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May 1, 2020
It’s been an unusual month since I last put pen to paper for our Recruiter’s Outlook. It’s impossible for me to write about jobs in clean energy without referencing the COVID-19 pandemic. The first weeks of March saw us helping our customers transition to onboarding remote employees that recently started and would have been at a corporate office otherwise. We also helped transition our customers to video conference interviews via Zoom, Skype, and Hangouts in lieu of in-person interviews. We soon faced a huge obstacle with our pipeline of active jobs for our hiring customers, as many have placed hiring on hold. In all, April production is half of what March was, and it’s purely related to the pandemic.
However, we’re just starting to see a glimmer of hope from a hiring perspective. As the country begins to set a schedule for reopening, we’re beginning to see hiring holds being lifted from our customers. Prior to the pandemic, the demand for clean energy talent was at its peak. While I don’t have high hopes for the second quarter, I still trust that most hiring will come back in Q3 and Q4.
The need for energy independence, the fall of the oil industry, and changes in climate are obviously more present now than before the pandemic. While there’s a short-term hiccup in hiring talent in renewables, the clean energy industry requires specific talent to manufacture, develop, engineer, and construct projects. There are some clean energy professionals on the unemployment lines (mostly residential solar and energy efficiency professionals supporting buildings that are currently closed), I firmly believe that this moment won’t change the supply & demand for quality talent in our industry. Be patient–our industry will come roaring back, and as wind and solar always does, it will come back even stronger.
I will continue to monitor the employment market in clean energy and report more industry data next month. If you’d like to have a discussion about the effects of the pandemic on your hiring strategy, please reply to this email to set up a meeting with me. If you are currently exploring a new job in your renewable energy career, please have a look at our careers portal.