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null 3 insights to facilitate hiring in the green energy sector today

3 insights to facilitate hiring in the green energy sector today

Reading this, you will probably know that the EU's Renewable Energy Directive has established the objective of climate neutrality by 2050, with an intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Consequently, mass renewable energy infrastructure is being rolled out to enable this green transition requiring millions of specialist professionals who are proving difficult to find. In fact, it is estimated that, by 2030, there will be a shortage of 7 million skilled workers who can power cleaner infrastructure such as wind farms, solar panels and EV charging stations. It's safe to say the energy industry is facing an unprecedented lack of expert renewable energy talent.
So, here we’ll explore three insights that could help companies to secure the experts in renewables they need to support them on their road to achieving sustainability targets.

1. Reskill your workforce to be part of the solution

To cope with the increasing demand for green energy experts, many companies are quite rightly looking into upskilling and reskilling their current workforce. The energy sector currently employs 32 million workers globally in fossil fuels, many of whom make up an ageing workforce still working today in traditional energy sources to power communities & their transportation. But how can these non-renewable energy workers be part of the green transition? Reskilling.
European-wide programmes like Pact for Skills are being promoted to support the private and public sectors in their training initiatives in renewables. They will help companies to avoid bottlenecks in the transition due to skills gaps. The implementation of training programs like these, which put people at the centre of change, has multiple benefits for businesses and workers alike:
  • It helps old-energy employees stay updated and competitive in the evolving energy market.
  • It attracts new energy workers looking for companies where they can grow their careers in sustainability.
  • It ensures companies can stay resilient and adapt to the green transition by securing an agile workforce with skills for new energy systems.

2. Increase the female headcount in the energy industry

Despite representing 39% of the global workforce across all industries, women in energy account for just 16%. There is a gender gap, and it’s preventing companies from accessing valuable female talent that can help to lead the energy transition.
In education, female students can be discouraged from pursuing careers in the STEM fields due to the perception that such career paths are male-oriented. They can also be put off by a gender bias later on - women working in energy are paid 20% less than men and only hold between 12% to 17% of senior managerial roles, depending on the subsector.
With the mounting pressure to reach sustainability targets, organisations cannot afford to miss out on what could be a relatively untapped market of female energy experts. So, the question to ask is, how can renewable energy organisations as a whole help to promote female equity and inclusion in the sector?
At the educational level, it's important to develop internships and university programmes aimed at female students and promote careers in the energy industry by organising fairs and events on special dates such as the International Day for Women and Girls in Science.
Some companies in the private sector are already focusing on attracting and hiring female energy workers by creating clear, transparent career paths, welcoming work environments and supportive networks. Iberdrola, a world leader in renewables, introduced the Women with Energy Forum in 2019 as a platform to showcase female leadership in the energy sector and the company's commitment to increasing female representation.
The latest Hays Salary Guide Surveys uncovered that across 17 countries in Mainland Europe and the Middle East, 36% of females in the energy & renewables sector feel dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their current jobs. This is closely linked to the multiple factors preventing them from progressing with their careers and salaries. Businesses should widen their energy talent pool and lean on female workers to help them navigate the green energy transition in the upcoming years. The inclusion of more female talent into an organisation's workforce will boost the company's diversity mix and encourage more and more women to join. Showcasing female employees and sharing their success stories on social media platforms, like LinkedIn, raises awareness of female energy industry employees and encourages other woman to join the industry. If your female employees portray positivity about your organisation as a great place to work, it will boost your employer brand and help you to secure more female talent.

3. Embrace candidate diversity for your renewable energy talent pool

By tapping into a diverse pool of candidates, companies can navigate the high demand for renewable energy talent while driving business growth.
There are multiple ways of looking at diversity. 'Cognitive diversity', i.e. people with divergent perspectives that have a rich set of skills such as critical thinking and creative problem solving, has often been associated with high performance. The ability to innovate is crucial for organisations to thrive in the rapidly evolving renewables sector.
Another option to increase the diversity of your workforce is to source candidates currently working in other industries. Energy companies can benefit from looking at transferable skills from different sectors that can also serve the renewables revolution. While the renewable energy sector demands specialised knowledge in STEM areas, it also represents an opportunity for workers with expertise in other fields.
Some particularly valuable non-STEM professionals could be:
  • Project managers to oversee renewable energy projects such as the creation of a solar energy power facility.
  • Financial experts to advise on the economic viability of sustainable initiatives.
  • Legal professionals to ensure companies stay compliant with regulatory frameworks.
  • Tech professionals such as Big Data, ML and AI experts or software developers to leverage data and create more efficient energy production systems, optimise grid distribution and predict equipment failures to schedule maintenance.
To achieve net-zero energy targets and transition into a green energy economy, companies must consider candidates from diverse sectors and geographies. At the same time, sourcing talent in emerging markets and regions where the renewable sector is expanding can become a competitive advantage for businesses on their road to sustainability.
Investing in upskilling and reskilling, promoting female representation and embracing workforce diversity are critical steps for securing expert talent in the renewable energy sector. As the industry faces unprecedented shortages, companies must build a workforce that contributes to sustainable solutions and supports the transition toward cleaner energy sources.
Get in touch to discuss a bespoke talent and workforce solution that can help you navigate the renewable energy talent shortage.
Beatriz Pons has a degree in chemical engineering from the Jaume I University of Castellón and extensive experience in Industrial Processes. She has 12 years of experience in various companies, in various fields related to business development and the recruitment of qualified profiles.
For the last 6 years she has been part of the Hays team, growing and developing within the company until reaching her current role of Business Manager for the Energy Industry in Spain. Bea also collaborates in Sectoral Committees at both the National and International levels.

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