Our social responsibility

As an ever growing HR tech solutions provider, we take our role seriously regarding our impact on people, the environment and society. The future is where success is measured not only in terms of profitability, but also by the value we create and the impact we have.

It is important to work towards a sustainable future now by aiming for a positive social impact and a value chain with the lowest possible carbon emissions. With our impact, we shape the changes towards the next world of work, that is increasingly tech-enabled, without bias and regardless of contract type.

Together with our network, we strive for one common goal: a transparent, balanced, and inclusive job market, where organisations and mission-critical talent are perfectly connected. We accept this responsibility not only with respect to our own organisation and employees, but also to our clients, professionals, and suppliers. We focus on achieving a positive impact in the areas of people, the environment, and society.

Our ESG policy

In 2023, we further implemented our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy as we can and want to play an active role in the transition to a sustainable society. Together with our clients, suppliers, professionals and partners, we support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we actively contribute to these goals.

We operationalise our ambition with our ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) policy based on four pillars and our nine material topics and have processes in place to drive progress and follow up on our sustainability work. With our ESG policy based on our four ESG pillars, we are preparing HeadFirst Group for the future. These pillars are:


As a group, we are contributing to the Paris Agreement by setting a science-based target in line with SBTi. We set a science-based ‘near-term target’ in 2022 to contribute to limiting global warming to well below 2°C. We are committed to reducing absolute scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions by 23% by 2030 from a 2021 base year, and to measuring and reducing our scope 3 emissions. Within our Sustainability axe, our most material topic is climate change and adaptation/energy. We focus on:

  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions such as CO2;
  • limiting climate change;
  • using energy efficiently and saving energy;
  • using sustainable and renewable energy.

We work to reduce our impact on the environment. One way to do this is by reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2. As a service provider, a significant share of our emissions is generated by mobility, both by our employees and our suppliers. Where possible, we opt for alternative, sustainable energy sources.

Sustainable mobility

Our mobility policy is reviewed every year by our HR department in consultation with the Board. We focus on making our leasing policy more sustainable and stimulate working from home. With regard to the leasing policy, we do this by giving advice on a green car choice, lowering the maximum number of kilometres driven for business purposes (maximum 12,500 km per year) and offering pool cars. The use of public transport is encouraged by offering NS Business Cards and our head office is located less than 400 metres from a train station. We have a flex policy 60/40 where collaboration is encouraged and facilitated in the office.

Awareness and inspiration programme

To make sustainable choices, it is important to realise how you can reduce your own carbon footprint. We are currently working on awareness with calculation tools on our Professionals Services Hub where professionals can calculate their CO2 footprint for particular assignments and the hiring manager will receive an indication as to which candidate is the most sustainable option.

Sustainable and energy-efficient building

The group moved to a new head office in 2022. The building was chosen for its excellent sustainable features. The building is located in a carbon-neutral office park in Hoofddorp, within a five-minute walk from the train
station. The building is a sustainable cradle-to-cradle design with A-Label and BREEAM-NL Excellent sustainability certificate. Toilets are flushed with rainwater and the office park runs entirely on renewable energy. All materials in and components of the building were pre-assessed against cradle-to-cradle criteria, such as sustainable use and possibilities for reuse and recovery. Additionally, the head office runs completely on green energy.

By encouraging flexible working, such as working from home or logging on while on the train, we have saved 25% office space. In Belgium, we merged our offices into one building.

Renewable energy

We are investigating multiple additional steps towards realising the goal of a completely climate-neutral office building by 2030, for instance, by installing solar panels on our office buildings.

CO2 footprint

We report on our CO2 footprint in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO 14064. Our CO2 footprint calculation is assessed every year by an independent and certified auditor in accordance with ISO 14064. We continuously improve the completeness and accuracy of our environmental data and eliminate uncertainties.

This has led to changes in methodology over the years and has also resulted in a rectification of the total reported CO2 emissions over 2022. Because of these changes, comparisons of total tCO2 are not 100% accurate. However, where we have insufficient insight, we deliberately make small overestimates of emissions. Consequently, as the data becomes more complete and more accurate, the reduction percentage should increase rather than decrease.

Decent work & lifelong learning

For us, decent work and lifelong learning mean that we continue to develop our own employees while also providing development opportunities to professionals and providing full support to our customers on compliance issues. In this way, we are increasing sustainable employability in the broadest sense. Within this axe, we have three focus areas: own workforce, professionals in the chain, and customers. As a result of our stakeholder assessment, the most material topics within our own workforce are secure employment, training, and skills development. Within professionals in the chain, the most material topic is equal payment conditions and within customers, the most material topic turned out to be full support on compliance issues.

Sustainable employability of flex workers

We contribute to a continuously developing and skilled workforce by offering personal development guidance and career counselling for professionals. In this way, we ensure that workers remain employable in a rapidly changing labour market.

Fair and transparent labour market

Our platform is the connector between supply and demand. By connecting clients with independent professionals and suppliers, we create jobs and give companies insight into the most qualified professionals. Moreover, our platform contributes to market transparency and fair rates for specialised and qualified work.

Continuous development

We encourage self-development of our employees. Our performance management program gives employees control over their own development. In addition, we offer plenty of training sessions, courses and webinars to continuously educate our employees.

Social return

To achieve an effective way of reaching and offering opportunities to candidates with poor employment prospects, we launched the ‘Social Return Action Plan’ in September 2022. The aim of our Action Plan is to create a valuable and efficient partnership with our social partners, focusing on the strength of our organisation: connecting professionals with clients. In this, we focus, in particular, on the following target groups: social return candidates, vulnerable people with poor job prospects, and jobseekers with an unusual CV.

To reach candidates with poor employment prospects, we have built a network with multiple diversity partners. For example, AutiTalent and Specialisterren, organisations that support professionals with autism to achieve their full potential in the workplace. We support these candidates with job coaching, finding appropriate projects, and facilitating an autism-friendly workplace. Another example is the cooperation with UWV and DJI, to bring jobseekers with an unusual CV, e.g. long-term jobseekers and ex-prisoners, back into the labour market. We accompany them during the recruitment and selection process and introduce them to our own and external job vacancies. We work together with our diversity partners on the basis of an Impact Level Agreement, in which we lay down what our mutual efforts are and what minimum impact we want to create.

We have entered into agreements with numerous customers on the employment of social return candidates. To this end, our dedicated Social Return On Investment (SROI) Officer (as of January 2024) will also organise knowledge and inspiration sessions between customers, our diversity partners, and social return candidates.

An example of how we work with diversity partners is a customer where permit holders have been employed. In cooperation with the Refugee Talent Hub, we provided permit holders for an internal training programme at the customer. We then took care of the entire contractual settlement. The permit holders followed a four-month training programme with the aim of getting a job at the customer.

Diversity, equity & inclusion

An inclusive equal and safe environment has our priority when it comes to social responsibility. Therefore, we take many initiatives to improve DE&I over a broad set of dimensions and report progress on targets. Within our own workforce, we focus on diversity and gender equality and equal pay for equal work. Within this axe, we focus on our own workforce and its most material topics diversity, gender equality, and equal pay for equal work.

We have signed the SER’s Diversity in Business Charter, thereby explicitly declaring our support of diversity in many dimensions (i.a. ethnic-cultural background, age, gender). We are obliged to report every year on internal satisfaction in terms of inclusive corporate culture and internal diversity figures. This ensures our attention, focus and commitment to diversity and inclusion objectives.

We aim to reduce and prevent inequality by not discriminating on the basis of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, parental status, education, physical and mental abilities, and/or sexual orientation. We judge our employees on their competence and do not discriminate on the basis of gender. In line with this, we strive for equal pay for equal work. We have external professional parties assess, for example, transparency, and equal pay for equal work.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Taskforce

An inclusive culture is paramount in this, providing room for diversity while also fostering a sense of unity. In order to achieve this, we established the ‘Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce’ in 2021 within the HeadFirst Group to further develop our internal operations and external services in the areas of diversity and inclusion. As of 2023, we added ‘equity’ to our policy and now use Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Governance & Ethics

We have a clear governance structure in which the organisational chart, business strategy, and its translation into objectives, goals, strategies, and measures (OGSMs) for each department are the starting point. Based on the KPIs set for each department, OGSM-platform Cascade monitors whether the organisation is on track to achieve its business objectives. This governance model also contains policies on business continuity, privacy, quality and information security. Information security is also reflected in one of our material topics in this axe: data protection, privacy and cybersecurity. The other material topic is political engagement.

Acting ethically and with integrity are the foundation of our sustainable strategy. The basis for our policy is found in our code of conduct and in a number of protocols. We consider it important that our employees act ethically and with integrity. We put a lot of effort into developing an overall awareness when it comes to ethical conduct and integrity.

Political engagement

We strive for well-balanced labour legislation, allowing everyone to participate in the labour process on the basis of equality. To achieve this, we participate in various consultative bodies and lobby government bodies.

Data protection, privacy, and cyber security

We are committed to the protection of the personal data of our employees, customers, and suppliers. Data minimisation can also contribute to this. Should something go wrong, the data set is very limited. For example, if someone just registers in Select, we do not need all the data. More data is only needed when the assignment actually materialises and only then do we ask for it. Another priority is to further increase and embed GDPR awareness within the organisation through training.

The aim is to minimise security and/or privacy-related incidents. For each incident, an RCA (root cause analysis) is prepared with recommendations to prevent recurrence in the future, thus keeping the number of incidents as low as possible. Last year, we experienced a small number of
minor cyber incidents and data breaches, which were dealt with immediately. These incidents did not result in any business disruptions. In 2023, all policies were reviewed and tightened to be even more future-proof.


We launched the HeadFirst Group Foundation in 2023. The HeadFirst Group Foundation channels all corporate grants, donations, and voluntary work. The Foundation framework helps us coordinate and enhance our efforts not only to align our support with what we stand for as a company, but also to support employees in discovering how they can get involved and help. Every employee receives a number of volunteering days annually which they can use for ‘sustainable’ activities. Initiatives are always in line with our ESG Policy.


HeadFirst Group will have to comply with the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) as of the financial year 2025. The CSRD is detailed in reporting standards: the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). Companies are then required to align their sustainability reporting with the ESRS. We are in the process of mapping the disclosure requirements of ESRS and identifying where the gaps are in relation to our current data. In our 2024 annual report (to be published in 2025), we will further structure our reporting framework according to ESRS to be compliant by 2025.