Why Global Talent Strategy is Vital in the War for Talent

11 mins

Because of our deep research expertise, our team at Armstrong Craven understands the challenges businesses are increasingly facing in the new War for Talent that has arrived in the renewable energy sector. For companies in the US to take full advantage of the opportunities and investments that the Inflation Reduction Act will bring and for global clean energy businesses to make their own impact, they must develop a clear and effective talent strategy to attract the talent they need. 

This talent is in demand, globally dispersed, and may not even exist where you think it does.

Here are some crucial areas to consider when developing your talent strategy. 

Transferable Skills to Renewable Energy Jobs

Renewable energy jobs demand diverse technical skills, industry knowledge, and experience, but finding such talent in the relatively young industry is challenging. Throw into the mix the number of companies searching for this type of talent means talent acquisition is extremely challenging. 

With the pool of renewable energy talent being so small, global business leaders need to start considering addressing the skills gap. A logical solution would be for renewable energy businesses to explore allied industries for individuals with similar skill sets. However, many overlook candidates from sectors like oil and gas, engineering, and mining, insisting on prior renewables experience. 

This exclusionary practice, particularly against oil and gas workers, stems from a lack of sector experience and a perception of contributing to climate change. Yet, research shows that 90% of oil and gas workers possess transferable skills for allied energy sectors. Therefore, is the global renewables revolution at stake if businesses overlook talent from allied industries? And is there a growing moral argument for businesses to be more open to transferable skills and reskilling potential talent? 

Key transferable skills that can be applied to renewable energy include:

  • Technical Expertise - Technicians, engineers, and operators in traditional energy industries typically possess high levels of technical expertise in areas such as mechanics, electrical systems, and instrumentation. These skills can be adapted to developing and maintaining renewable energy technologies such as energy storage systems, wind turbines, and solar panels.

  • Project Management - In both traditional and renewable energy projects, extensive planning, execution, and monitoring are crucial. Valuable project management skills, including scheduling, budgeting, and risk assessment, also play a pivotal role in the renewable energy sector. 

  • Regulatory Compliance - Understanding regulatory requirements is a crucial skill in the energy sector. Professionals with a background in traditional energy roles can effectively apply this expertise to ensure seamless compliance with renewable energy policies and regulations.

  • Health, Safety, and Environment Expertise (HSE) - Professionals in traditional energy bring a wealth of knowledge in Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) protocols to ensure safe operations. This expertise becomes particularly vital in the renewable energy sector, where stringent safety standards and environmental impact assessments are paramount.

Also, many roles in more general areas, including HR and finance, don’t always need specific industry knowledge and experience, as their skills can be applied across multiple industries. Therefore, renewable energy businesses should open their talent pools to other areas to attract the professionals they need. 

Ultimately, businesses need to take a more open-minded view of where potential talent is located as part of their strategic talent planning. This will help them avoid falling behind the competition and stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving industry. Taking this strategic approach could significantly impact the development of future projects and technologies, investment, and the business's impact on the planet's health. 

Renewable Energy Experts are also Found Outside the Industry

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reported that in 2020, 838,000 people were employed in the US renewable energy sector. However, according to research, in 2021, around 1.2 million people considered themselves skilled in renewables, equalling 45% more than reported in the renewable energy sector in 2020. This is a similar story in the UK, where IRENA reported 138,000 people employed in the sector, but 365,000 categorized themselves as having renewable energy skills.

With environmental policies such as the Inflation Reduction Act creating vast amounts of clean energy jobs and a desire for green skills, businesses globally have to start strategically addressing the location of talent with renewable and transferable skills. 

Talent Mapping services help companies understand which specific locations these professionals are based in and what businesses and industries they work in. Once the talent map has been created, businesses can develop a Talent Pipeline of relevant talent interested in future roles. 

Inspiring Future Generations of Talent 

Research has shown that 76% of Gen Z list climate change as one of their main concerns. On top of this, 49% of people said they would be open to reducing their salary to work for a purpose-driven business.

Therefore, it is vital for business leads to be able to tap into this future talent who have the drive and passion to positively impact the health of our planet. For a generation with a growing concern for their future, there is no better way to make a change than working in the renewable energy sector.

So, to tap into this talent, TA and HR managers need the support of national governments to support the development of future generations of talent to be inspired to gain green skills. In the UK, for example, the government has set up the Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy to find the talent today for the renewable energy jobs of tomorrow. 

The Power of Education 

Therefore, the government uses this enthusiasm to drive interest in climate and sustainability matters in the education system. By taking this approach, the government hopes it will drive people towards careers in the renewable energy sector.

Examples of training apprenticeship opportunities that are set out in the strategy include: 

  • All-Energy Apprenticeship (AEA)

  • Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB)

  • Green Jobs Delivery Group 

  • The National Energy Skills Accelerator (NESA)

While it is true that these educational strategies won’t address the immediate need for talent, it highlights the opportunity that businesses have to work in partnership with national governments to ensure that the renewable energy industry has the talent it needs in future. 

As discussed in the transferable skills section, talent mapping services can be vital in identifying where the graduates from these apprentices and courses are located. Talent mapping services, alongside the continued focus on educational opportunities, will help create future Talent Pipelines of dedicated and qualified talent. 

How can TA and HR Leaders Support Driving Educational Progress?

TA and HR leaders should be prepared to build close partnerships with educational institutions to ensure future talent is equipped with the relevant skills and knowledge. By actively engaging with universities, colleges, and schools, they can influence the development of curricula tailored to meet the renewable energy sector's evolving needs, technological advancements, and skills gaps. 

Partnering with academic institutions through internships, mentorship, and joint research benefits students with practical experience and helps companies develop future talent.

Ensure EVP Aligns with Expectations

Acknowledging that EVP is vital in shaping a business's external and internal brand perception, especially in the renewables sector, is key. It serves as a method for organizations to differentiate themselves from competitors and attract candidates not only within renewables but also from allied industries. 

Talent Insights collects real-time data from relevant talent pools in specific locations. When strategically planning to hire new talent and expand projects into different areas, businesses must leverage talent insights to understand the behaviors, motivations, and barriers of attracting out-of-sector talent and their competitors' approaches to attracting candidates. These insights can extend beyond competitor renewable energy companies and explore allied industries such as oil, gas, and coal, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the talent market.

This strategic approach is not only a massive boost to attracting talent from diverse sectors but is also instrumental in ensuring that your talent attraction strategy resonates more effectively than your competitors in this high-demand field.

These talent insights will ensure businesses are in a prime position to:

  • Identify and attract high-quality professionals.

  • Strategically place candidates in roles that align with their strengths.

  • Retain top-tier talent effectively.

Compensation and Benefits Packages 

Businesses need an effective talent strategy to ensure their compensation and benefits packages will persuade the best talent in a highly competitive market to take up a position. One of the major pull factors when deciding whether to take a role is the compensation and benefits packages offered. 

Talent insights help to find answers to vital questions, including:

  • How does our salary offering compare to our competitors and other industries? 

  • Do the benefits we offer meet candidates' expectations in a specific location? 

  • Are our compensation and benefits packages helping attract diverse talent? 

Offer Remote Working 

There are many renewable energy jobs, particularly at the senior level, where you don't have to be physically present on renewable energy projects to support the design, construction, or operation. Roles such as business development and project management can be done via remote or hybrid working.

An option for remote working will open businesses to a global talent pool as it allows you to choose from professionals globally who meet your requirements, regardless of where they are in the world. 

Showcasing Innovation and Achievements 

In the renewable energy industry, professionals seek brands that have constituted innovative projects or technologies in the sector that have positively impacted the battle against climate change. 

Just some of the ways that businesses can provide evidence of their successes and innovation to the world are as follows:

  • Business Website - Provide evidence of your achievements by highlighting customer testimonials, case studies, company reports, videos, and investments (particularly key for those businesses and projects receiving IR Act investment). 

  • Social Media - Social media platforms provide an incredible opportunity to connect with a global audience, especially the younger market, and through videos, reels, and photos, highlight projects, technologies, and impact on climate change. 

  • Job Advertisement - Displaying organizational accomplishments in job adverts that will drive individuals to apply for the role. For example, the Yellow Pine Solar Project in Nevada, US, could highlight that the project offsets nearly 500,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. 

How Armstrong Craven is Supporting the Drive for Green Skills 

As the world shifts towards a green, carbon-neutral future, driven by measures such as the Inflation Reduction Act, the need for skilled professionals in clean technology and sustainable practices is surging. Armstrong Craven is ideally placed to be a key player in this shift, providing a range of services designed to support businesses adapting to this changing landscape.

In-depth Market Talent Insights

Our Talent Insight services extend past simply spotting prospective candidates. We thoroughly examine the clean tech and green skills sector, giving businesses in-depth evaluations of demographic trends, talent pool dimensions, and the reskilling environment. Such detailed understanding is essential for firms aiming to grasp the location and motivations of talent, their career aspirations, and the behavioral patterns influencing their choices.

For the green skills revolution to thrive, businesses need to draw in substantial talent from diverse professional backgrounds, nationalities, genders, and cultures to address their job openings and skill shortages. Explore our case study to learn how our Talent Insights service assisted an online retailer in addressing gender imbalance among their IT and technical employees to establish themselves as a leading employer of choice for female talent.

Strategic Talent Mapping

The clean energy industry calls for a sophisticated strategy in talent recruitment. Our Talent Mapping services accurately identify the skills and positions necessary to foster innovation and expansion in this field. We locate where these skills are presently employed, frequently in sectors previously overlooked by businesses, and strategize on effectively connecting with this talent. This ensures a perfect match with the company's strategic goals.

Discover how our Talent Mapping service supported a US conglomerate to find the talent and skills it needed to position itself successfully in a new location. Read our case study here for more details.

Innovative Executive Search and Pipelining

In an environment where talent competition is intense, securing the ideal candidates promptly is essential. Our search and pipelining services offer businesses immediate connections to individuals equipped with the essential new green skills needed for the shift to clean energy. We explore markets and talent pools that might have been previously unexplored by companies, introducing new viewpoints and abilities to the scene.

Talent Pipelining - Centers on actively constructing talent pipelines comprising innovative individuals equipped with the green skills to propel your business forward. 

Discover how Talent Pipelining played an important role in helping a global financial services organisation achieve their 2022 goal of 33 new hires. Explore our case study here.

Executive Search and Talent Sourcing - Designed to enhance your talent acquisition team's capacity for large-scale hiring and bring innovative perspectives and skills to the forefront.

Deconstructed Search - This prevents you from having to commit to the entire end-to-end search process. We collaborate with you to determine the aspects of executive search you prefer your TA teams to manage and those you would like our specialists to handle. 

To discover more about our deconstructed search, explore our comprehensive guide, Taking a Deconstructed Approach to Executive Search.

Prepare to Lead the Clean Energy Talent Market.

Reach out to our team today and let us support your talent strategy so you can power your business in the renewable energy space. 

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If you want to learn a little more about what we do and how talent research can help you make better-informed business decisions, our team of talent research and consulting specialists are happy to help.