The Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) found that renewables professionals are some of the happiest in the industry. Almost half (43 per cent) said that their work lives are happier now than three years ago. Why? Digitalisation is one of the most important issues shaping the future of the renewables sector. Amidst growing competition for talent, it is helping firms attract the brightest individuals – but they must also address possible pitfalls if they are to fully embrace its potential.
When asked about factors that contribute to their contentment, 40 per cent cited the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology while 36 per cent said flexible and remote working. Interestingly, flexible working was a particularly positive feature among the younger professionals.
Digitisation is a key enabler in all these factors which, perhaps, is why the industry is so enthusiastic about its continued adoption. Four-in-five respondents highlighted its positive impact, with increased efficiency and productivity among the most prominent benefits.
But there are concerns. Any widespread change to the norm inevitably invites scepticism and fear – and digitisation is no different. Some respondents were concerned that it could reduce the importance of human judgement – and perhaps, by implication, the importance of their job.
The reality is that technology is enhancing rather than replacing human intelligence. However, it’s an important perception to address if firms are to perform well in the race to attract and retain talent. As the market continues to accelerate, competition for energy staff is heating up and experienced professionals have access to an increasing number of opportunities.
For hiring firms, that means its vital to address the negatives and promote the importance of human input, as in other industries. Skilled staff have and should always form the heart of any operation. It also means ensuring financial incentives are in place. Encouragingly, pay in the renewables sector is on the rise. Almost half the GETI respondents in the sector reported an increase over the last year.
Most importantly, firms must review and ramp up digitalisation efforts to harness its full potential. Enabling flexible and remote working sends a positive message that firms encourage work-life balance and are committed to supporting staff. Investing in cutting edge technology will help attract the stars of tomorrow looking to work with the latest innovations today. Innovation is moving at a rapid pace. For firms still on the starting blocks, now is the time to catch up.