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Skills shortage threatens to derail US clean energy revolution…but a solution is at hand

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With a renewables revolution sweeping the United States, buoyed by generous tax incentives and subsidies available to companies in the industry in recent years, can anything halt the progress of the juggernaut that is the emerging US clean energy sector?

In a word, yes. Despite the sector burgeoning, with myriad wind and solar projects popping up across the country as it targets 100 per cent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030, it is facing a crisis. The recent rapid growth of the sector is threatening to falter due to a skills shortage. Put simply, there are just not enough qualified people in-country to meet the growing demand and help energy companies maximise the vast opportunities on offer.

The rapid growth has not only resulted in a severe staffing shortage. The skills squeeze has pushed companies into hiring resources from the same pool, which is affecting staff retention rates, remuneration costs and, crucially, is doing nothing to expand the long term talent pipeline.

To find a solution, Orion Group has been working closely with clients to transition resources from other industries and locations. By attracting people from other sectors, and upskilling them, clients can take a step back from the costly scramble for qualified talent that pitches renewables players against each other. It’s a time served and proven method for emerging industries but implementing such a program requires careful planning and coordination that traditional recruitment methods do not provide.

Through the implementation of a collaborative global talent pipeline Managed Service Provider (MSP) program, Orion works closely with clients to attract people from other sectors worldwide in a strategic and managed way. By outsourcing recruitment via our MSP program, clients are able to leverage best practice, including candidate attraction, resource mobility, sector transitions, innovative re-skilling, mentoring, incentivised delivery, workforce planning, redeployment and retention strategies.

Our MSP program allows clients to engage an expanded network of recruitment firms, at the same time consolidating reporting, vacancy management, screening, selection and candidate coordination, which removes a huge administrative burden from their workload. Introducing a bespoke technology platform, our team documents the deliverables, processes and incentives while analytics and key performance indicators are used on an ongoing basis to enhance service delivery, establish set outcomes and share cross-project and industry learning.

In order to bring maximum value to clients - providing a constant stream of qualified people, where and when they’re needed - our MSP programs are 100% flexible. They can be adjusted to enhance: skills and experience selection; past worker tracking; keyword search tagging and SEO; niche hiring pre-qualification; validation of pooled candidates; resource planning; supplier partnering; market intelligence; and reach into diverse labour markets.

The benefits of a well-executed MSP program are numerous. Clients enjoy a host of measurable wins, including improved attraction, reduction in costs and drastically decreased hiring times. Consistent screening, selection and on-boarding, too, improve resourcing effectiveness.

Drawing on decades of recruitment industry experience - and building on the many long term client relationships we already enjoy - we believe that MSP programs can play a vital role in providing a constant stream of new talent to service the US clean energy sector. With talent pool expansion activities optimised, clients will see their potential pool of talent widen from local to global (taking advantage of Orion’s vast cross-industry reach), while long term workforce planning will safeguard the sector’s future.