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Lasting the Distance

Generating social impact can be a ‘slow burn’ involving combined effort, resilience and commitment. The journey can be long and winding, but rewarding.

In pursuit of greater social value, IPA has launched actions bringing best practice in social impact programming to the organisation and recruitment industry. Our impact performance is managed through a ‘Balanced Scorecard’, augmenting the traditional model of measuring business success solely on financial metrics.

This approach recognises the role of clients, candidates, talent, partners, and community beneficiaries in activating our social purpose model. We view it as a compass to help stay on track understanding that the more effective IPA are at delivering purpose-led recruitment, the greater our available profits reinvested in support of people living with disability and services promoting community inclusion.

Our social impact strategy spans: Systems and Processes; Learning and Innovation; Stakeholders; and, Financial Growth. Achievements across the scorecard pillars are set out below.

Our monthly ‘Impact Check-Ins’ test whether candidates are experiencing wellbeing outcomes due to our efforts and expertise. 98% of temporary and labour-hire candidates report their ability to manage their employment situation has stabilised or improved since coming to IPA. 75% of permanent placed candidates report improved job satisfaction. We know IPA is an important part of their improved wellbeing because 93% of those candidates say we’ve had a positive impact on their employability.

We know our service culture is an asset. Data assigns IPA a candidate net promoter score of 50+ across temporary and permanent candidates, with ‘promoters’ making up 36% of respondents. This exceeds the industry benchmark of 25%, although we are not stopping there![1]

We use social impact data as a reality check too. Integrated dashboard reporting alerts IPA account managers to clients presenting a risk of candidate ‘churn’, through low safety, inclusion, and financial security ratings. Our ‘Impact Bites’ videos are a standard inclusion in talent induction and training. This heeds feedback showing we could strengthen knowledge and confidence talking about our social purpose, to better capture social procurement opportunities. We validate reported progress against the trend in clients and candidates aware of IPA’s profit commitment.

We bring thought leadership and market engagement to the wider community through social procurement webinars, ‘Insights’ blogs, ‘Impact partnerships’, and collaborative workshops at Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF). This built on the foundational research and report The State of Social Procurement in Australia and New Zealand 2021. Cooperation with Torrens University Australia builds student knowledge about social enterprises and boosts the candidate pool for permanent roles in target sectors. A student video production featuring IPA’s purpose-led recruitment model is a key asset in explaining our unique value proposition to clients and candidates.

Positive social impact is good business. Our Terms of Business identify clients that consider our social purpose a factor in engaging IPA: we now count 52 values-led clients across 18 industries. We know social procurement brings business value. A recent ‘Workplace Wellbeing consultancy’ pilot supported identified roles for Indigenous Australians and integrated social procurement and workforce diversity strategy to train and employ candidates. Across the cohort, retention was 63% workforce participation increased by 145% and combined earnings by 563%.

These results demonstrate how applying a social impact lens to business strategy, and championing multiple stakeholders, activates IPA’s ‘virtuous loop’ of purpose-led recruitment.

Alison Carter is the IPA Social Impact Manager. As a certified social enterprise, IPA Personnel reinvests 100% of profits to services operated by parent entity, genU, including those supporting people with disability and promoting community inclusion.

We’re the only national recruitment agency committing profits to community services.