Ro Power

How Data-Led Hiring Strategies Will Encourage More Talent in T&D

Sept. 22, 2022
Understanding the people that make up the industry is the start of a good hiring strategy, and that can only be achieved through community communication.

Employers in the Industry are currently facing a nationwide shortage of skills. The ambitious targets set by the administration, coupled with significant investment, have seen activity skyrocket. It is an exciting time to be working in the industry, and we are all seeing swathes of new projects develop. Yet, to keep up with the current opportunity requires skilled workers, which currently are finite.

A shortage in the supply of talent can be thought to work in favor of professionals, allowing them to cherry-pick new roles and positions. Hiring becomes increasingly competitive as companies fight for the right specialists to join their firms.

At the start of 2022, at RO, we conducted survey-based research amongst our network of power delivery and solar professionals. We sought to understand specialists' motivators and what they expect to receive from new opportunities and to create salary benchmarks across the industry’s professionalisms and experience levels. This would bring transparency to the market and uncover data to inform hiring strategies across renewables and infrastructure. Our findings presented two clear themes that can be seen as a significant opportunity for businesses to take hold of; Remote Working and Inclusive Opportunities.

Remote working

With 25% of professionals selecting work from home options as the single most important benefit they could receive, flexible working will need to be a key consideration for hiring managers as they look to hire and retain the best talent. A shift to flexible working can be challenging to navigate, ensuring company culture is not impacted and communication lines remain open. Yet, it is now what professionals expect within their package and should be addressed as we head through 2022.

There are benefits to remote working for businesses too. The talent pool you can hire from becomes far broader, and with insights into different rates of pay across different geographies can mean companies can employ cheaper talent from neighboring states. As more and more professionals seek remote work, we have seen several specialists reduce their salaries to work from home.

Of course, not all roles can be undertaken remotely, but where possible, should be seriously considered. If not fully remotely, a hybrid-option works well when attracting professionals.

Inclusive Opportunities

As the Industry grows and demand for qualified talent remains intense, it is crucial to keep equality at the center of attention. Attracting new talent to growing candidate short markets is complex, especially when inequality is in the mix. Starting with equality will stack the odds in the employer's favor against competition and other industries and come with many other benefits.

The main driver behind a 9% gender pay gap, as found from our research, is the shape of the Utilities workforce and the challenges our Industry faces when attracting and recruiting employees. Approximately 35% of the Utilities industry workforce is female, with a higher proportion of men in senior roles and more males in STEM skilled trades.

Most companies in this sector have long-serving employees, which, when combined with low employee turnover rates, means the overall composition of the workforce remains unchanged year to year.

The gender pay gap is not an issue that will go away overnight. Still, to combat this, companies can actively contribute to narrowing the gender pay gap by promoting STEM-related education and careers to females in their community. Empowering females within the company to balance the number of men and women at senior levels is also effective.

More immediate change can be made by assessing your current hiring processes. Even the language used in job adverts can have a significant impact on the type of candidate who applies for a role. Although what could seem irrelevant, using masculine-type words like "ambitious" and "dominate" are less appealing to female candidates for example.

Using the insights gathered from our research and from your own data will give you a significant advantage when hiring. Understanding the people that make up our Industry is the start of a good hiring strategy, and that can only be achieved through speaking to the community.

For more information on trends and insights on hiring, The US 2022 Power Delivery Salary Guide can be downloaded from RO's website:

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