How can energy businesses compete for top tech talent?

December 15, 2019

In recent years, the energy sector has seen a shift driven by digital technology. Companies are starting to improve efficiency, security and safety with technologies like connected devices, sensors and machine learning.

This increases demand for data scientists and analysts who can collaborate with engineers, machine operators, electrical technicians, geologists and project managers.

As such, a growing number of jobs in the energy industry tend to be technology-focused, and complementary to engineering. Many energy roles are now centred around IT enablement, process automation and big data.

However, when competing with large tech companies like Google or Amazon, it can be very difficult to win the battle to hire IT specialists. Such organisations have established strong employer brands over the years and have invested heavily into making themselves attractive places to work.

This makes it even harder for energy companies to stand out, especially when you consider that Interbrand's top 4 brands in the world 2019 are all tech companies.

Additionally, there is an overall tech talent shortage across the world, and in all industries, not just the energy sector.

Unfortunately, it’s not just big tech names that have the pick of the best tech candidates; all industries need technical skills, which creates huge competition across the board.

In this article, we’ll talk you through how to compete in attracting and retaining the most talented tech candidates.

Expand your search to other parts of the world

Build Your Brand

In today’s recruitment climate, companies aren’t limited to specific cities or regions when it comes to finding new talent. Many candidates are looking for opportunities to work overseas, which means you have access to a much larger talent pool than you would if you focused on one specific area.

By partnering with a global workforce solutions provider, you can identify untapped talent pools from countries across the globe, build your brand in those countries, and start recruiting and mobilising staff to work on your projects. While this introduces complex new HR requirements, such as navigating immigration and relocation complexity, relocation services can help take care of these.

Build your brand

Expand your search

Employer branding is increasingly important when recruiting talent in any business.

Your employer brand is the window to your company for potential employees and is typically based on company reputation, ethics, culture and employee perception of what the business is like to work for.

How your company is perceived plays a huge role in your ability to attract and gain top talent and this could have financial consequences. Harvard Business Review found that a poor reputation could cost an additional 10% in salary to tempt potential talent. Their research also suggests that companies with 10,000 employees could be overpaying by $7.6m to mitigate for a negative employer brand. 

There’s a lot of choice out there for tech candidates, so establishing your employee value proposition outside of the energy sector is an essential step. It also helps you to retain current employees; staff who feel valued and are proud to work for your company are likely to contribute to a productive and motivated workforce.

But how do you build your employer brand?

There are several ways to develop an employee value proposition, including:

Business Stand Out 1. Make it clear in job advertisements what makes your organisation stand out and include employee stories or testimonials to demonstrate your company’s credibility. 
Post on Social Media 2. Post regularly on social media. This gives candidates a sneak peek into what it’s like working for your company, and those who search for your brand on channels such as Instagram and Facebook are likely to form an opinion based on what they see. Make sure your brand comes through clearly on all of your social channels. BP’s Instagram account has some good examples of how to display company culture through social media.
Great Application and Onboarding Process 3. Deliver a great application and onboarding process. The best candidates will have plenty of options to choose from, so you don’t want to lose them to a long and complicated application process. Test the form out for yourself to make sure there are no unnecessary hurdles.
Look after your talent pipeline 4. It’s also important to look after your talent pipeline. Keep in touch with candidates after their application has been processed and offer personalised information to keep them in the loop about future opportunities.
Provide helpful content 5. Provide helpful content and guides to help potential employees understand the life of an employee at your company. Providing relocation and onboarding guides for candidates moving from a different country to join your company, will help them overcome challenges and hesitations and set you apart as an employer that cares about your current and prospective employees. 
Find out what isnt working 6. Find out what isn’t working. Seek feedback from candidates on your brand perception and ways to improve your recruitment and onboarding process. Glassdoor reviews could help understand a bottleneck in your interview process, unattractive benefits plans or a lack of regular communication that put off a high potential candidate.

Are you looking to hire tech talent?

We’re dedicated to providing expert HR consulting services, including recruitment, talent mapping, immigration and relocation services, so you can get on with running your business. For more information, take a look at our consulting service page.

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This post was written by: Rob Boyle, Head of Digital Marketing