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Attracting Talent for the Utility of the Future

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Julian Jackson's picture
Staff Writer, Energy Central, BrightGreen PR

Julian Jackson is a writer whose interests encompass business and technology, cryptocurrencies, energy and the environment, as well as photography and film. His portfolio is here:...

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  • Aug 19, 2021

The job creation and economic benefits from implementing a decarbonized energy system are considerable, so how can employers best attract the top talent in a globalized marketplace so they have the necessary skills available to make a success of this huge transition?

The Net Zero Target

Organizations around the world are looking at sustainability goals and working towards the 2030 Paris commitments. President Biden has recently signed a series of executive orders designed to address climate change. Economies such as the EU, South Korea and Japan have set net zero targets, as well as many other countries.

A complete re-design of our energy system is underway. As incentives shift, we are witnessing a huge surge in new products and services coming to the energy market – from green hydrogen to electric vehicles over most regions of the world.

Investment Begets Jobs

The investment into clean energy over the coming years will probably run to trillions of dollars. This is going to create a lot of jobs.

However, there is no getting away from the likelihood that the utility industry is going to be an finding it increasingly competitive to secure talent. Employers have to contend with significant skills gaps or like-for-like project experience, compounded by a shortage of STEM expertise in recent graduates.

Here are some pointers towards finding the workforce of the future:


  • Look for engineers

  • Recruit from the Oil and Gas sector

  • Train talent from inside the organization

  • Look to address diversity and inclusion

  • Flexible working is very attractive

  • Good companies pull in the best workers


Locate relevant skills as a priority: civil, mechanical and electrical engineers will play a central part in the energy transition. Advances in engineering techniques and technologies will be a big source of opportunity for the advancement in job roles.

The oil and gas sector is an obvious source for many utility companies to look towards to make the most of this existing talent pool. Its workforce is very mobile and flexible, with renewables seeming the ideal job migration, according to Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) data.

However attracting candidates from other sectors is not the only way to solve recruitment challenges. Workers in the renewables and power sectors are particularly interested in raising their technology skills through training and mentoring which is a strong indicator for HR departments to look out for candidates internally.

Employers cannot afford to miss out on untapped talent: women, minorities, people who have taken a career break or maternity leave (sadly progress on diversity is slow within the industry – often women do not return from maternity leave).

Companies with clear commitments to social justice, positive environmental policies and fair treatment in the workplace make a much more attractive proposition in a competitive sector. Offering benefits like flexible working and back-to-work programs, committing to diversity and inclusion and being transparent on remuneration are just some of the factors that can have a positive impact on the how the company is perceived by jobseekers. As a result of the pandemic some of these measures, such as working more flexibly, are becoming the 'norm'.

For many workers, quality of work-life balance is more important than the bottom line of remuneration, it is about having a worthwhile job, which contributes to society rather than being a “drudge”. Companies and particularly HR departments need to be on top of the game to ensure they can find and retain the best workforce.


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