New year, same you? Let’s be honest, new year’s resolutions are not always the most successful or long-lasting of promises. It can, however, be valuable to reflect on the last year and think about what you want to focus on in the new year.
We spend almost one quarter of our time working – around 1840 hours per year. So, a key reflection should probably be whether you enjoy your day-to-day job. Lockdowns and working from home have made people more acutely aware of how meaningful they find their jobs - or not. If you’re looking for the best jobs of 2023, the best tech jobs or EU remote jobs, you’ve come to the right place. Want to do something with more meaning, constant challenges, great people (we may be a little biased), and constant career progression? Then why not consider making the switch to renewable energy jobs this year?
We talked to experts in the field about how companies in the energy industry can put people first along every step of the hiring process – from recruiting, to onboarding, to scaling and developing along your career. Whether you’re choosing which direction to take, are looking for experience alongside your studies or are an experienced professional looking for something more exciting – now is the perfect time to join a booming, future-fit industry like renewable energy.
1. Finding/attracting talent to the industry or helping people make the switch
Contrary to what many may think, an electrical engineering degree is not necessarily a prerequisite for joining the energy industry. Many companies (like gridX) also understand if you don’t have any experience in the industry at all.
gridX Talent Acquisition Manager, Nadine Buchegger says, “we really need to create awareness of the industry and to make sure everyone knows it's an interesting and attractive field of work, not only to energy people but especially to non-energy people. It’s a two-way street: candidates need to step out of their comfort zone and hand in their application and then the people and culture team needs to give them a fair and real chance in the recruitment process. It’s about making them aware that the change into energy is worth it and that it benefits both parties in the long run.”
"It's about making [candidates] aware that the change into energy is worth is."
Thomas Heywood, Co-Founder of WeEngage Group agrees. He says, “it’s the task of us in the market to make sure people, especially software engineers and developers, can apply their skills – maybe from finance or insurance, for example – to the energy market.”
Juliane Schuster from UnternehmerTUM Academy for Innovators believes that young people in particular should be thinking about what direction they want their career to take. “I would like to encourage people to think about these future fit industries where they can actually make a difference. There’s a lot of uncertainty and complexity in the job market – you need to go through a self-discovery process to become aware of your own values and strengths. The energy sector is an area where you can have a huge impact and make a big difference in the world.”
"There's a real kind of tipping point of people realizing that energy is actually interesting."
Charmaine Coutinho, Head of Client Training at LCP Delta, believes that the energy industry is receiving more attention due to rising energy prices, which is not necessarily a negative thing. “There's a real kind of tipping point of people realizing that energy is actually interesting and that it's much more complex than just your energy meter – and that kind of complexity makes it really interesting.”
2. Encouraging diversity: international talent and women
In order to attract a diverse and inclusive workforce, employers must proactively seek out international talent and women in tech.
Nadine notes that the doors to the energy industry are open to anyone, at any stage of their career, from any country, of any gender. But she also highlighted that people in the industry need to actively keep these doors open and educate people that the pathway is there. “It is vital to offer apprenticeships, internships or working student positions because then you can catch young talent and show them that it is worth staying in the industry – they are the future, the pipeline,” says Nadine.
When it comes to international talent, Nadine stresses, “it is really important for employers and companies to put a message out there to say we know there might be a relocation process involved but we are willing to wait for you because we believe in your talent, we need your talent on board and I think this is how you can compensate for a lack of applications.”
Thomas also recognizes the importance of international talent in enriching the domestic market. He says, “the skills shortage means we need to innovate, look at different countries and at the same time make sure our business is set up to successfully onboard those people.” Attracting women to tech roles in renewable energy is equally important. Thomas says, “working in a diverse team brings way more creativity to the business and helps us solve challenges. But we need to start looking sooner – we need to improve the amount of people, specifically women, going into technology markets from primary school.”
"The energy sector is going to become very attractive for women to join."
Juliane adds, “it's actually a great decade for women entering the job market because this search for having a purpose, contributing to the greater good, is something that many women have inherently in their identity and that energy companies nowadays are able to serve. I think the energy sector is going to become very attractive for women to join.”
Charmaine highlights, “in business development, finance or HRl, the representation of women is actually much better than it is in other places and I think it's about using those examples to draw a spotlight on how exciting the sector can be so that we can improve those diversity goals across the sector.”
3. Scaling, upskilling and adapting to the changing landscape
The fast-paced nature of the energy sector means that upskilling employees must be a major priority for companies. Thomas sees this complexity and room for constant growth as a positive: “we're seeing candidates wanting to work for quite complex businesses or have complex products, as we see in the energy sector, because it helps them gain more knowledge and it really tests them.” Companies that nurture people’s skills and knowledge base through workshops, training courses or conferences have a major advantage in this space.
"Many candidates...want to do something cool, innovative and be a bigger fish in a smaller pond."
Thomas is also noticing candidates drawn to smaller tech-oriented companies, which the energy industry has no shortage of. “We're seeing some smaller organizations have way more to offer from a technology perspective and it definitely is now a significantly more level playing field. Many candidates don’t want to work for a big company anymore as they want to do something cool, innovative and be a bigger fish in a smaller pond.”
In order to attract talent to smaller companies, Nadine highlights the importance of benefits. “People want to have flexibility. This means flexible working hours, the option of workation, and that's what we as employers should give them in order to have happy, satisfied and long-lasting employment. People are also having soft priorities: sustainable work where they actually love what they do and where they can have an impact on the world; a nice and really cool workplace culture with a good vibe or spirit; and they look for the appreciation that a company gives towards their employees.”
If you want to join an exciting, fast-growing company in the renewable energy space that puts people first at every stage of the employee lifecycle, look no further than gridX. We offer EU remote jobs, tech jobs and are hiring across every department – learn more and view our open positions on our careers page.