As part of our Inform series of Thought Leadership pieces we present our views on how we can make the Energy Sector more attractive to young people; looking into several areas including effective marketing, engagement and how to improve diversity.
Inform: Recruitment in the Energy Sector
In order to effectively attract the right talent to the world of energy, it is vital that they approach is simple and clear. There is such a large variety of roles and opportunities within the energy industry; which are suited to both engineers and non-engineers.
The energy industry is open to school leavers, at GCSE and A Level, graduates and professionals, however the energy space needs to be easier to navigate and individuals need to have a glimpse of what working in energy is really like.
People relate to people, and giving the voice to individuals in the energy industry who are passionate about what they do, can really have an impact. With social media having the widest engagement with a potential audience, people like Jaz Rabadia (Starbucks) have used it effectively to highlight what people in the energy sector do day to day with her hashtag #mydayinenergy.
Case Study: Crossrail
It is also important to highlight the variety of exciting projects going on to a wider audiences, something that the Energy Sector can improve on. A useful case study for this is the Crossrail project in London. A £14.8 billion project that will increase the capacity of the underground network and bring over 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London. A project of this scale brings together various technical groups including; tunnelling, geotechnical, building services, engineering, project management, commercial and environmental to name but a few.
Crossrail not only set up a training academy to help develop these skills in young people but also engaged with local schools and the supply chain to help deliver over 10,000 workers for the project. It also developed relationships with recruitment firms and the Job Centre to help secure these positions with useful marketing to help generate over 4,443 new jobs, lifting over 900 people out of unemployment and providing them with new specialist skills that will be in demand across Europe.
Crossrail gives us a useful insight into what recruitment in the Energy Sector could be doing to not only showcase the day to day activities of those who work in it but also to create a pipeline of future skills that the industry needs. This approach can be embedded into career websites, and other tools to show the world of energy and what roles are out there beyond what meets the eye.
There are some companies that have unique ways of making their careers website easier to use, for example by using their staff to answers questions on interests and experience, applicants are able to see what they can aspire to do within the company. Although I’m biased, Atkins utilise a “People” section on their careers site that allows applicants to view questions and answers from a range of employees; ranging from experienced staff to placement students and apprentices. The use of a competency checker, allows applicants to see what positions their degree makes them eligible for; highlighting the range of options each degree offers. From our recent surveys of the PowerHouse 2030 group over 63% of those surveyed applied through the company’s website – making it vital for attracting the right candidates.
Allowing staff to tell their stories also highlights the transfer of skills from one area of work to another and that the energy world is open to all disciplines. Sharing the life of an engineer or a project manager through something like a “People” section can really bring to life what the day job looks like and this may open up the understanding of the role, the company and by extension the Energy Sector overall. People love stories. Stories about people with thriving and exciting careers that can share the excitement and passion in the Energy Sector.
There are inspirational leaders in energy organisations, it is just about spreading the word and inspiring people outside of the organisation and within the industry and the world of work.