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With the green energy transition gathering speed, the demand for skilled talent in the renewables sector is set to grow exponentially—and there’s a shortage of experienced engineers and technicians to fill these roles.

For hiring managers, that means it’s vital to set yourself apart from the competition if you want to attract top talent—and to retain existing staff, many of whom may be thinking of switching sectors. Airswift and Energy Jobline’s 2022 Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) report, which surveyed 10,000 energy professionals, found transferable skills could enable workers to move seamlessly between energy sectors.

 - 21% of people working in renewables had joined from another sector in the preceding 18 months, mostly from Power or Oil and Gas.

 - Three-quarters would consider switching to a different energy sector in the next three years, with 47% saying Power was their top choice and 37% Oil and Gas.

 - 31% said their main motive for switching was career progression, followed by ESG (15%) and innovation (14%).

Tips to attract and retain green energy talent

1.    Highlight career progression opportunities

With 31% citing career progression as their main motive for switching sectors, employers need to highlight the progression opportunities they offer or risk losing talent to competitors. Those who offer fast-tracked promotions, international transfers, project-based work, or a chance to drive exciting innovations like floating wind platforms, are likely to attract talent from other sectors and even from other countries.

2.    Improve training and development

Training programmes boost motivation and map out clear career paths, which helps with both attraction and retention. 63% of respondents in the 2022 GETI report said the best way to acquire the skills needed to manage the challenges of the changing energy landscape was to improve in-house learning and development. Only 36% favoured recruiting from outside the sector.

3.    Review your benefits policies

Do a comprehensive review of what employees value in your area and sector. Pre-Covid data is worthless; priorities have changed. Benefits like flexible working, relocation opportunities, mental health programmes, and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are now some of employees’ top priorities. The 2022 GETI Report also found most workers now cite environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) as a factor in whether to resign or stay in a job.

4.    Meet salary expectations

Salaries in the renewables sector are rising post-pandemic, with 40% of professionals getting a raise in 2021 and 61% expecting one this year. Be aware of salary benchmarks and make a strong offer to attract the right talent.

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