Attracting the right talent in the energy sector

May 1, 2024

The energy sector relies on skilled workers at all stages of the project lifecycle. From the initial research stages, to project management, maintenance and finally decommissioning. Attracting the right talent for every stage in the project lifecycle is essential for success.

The energy sector is commonly referred to as a candidate-driven market, as there are typically more roles to fill than there are qualified candidates. To counter this, companies need to pay close attention to their recruitment practices to ensure they don’t fall short of targets and become victims of the skills gap and skills shortage.

Attracting the right talent in the energy sector

Ready to ramp up your recruitment efforts and create a pipeline of new talent that will ensure you are always ready to fill new roles? In this guide, we’re exploring some of the recruitment techniques that the best organised companies commit to in order to ensure they never fall short in their recruitment efforts.

Know the market inside out

You can’t create a compelling offer for candidates if you don’t know what else is out there. It’s easy to get caught in insular thinking that prevents you from seeing outside of your own carefully curated bubble, but if you do this, you might be crafting an outdated offer that doesn’t attract the best talent.

Working with a specialist recruitment agency can help to keep you on track and accountable, as you’ll gain specialist insight into the industry and what candidates are faced with. This will ensure you are able to craft a competitive offer that helps you to grab attention from the best and brightest candidates.

Remember that the energy sector is a candidate-driven industry at the moment, so candidates hold most of the cards. As such, you need to be prepared to work hard to sell your company to the best candidates, ensuring that you can attract the best of the best.

Be proactive against skills gaps

Facing a skills gap in your organisation can delay projects and derail plans. Rather than waiting for skills gaps to become apparent, be proactive in your approach to closing these skills gaps. This could mean hiring workers with niche skills before the need arises in your organisation. 

When the time comes to expand into specific areas, you’ll already have the skills and experience you need to drive projects forward. These workers can be involved in the planning stages to help bring projects to life that would have once required extensive specialist recruitment.

Go straight to the source

Cultivating strong relationships with key universities can help you to attract the best talent as soon as they graduate. By working with universities and offering traineeships and work experience, you’ll be able to spot the brightest candidates and be ready to offer them an entry level role before they even start applying for jobs.

Candidates will already know your company name. They’ll know what it’s like to work for you. They’ll know exactly what to expect from the working environment. And they’ll appreciate the interest in their career development. 

By hiring entry level candidates straight out of university, you can also ensure they learn your processes and procedures first, so they aren’t adapting to a new way of working in their second or third role.

Never switch off recruitment efforts

Recruitment isn’t something you should only turn your attention to when you have roles to fill. By keeping the recruitment engine ticking along, you can build up a catalogue of speculative CVs from engaged candidates that actively want to work for your company.

When a role becomes available, you’ll already be one step ahead in the recruitment process. This can help to cut down recruitment time and ensure you don’t face delays in projects due to skills shortages.

If you only turn your attention to recruitment when you have a role to fill, you’ll be starting from scratch every time. You could also be turning away incredibly skilled candidates that have shown an interest in working for your organisation.

Be specific with job descriptions

It’s a common misconception that a broad job description will deliver a wide range of candidates. In fact, it can put a lot of candidates off applying as they are concerned that they won’t meet the requirements for the role. When designing job descriptions, be as specific as possible so that candidates can start to picture themselves in the role.

When a job description is more specific, it also makes it easier for the candidate to prepare for a job interview and present themselves in the best possible light. They will be able to tailor their preparation for the role and present examples that best show their suitability for the role. 

Focus on retention

Recruitment doesn’t end once you’ve brought a person onboard. You need to think about the entire lifecycle of a worker, and that includes looking at ways to increase staff retention. Regularly check in with workers to ensure they are still experiencing the same job satisfaction that they enjoyed at the start.

You can also look for ways to keep workers engaged in their roles, including additional training opportunities and redeploying workers in new roles to help keep things interesting. By making sure you give workers the opportunity to reach their full potential within your organisation, you can reduce recruitment costs and meet your staffing requirements with ease.

Final thoughts

Recruitment is a delicate process that requires careful planning to get things right. By being proactive in your approach and anticipating skills shortages before they arise, you can avoid delays to projects and make sure you have the insight you need to drive your organisation forward.

The energy sector is highly competitive, so be prepared to work hard to convince the best candidates to choose you. You may need to turn the interview process on its head and take the time to pitch the role and your organisation to these candidates, offering them the opportunity to ask questions so they can feel confident accepting a role.

Nolan Recruitment is a Specialist Engineering Recruitment Agency. One of the UK's best Engineering & Technical Recruiter

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