How can clean energy companies attract and retain talent?

April 4, 2022

Clean energy jobs

Source: Shutterstock/AlessandroBiascioli

Going green is no longer a choice due to urgent climate needs. The energy transition is underway, and companies worldwide are dedicating efforts to developing policies and strategies to meet their global and local net-zero targets.

However, the workforce plays a central role to meet the continued acceleration of clean energy generation expected in upcoming years. We can anticipate an incredible increase in renewable energy jobs, but on the other end, there is a lack of experienced field technicians and engineers in the sector.

So, hiring managers will need to consider how to both attract and retain top talent in this competitive energy market.

Talent in transition

Amidst the challenges and changes in the energy industry, Airswift and Energy Jobline’s 2022 Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) report provides the latest insights into global employment trends.

The 2022 GETI Report gathered survey data from 10,000 energy professionals and has found that transferable skills are a gateway for workers to seamlessly move between energy sectors.

  • 21 per cent of the Renewables workforce joined from another sector in the last 18 months, and the majority switched from either Oil and Gas or Power, with 28 per cent coming from each.
  • Three-quarters of respondents would consider switching to another energy sector in the next three years, with Power being the top choice for 47 per cent, closely followed by Oil and Gas on 37 per cent.
  • 31 per cent cited opportunities for career progression as the main motive for switching sectors, followed by innovation (14 per cent) and ESG (15 per cent).

Janette Marx, Chief Executive Officer at Airswift, says:

Individuals are ready and willing to move, whether it's to a direct competitor, another part of the energy mix or elsewhere entirely – that means some companies will need to step up their efforts on the retention front.

2022GETI-SocialGraphics-RENEWABLES-003 (2)

Tips to attract and retain green talent

More and more, we have a workforce interested in opportunities for career progression, relocation, and sustainability. They are hungry to learn and value good quality of life and company culture. To attract and retain these professionals, hiring managers should:

Highlight opportunities for career progression​

Career progression was cited by 31 per cent as the main motive for switching sectors in the 2022 GETI Report. Therefore, employers in Renewables need to highlight career progression opportunities or risk losing talented staff to local or global competitors.

Some companies can use their position as an advantage. European companies, for example, could expect to welcome more expat workers, highlighting benefits and progression opportunities in their recruitment marketing.

Janette Marx, Chief Executive Officer at Airswift, says:

With career progression and innovation, the main drivers for career changers, companies could attract talent from other industries by offering fast-tracked promotions and the chance to drive renewable innovations such as floating wind platforms. Renewables firms could also offer more international transfer opportunities and project-based work to attract a globally mobile workforce willing to relocate for career progression.

Enhance training and development programmes

In the 2022 GETI Report, 63 per cent of respondents say the best way to get the necessary skills to handle the challenges of a changing energy landscape is to improve in-house learning and development, followed by retraining existing employees.

Only 36 per cent believe that recruiting from outside the sector should be a priority. Training programmes help to map out clear career paths and increase motivation. That's why your company should implement this initiative, attracting new professionals and keeping your team motivated.

Review benefits policies

Identifying other factors attracting talent and considering alternative working models is an excellent strategy. Leaders must do a comprehensive review of what people value in their region, especially in a post-Covid world. Benefits such as flexible working, mental health programs, opportunities for relocation, and committing to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are some of the elements that are highly valued by this new generation of energy employees

According to the 2022 GETI Report, most workers agree that environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) is a factor in whether to remain or resign from their company while lifestyle and family increasingly influence employee relocation decisions.

Josh Young, Director, Energy Jobline, said:

This is a young workforce that cares about self-advancement, innovation and sustainability and this is what employer brands need to focus on.


Meet salary expectations

The Renewable energy sector is seeing a post-pandemic salary bounce. 40 per cent of professionals reported a pay rise in 2021 and 61 per cent expect a pay rise this year. A clear and strong offer is important and can make the difference to attracting the right talent.

Janette Marx, Chief Executive Officer at Airswift, says:

Salaries are recovering well from the pandemic. The industry is on an upward trajectory, and we anticipate a corresponding rise in wages.

(GETI stats)-3Figure 1: Pay expectations for the next 12 months in the Renewables industry. Source: GETI Report

Download the talent retention whitepaper

Airswift can help you

Airswift is committed to supporting the energy transition by investing and training a team focused on hydropower, hydrogen, geothermal, battery, bioenergy, wind, solar energy skills.

Our dedicated team supports clients throughout the entire renewable project lifecycle and connects the right talents to the most significant energy projects across more than 60 regional offices around the world.

We can help clean energy companies develop a robust workforce plan to identify, attract, and retain the best green talent.

Let us provide you with the top renewable energy talent to drive your  initiatives. Contact our expert staffing team now.

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This post was written by: Nana Terra, Content Marketing Coordinator