The energy sector has experienced a lot of change over the past few years. Using our market expertise, we have put the energy sector under the microscope. We look at the hiring and market trends that are affecting the people and businesses working in the sector, both in oil & gas and renewables.
We uncover answers to questions such as, what do energy professionals want from their careers? And how do the objectives of energy businesses align with these needs?
We bring you the top trends in energy for 2023 and beyond.
1. Flexible working will be the new normal
Post-pandemic, hybrid working became a hot topic. Businesses introduced this style of working to offer employees a better work-life balance. However, some traditional businesses have revoked this, citing they want to regain collaboration within and between teams, which they believe can only be achieved working in the office environment.
With the increased demand for hybrid working from employees and candidates alike, we believe it is here to stay. We don’t see this as being enough to attract and retain people going forward though. Candidates are now demanding more flexibility, from their working hours to their working location and in some cases even expecting a four-day working week to be on offer.
Energy businesses with more traditional models of working will need to consider whether they can limit their potential talent pool by not offering flexibility in their working styles. Employers who can adopt them will open up their talent pool to a potentially larger geographic reach and have access to candidates that they could never have done before.
2. Energy professionals will be more risk-averse
During the latter half of 2022, we saw energy prices and the cost-of-living rise. As a result, many energy professionals chose to sit tight when it came to career moves. There is the potential that this will continue throughout 2023, especially with a potential recession on the horizon. We foresee that the number of active candidates will continue to decline, as will job application numbers.
Whilst many candidates are passive to opportunities, those who fit into the category of being a candidate on the cusp will be open to having conversations with headhunters about opportunities. What will be key is that potential candidates feel confident in the future of the potential new employer. With many start-ups in the renewables marketplace, candidates will be interested in the financial backing of the business as well as the confirmed upcoming projects. They will also want to feel certain that the opportunity will improve their career prospects, as well as their compensation and benefits.
For businesses needing to hire, this creates a challenge when it comes to attracting candidates. Attraction strategies will need to move away from simply posting job advertisements. We believe that headhunting will become the most successful way of attracting talent utilising gentle persuasion techniques. Businesses will need to look at their talent acquisition team and ensure that they have the skills and resources to actively headhunt talent.
On top of attracting candidates, employers will want to refocus on retaining talent in this declining candidate market by introducing better benefits and flexible working. As a result, some employees will feel more valued and looked after, making them reluctant to move.
3. Career growth opportunities will be a driving factor in attracting talent
For many energy professionals, it can be important that their job offers more than just an occupation. They want more than just attractive working styles and salaries. Many need a job that offers a rewarding career and the opportunity to continuously progress. This is becoming one of the most important driving factors for ambitious candidates, especially those aspiring to transfer their skill sets from oil & gas to renewables.
On average, 60% of the candidates we speak to are being counteroffered by their employers and only choose to accept the new job if it offers them more career progression and development opportunities. Hiring managers will need to consider how they present job offers moving forward. Items such as salary and employee benefits will be a given. The best hiring managers will want to consider including professional development and in-house training as part of the offer to differentiate it. This could be the difference between the offer being accepted and not.
In 2023, employers could look to make it a standard that all of their roles include training, professional development and career growth potential. On top of this, offering enhanced pensions will help persuade some who are looking to safeguard their future.
4. Oil & gas talent head towards renewables
We have seen rapid growth in the number of renewable energy start-ups, with many having innovative business models that are becoming more attractive to industry professionals. As the market shifts towards renewable energy, the number of professionals wanting to transfer their careers from oil & gas to this sector is growing.
Whilst in 2020 the majority of hiring was in the oil & gas sector, over the last two years we have seen a noticeable shift towards renewables. This is a change we predict will continue to grow in 2023 as renewable businesses continue to scale and ramp up hiring requirements.
5. Renewables businesses could lose out on talent
Renewables is cited as the future of energy, yet as a relatively new sector, the number of talented and experienced professionals remains in the minority compared to traditional energy sectors. This is creating a skills gap and making these experienced individuals very valuable in the market.
What does this mean for employers? If businesses won’t consider talent from outside of renewables, they are going to have to work hard to secure and retain the people they want. When a skill set is in demand, the confidence in the people goes up. With confidence, often comes impatience too. If an employer won’t offer what they need, they will look for someone who will. In the same vein, potential employees will also lose patience with bad recruitment processes, such as delays in communication, interviews and job offers.
If renewables businesses want sector-experienced staff, they will not only need to look at how they attract new talent but focus on how they retain their people too.
We believe that renewables businesses that can build on how they can develop the skill sets of experienced oil & gas professionals into their businesses, will increase the number of potential candidates to them. This could be a huge differentiator in the market, and certainly a competitive advantage.
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