Identifying Sustainability Talent

Identifying Sustainability Talent

Identifying talent is rarely an easy experience, especially if you want to recruit the most suitable and very best talent for your organisation and/or team.  Having almost a decade of experience of recruiting talent across the sustainability and cleantech industries, Lewis Davey’s Director of Cleantech & Sustainability gives his views on where a lot of businesses go wrong and where you can improve. 

Where are businesses going wrong? 

The majority of cleantech & sustainability roles are often hard-to-fill with limited candidates available and numerous organisations vying for the same candidate.  This is exacerbated if the candidate is in an active search phase, i.e. they are actively exploring career opportunities and applying for jobs.  If you are receiving an application from a candidate, it’s quite likely that some of your competitors are as well if they are also looking for the same skills. 

Active candidates though, only represent a very small minority of the market and typically it’s only the active candidates that are likely to respond to advertisements.  There’s a whole world of potential out there beyond those individuals actively seeking a new role and it is these so called passive candidates that businesses often fail to tap into.  Adverts just won’t reach them – in the main they are either too busy to respond to adverts, too content in their current role or potentially just haven’t seen the advert.  When you combine all of this together, it’s pretty clear to conclude that adverts alone generally just don’t work well enough, particularly if you want access to more of the market.

Five tips on how can you improve!

Advertise in the right places: Advertisements are no doubt a useful part of the talent acquisition strategy so you need to firstly make sure that your advertisements are in the right place and you are appealing to the right candidates.  Is a generalist on-line job board the best place for very niche skills? Where does this talent hang out?  Look for relevant forums and specialist publications.

Social Media: You can’t really ignore social media.  Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook – there’s a plethora of social media channels in the market and you can use these to publisize your job offer. 

Network & Seek referrals: Talk to your colleagues and your network Tell them you are hiring and ask them if they know anyone they can recommend.   Good recruiters utilise their vast networks and do this all day, every day.

Work with external recruiters and/or your in-house teams: Identify where the talent is likely to be and what they do and build a target list of companies to approach.  Communicate what the “opportunity” is for potential employees – why would they want to join you? Sounds arrogant but remember the best talent is going to be well looked after and only a better opportunity is likely to make them consider a move.  Information is key – just sharing a job spec online isn’t going reap rewards.

Measure, Monitor & Review: Learn what’s working for you and what isn’t.  Are you adverts giving you the response you envisage? Are the recruiters providing you with appropriate candidates and/or a service and feedback you would expect? Don’t be afraid to review where you are at, make changes and go back to the market. 

About Lewis Davey: Lewis Davey provides talent solutions, market intelligence and business development services to the cleantech, sustainability, town planning and smart cities industries.  

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