by Nick Nooren, Head of Proteus Marketplace
As the world transitions to green energy and renewables, the key will be to attract green talent into the new transitioned energy and renewables market. The traditional workforce is changing and people are no longer joining the energy industry to work in oil and gas. Therefore it’s very important that we attract the young, up and coming talent who are excited by and interested in driving the green revolution. We need this critical injection of new green skills to continue to meet the energy needs of the world in a more sustainable way.
However there are challenges to recruiting green talent, particularly within the energy sector. Perhaps the biggest challenge is the negative image of oil and gas. Association with the energy sector is no longer an attractive prospect to young, green talent eager to change the world for the better. And yet it must remain for many years to come as the industry works its way through energy transition to renewables. It’s hard to recruit into this unpopular sector, but it is imperative that we do so in order for the energy transition to succeed. As there are many businesses that will be required to continue to provide hydrocarbon energy while they transition to renewables, these businesses in particular need to focus on attracting new talent on the basis that they are helping to transition to a cleaner, low carbon planet.
Here are some tips on how to attract the best talent in sustainable energy:
1. Invest in green facilities and modern technology
Being at the cutting edge of green tech and demonstrating sustainable leadership by adopting the digital systems and facilities that create green benefits quickly, capture data and facilitate the highest levels of business performance and technology adoption is key to attracting the next generation of green talent.
Investing in business technology such as AI and machine learning that can recognise and take on menial and tedious workplace tasks, will also be attractive to new talent. Refocusing efforts in the business that need immediate human attention will drive benefits across business operations and efficiencies within teams and be a competitive advantage when you’re recruiting.
2. Incorporate a remote or hybrid working system
With remote systems, talent engagement is no longer confined by locality. The beauty of remote work is that the talent pool significantly expands. Commuting to work is no longer required means companies can harness the expertise of professionals across the country and even the globe. We already see many examples where companies reduce office space to have more investment available for their talent, technology and operations. The benefits are significant for employees too.
Workers now have flexibility on time spent on the frequent internal meetings that do not always offer value. Time management is on the worker’s watch, not on the manager looking over their shoulder. The silo of working away from the office affords greater concentration on the task ahead. However, striking the right balance between concentration and collaboration can be challenging.
3. Use specialist recruiting software
AI-driven data can instantaneously scan through multiple CVs to highlight the most appropriate candidate based on their skillset, as well as analysing video interviews.
Digital recruiting software like this can also play an important role in connecting gig workers with individual projects by giving businesses access to rated gig workers with skills that perfectly match project goals. Deploying modern, low-carbon technology to aid with talent acquisition not only saves time and human resource, but also leads to a fairer and more effective application process as it weakens unconscious bias.
4. Embrace gig workers
The gig economy is growing fast. With the pandemic increasing redundancies and furlough amongst permanent labour, many workers have looked to alternative work over the past year and companies are adopting new operating models. However as the trend continues and the new way of working is here to stay, businesses will have to re-evaluate their working relationships with the gig economy if they hope to have a prosperous future.
As our priorities shift and digital capabilities expand, the working world is moving to a new iteration of non-permanent labour. The traditional model of freelancers has always been one of confinement: viewing freelancers as suitable only for certain industries or tasks and treating their skills as lesser than their permanent counterparts. But now we’re seeing a new era of flexible work, supported by technology, which repositions freelancers as gig workers. A gig worker revolution, if you will.
5. Be open to and encourage new ideas
Finally, be sure to create a culture that high-skilled, green talent want to be a part of. Make sustainability part of your core corporate mission to show commitment to this important issue. Investment directly in low-carbon tech for your business is of course a way to attract green talent but more than simply throwing money at the problem, the younger generation have fresh ideas that they want to heard.
Creating an environment where talent is encouraged to come forward with their ideas for greater change and where these ideas are taken seriously and adopted if appropriate will greatly boosting your company culture and increase demand for the best talent to work for you.