Is the Summer Hiring Slowdown Over?

Since June of 2020, EnergeiaWorks has experienced a surge in the demand for services at a scale never before seen in company history. We doubled our staff to keep up with this demand. We were even off-the-charts busy when the solar industry was reeling from major supply chain and shipping disruptions caused by Auxin Solar and the circumvention case with the Commerce Department (now settled as of this month).  All of this uncertainty should have caused a pause on hiring, but it didn't — at least, not until this summer, when we experienced our first real slowdown in business development in three years. 

2023 has been a little different for industry hiring. In the spring, EnergeiaWorks saw some early signs of the job market slowing down. By June, the slump became more obvious from a metrics perspective. To be clear, there's no way our industry should be slowing down with hiring, as we have a talent shortage across renewable energy, most notably in solar and battery energy storage. The US has committed to nine more years of incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act which promises millions of new jobs.  But why are they nowhere to be found? I blame interconnection!

Berkeley National Labs released a report that states interconnection queues added 40% more projects in 2022 than 2021. PJM (the largest US grid operator) first proposed an interconnection application pause early last year, and was formally approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by year end. This decision led FERC to evaluate all of the independent grids and finally release a rule (Order No 2023) in early August which 'should' speed up the interconnection process.

Now that developers have clarity on connecting projects to the grid, this should ease the industry pause which can be seen upstream with the manufacturers and downstream into construction. Not surprising to me, this improvement directly led to an increased demand in our recruiting service. Historically, the renewable energy industry freezes on hiring under uncertain market conditions, and interconnection reform is no different.

In mid-August, almost as if we hit a switch, EnergeiaWorks began receiving our restored, normal flow of inbound business development inquiries. While some have their doubts about FERC, I think it has done enough to get back to business as usual. After all, hiring is the lifeblood of the industry! Want to learn more about interconnection? This year at RE+ in Las Vegas there are 7 conference sessions fully dedicated to the topic.

Meet EnergeiaWorks at RE+ in Las Vegas!

Speaking of RE+, EnergeiaWorks is gearing up to embark on its 13th year at Solar Power International (aka RE+) in Las Vegas. When I started EnergeiaWorks, I knew very quickly that I needed to attend SPI (in Dallas that year) if I wanted to make a name for myself. At the time I was a sole proprietor (I was afraid to call myself an entrepreneur) but I knew the in‑person meetings and conference education was invaluable in order to scale the business.

My conference mindset has not changed! I still speak with many solar professionals that I met back at the 2011 SPI Conference and some are still my customers. But what has changed is the size of our industry conferences and amount of professionals that work in our industry. I'm proud to say that I've helped the clean energy industry scale over the past 12+ years as EnergeiaWorks has helped over 250 organizations find top talent in North America.

Through the ups & downs (solar coaster), ITC/PTC uncertainty, and supply chain shortages/surpluses, EnergeiaWorks has been a mainstay in delivering the best human capital in renewable energy. If you're looking to hire top talent in manufacturing, project development, finance, construction, operations, or energy asset management professionals, reach out to us to schedule a meeting in Las Vegas during RE+! 

Receive a bonus for a referral to our new website

Refer a candidate to EnergeiaWorks and if they get hired, we’ll send you an EnergeiaWorks solar backpack with a $1,000 check. Visit our freshly redesigned website to submit!

Connect with Team EW today

If you are currently exploring a new job in your renewable energy career, we invite you to have a look at our careers portal. If you're looking to hire top talent in manufacturing, project development, finance, construction, operations, or energy asset management professionals, reach out to us today.

August 31, 2023 William V. Liuzza

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