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How to Hire Experienced Offshore Wind Talent to Support Growth

April 21, 2024

Plans are currently underway to help increase offshore wind output from 11 GW to 50 GW by 2030. This shift will be essential for helping the UK to move towards net zero carbon emissions, which will help to keep us on track to limit global warming to no more than 1.5°C.

To meet these targets, UK firms will need to focus on attracting and retaining the talent they need to implement and manage this rollout. Moving from fossil fuels to renewables will require an increase in investment and development across research and development, deployment, maintenance, planning, project management and decommissioning.

If you’re working in the energy sector, this could be a lucrative time to secure a long-term contract with favourable terms. It’s a candidate-driven industry as a result of the current UK tech skills shortage, so candidates have their pick of the roles.

If you’re an organisation looking to expand recruitment in this sector, this is everything you need to know about successful recruitment in the offshore wind sector.

Know the market

You need to understand the market inside out so you know what you are competing with and how to craft a compelling offer for candidates. Knowing the market is about more than just knowing what compensation rates other companies are offering, it’s also about understanding how other companies are enticing candidates to come and work for them.

Create specific job descriptions

It can be tempting to be broad in your job description to help cast a wider net, but when you’re recruiting in such a niche and technical field, it’s likely that you know the exact skills and experience you are looking for. 

To replace existing workers that might be moving on to new roles, work closely with the departing individual to craft an accurate job description. For new roles, you’ll need to consult key stakeholders to determine the type of candidate you are looking for.

Start conversations with graduates early

If you are looking for graduate talent, you need to start these conversations early. Offering traineeships and work experience to final year students is one of the best ways to get your name known and attract the highest calibre graduates. 

If you wait until they have their diploma, you’ll be competing with every other company looking for their skills. By starting the conversation early, they’ll already know you and your company culture.

Consider becoming a visa sponsor

Becoming a UK visa sponsor will enable you to broaden your search to include the whole world. This will vastly improve the talent pool and ensure that you never fall short because of a skills gap. The majority of engineering roles within the offshore wind sector will meet the requirements for a UK visa, so you can snap up talent from around the world.

Don’t forget about staff retention

Hiring staff is only one part of the puzzle. Once they have agreed to join your team, you then need to think about how you will keep them happy and engaged in their roles. You might need to conduct regular reviews and request feedback from workers. You’ll also need to keep abreast of industry salaries and offer ongoing training in order to keep individuals engaged.

Stop limiting your search to renewables specialists

The energy sector as a whole has a wide range of talented individuals that can support your long-term goals. It could be that some of them are working in sectors like oil and gas, but they are keen to switch focus to a future-proof career. 

Look for the candidates that might not have the skills and experience now, but that have the drive to retrain in a new sector. They will bring invaluable experience that will be difficult to find elsewhere. For example, grid specialists will be invaluable to any energy project, regardless of whether they previously worked in the fossil fuel industry. The same goes for project managers.

Closing thoughts

Recruitment in the energy sector is a hot topic at the minute, not least because of the skills shortage throughout the UK. Through smarter recruitment strategies and a flexible approach, you should be able to support growth in the offshore wind sector with ease.

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

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