a job
  • 90% of employees who work at companies with a strong sense of purpose say they’re more inspired, motivated and loyal


In other words, CSR impacts your CX and EX in a big way. One of the latest ways that corporations can make their CSR stances go further is impact sourcing. 


For a recent episode of Unexpected Journey™, I spoke with John Riordan, chairman of Grow Remote and, previously, the director of support for Shopify and chairman of Shopify International, about his take on remote work and impact sourcing, as it’s a large part of what Grow Remote is and does. Keep reading to learn more and see how impact sourcing can positively impact both your customers’ and employees’ experiences. 


Providing the Glue


For those that aren’t in-the-know, impact sourcing is, at its most basic, sourcing with an impact (but you could’ve probably guessed that). On a more tangible level, impact sourcing means sourcing your talent in such a way that will most benefit a community, by looking for marginalized and underrepresented talent — and that’s exactly what Grow Remote helps employers do. 


John told me, “The premise of Grow Remote is that it’s an organization that sets out to use remote work to enable people to live and work wherever they wish and [as a result] … communities become more sustainable, both socially and economically.” 


Grow Remote started in 2018 with the aim of bringing high-quality, remote jobs to Ireland. Now, Grow Remote has worked with more than 140 employers to impact more than 200 communities.


“We want to be the glue, the connective tissue, at a local level that binds employees who actually want to work remotely and employers who actually want to hire remote workers and communities who want to attract people to live there,” John continued.


So what are the benefits that this glue, if you will, provides? Impact sourcing and hiring where it matters most can:


…Keep small towns and communities alive. 


While remote work allows employees to enjoy all the known benefits of working remotely (which also, in turn, benefits employers), those communities filled with remote workers likewise benefit. As John explained, if more people can work remotely from smaller towns and communities, versus traveling into or moving into a nearby city, their economic impact goes further. For some communities, it can make the entire difference between thriving or falling into disrepair. 


…Democratize work opportunities.


In many industries, geography matters. For some, living in a commutable suburb in New Jersey means access to work opportunities in Manhattan that someone living in a small town in Arkansas just won’t be able to get. However, when you remove those geographical stipulations and make remote work truly remote and flexible, when you make work a thing you can do from everywhere, versus a place you go, you democratize those work opportunities. Suddenly, everyone has the same access to the same jobs, so they can use their unique skill sets to benefit companies no matter where they may be based. 


…Give you access to greater talent.


Of course, along with that, when you broaden the geographic area from which you’re sourcing talent, you’re broadening your talent pool and gaining access to high-quality talent you might not find otherwise. 


…Reduce your costs.


On a more basic, bottom-line level, impact sourcing, as one article from the Rockefeller Foundation pointed out, can reduce labor, operations, and recruitment costs. Research has found that impact sourcing can create savings of more than 50% due to both the lower wages that are sometimes made possible by moving work out of high-cost-of-living areas, as well as the significantly lower attrition rates.


Social Impact, Lower Costs, Greater Talent Pool — What’s Not to Love?


Whether you broaden your social impact by impact sourcing within the United States, or you take an international approach and see the dramatic results that can come with impact sourcing within emerging markets in Africa, South America or Asia, there’s no denying that impact sourcing comes with a wide swathe of benefits.


To learn more about John Riordan’s extensive experience in the remote work space (he’s called the Godfather of Remote Work for a reason!) or Grow Remote’s work, listen to the full Unexpected Journey™ episode, and subscribe to learn more about all things remote work, CX and EX in future episodes. 


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About the Author

Anne writes and consults on customer experience, employee experience, and remote work strategies. Through her consulting firm, Remote Evolution™, she has worked with organizations across numerous industries to implement successful strategies and programs in over 30 countries. 

Anne is also a renowned speaker and Host of Unexpected Journey™ Podcast. 



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