What should renewables companies do to retain talent in 2023?

April 12, 2023

Source: Pexels/Jem Sanchez

The seventh annual Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) report, the world’s most established and comprehensive energy workforce trends report, revealed that surging fossil fuel prices are driving employees away from renewables to oil and gas, a situation that could hinder the energy transition.

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In this blog post, we’ll discuss why renewables professionals are tempted to switch sectors, and what companies can do to retain and attract talent in this changing energy landscape. 

Job mobility in the renewables sector

The recruitment market continues to be highly competitive for the renewables sector. Almost one third (31%) of survey respondents say that they have been approached about a position in another company at least six times in the last year. 

While 68% are satisfied with their current role, just 13% said they would not consider switching to a different position. 25% of respondents said they would think about working in a role outside of the energy sector altogether, citing technology, transport, logistics and infrastructure as the most attractive industries to switch to. 

More than half of the renewables employees surveyed said that they would move to a position in oil and gas, a 14% increase on last year. Although this looks like a significant boost, it’s worth noting that the nature of oil and gas means it’s typical to see fluctuations between sectors. With fossil fuel prices currently being so high, this has a positive impact on salaries, making the sector a lucrative option for many employees. 

What motivates renewables employees?

Aside from salary, key consideration for renewables professionals was Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). This was accompanied by career progression and interest in the wider industry as reasons to move to a new role.  

We asked our respondents what drives job satisfaction. Almost half of those in the renewables sector cited the feeling that they are contributing to society. 39% said their job satisfaction relies on flexible working options. These two factors together give us a clear picture of the type of culture that is valued in the renewables sector. 

Remuneration was highlighted as both a source of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction (46% vs 59%). A lack of a clearly defined career path was also cited as a source of job dissatisfaction by 47% of respondents. This suggests several opportunities for renewables companies to make improvements to maintain a satisfied and motivated workforce

What can renewables companies do to retain their workforce?

Understand what your employees want from the company culture

As the GETI report suggests, employees are increasingly looking for flexible and remote working options - they tend to value autonomy and being able to work flexible hours to accommodate a better work-life balance. By understanding these changing needs, employers will be better equipped to manage this dynamic workforce in order to achieve long-term success. 

Offer competitive salaries and benefits

High salaries in the oil and gas sector are driving renewables workers to consider switching sectors, so it makes sense for organisations to revise their salary offerings where possible. However, it’s also important for hiring managers and recruiters to compete on other differentiators, such as ESG performance and flexible working benefits, as both of these are highly sought after by renewables employees. 

Provide employee training and development opportunities 

Prioritising employee development ensures that employees are continuing to learn and grow in their careers. 

Training programs can be an invaluable resource, equipping employees with a structured learning plan and applying valuable knowledge and expertise in their job roles. 

Another great tool for employee development is personal mentorship. This provides a personalised approach tailored to your employees’ specific career aspirations and goals. 

Both training programs and personal mentorship have multiple advantages for the whole workplace, such as improved productivity, stronger skills and knowledge, and an overall boost in job satisfaction.

Encourage open dialogue between employees and employers

Incentivising and encouraging an open dialogue with workers can be hugely beneficial. Fostering a culture of openness centred around listening to employee concerns and ideas can create greater trust and loyalty between management and its employees. 

Workplace initiatives such as employee feedback surveys, brainstorming sessions and regular check-in meetings are excellent ways to build bridges of communication between the two parties. Doing so will not only allow workers to share their thoughts freely but also help companies better understand employee needs. 

Find out more about the latest renewables trends by downloading the 2023 GETI report.

Download the 2023 GETI report

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This post was written by: Ryan Carroll , Regional Director - Australia and New Zealand at Airswift