Gavin Brown, Reward Information Consultant at global management consultancy Hay Group, tells PES why companies are worried about retaining talent in the renewable energy sector with an increasing number of managers in the renewable energy sector worrying about holding on to their best talent…
While other areas in our national economies are battening down the hatches and having to rethink their reward levels, the renewable energy sector is still enjoying the benefits of being in its relative infancy and so HR departments are having to deal with a very different problem – the need to increase reward for their best staff. A recent survey carried out by Hay Group showed that the reward packages on offer in the renewable energy sector were defying the rest of the employment market. If you are a skilled employee in the sector, times are good, but if you are trying to manage and retain that talent then there are real challenges.
Project managers, technicians working in operations and site maintenance, business development managers as well as civil, electrical, mechanical, grid and project engineers, are all in huge demand in a growing and developing industry.
Currently the renewable energy sector is, by its very nature, a specialised and fragmented market with small niche consultancies right through to multi-national utilities operating in the sector and with some organisations developing operations both onshore and offshore. HR managers therefore can often find themselves fighting their corner in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. For instance, as one HR manager we spoke to for our survey explained: “Many of our staff are highly sought after in the global renewables sector and we are concerned that we might lose key talent.”
With industry-specific skills so sought after in the UK and other European countries which are investing in renewable technology, organisations must ensure that they remain competitive not only from a UK standpoint, but also in the increasingly wider recruitment market. It is therefore imperative that organisations have a strategy for holding on to key talent within the industry. This was part of the reason for conducting our survey, in conjunction with RenewableUK the trade and professional body, to look at how organisations working across the sector are planning their HR strategies over the coming year. One of the world’s leading renewable energy developers RES, which operates across Europe in Scandinavia, the Mediterranean and the UK and manages a workforce of more than 730 staff worldwide, was keen to see the results of the survey.