Here is something I did not know. It has been as difficult for renewable energy companies to find amazing talent, as it has been for professionals to find a job in the renewable energy industry.
Last week, I had an enlightening conversation with Karen Biscoe of Green Search Partner about her experience recruiting in the renewable energy industry in New England. Karen is the first recruiter I’ve ever spoken with and she has an amazing perspective on the industry because she has an inside view of companies that are growing rapidly and looking for talent. She knows what companies are struggling with, why they’re hiring, what skills they are looking for, what mistakes rapidly growing companies tend to make and what they’re good at. The insights she has on a company’s hiring process also puts her in the perfect position to advise professionals looking to get into the industry. She knows what technologies are hot, skills are required and what makes candidates stand out.
If you’re a company that would like to speak with Karen about recruiting, or a professional looking for a new challenge, you can reach her at 781 523 1906 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the highlights from our conversation
- When you meet someone you really like, act quickly. The job market is picking up and talent doesn’t wait.
- Just because companies are not posting jobs, doesn’t mean they’re not hiring. Some don’t want to deal with hundreds of resumes.
- The balance of technology knowledge and job specific skills mix will largely depend on the company in question and what stage they are in. There is not rule.
Here is what we talked about
- For trends, who are you seeing that is hiring? What industries in New England are picking up?
- When companies come to you, why do they usually come to you and what in their stage of their business are they in?
- A – When a company lands a new client and they need to build engineering or operational talent.
- B – When someone within a company moves on and creates a gap
- C – Early stage companies come to me when they need to scale up, and they have very specific needs for a background and set of skills that is hard to find.
- D- Existing companies will come to me when they’ve hit a wall and they can’t get over it and its mission critical
- You mentioned growing companies tend to look for a specific skill set. Do you notice the trends around hiring are around a specific skill set (sales, engineering, etc), technology (solar, wind, biomass, etc) or a combination of both?
- Do you tend to find that having a specific skill set, then learning a technology, its more common for professionals on the business side, or technology side?
Shifting focus and advice for companies that are growing.
- When you a company that is growing extremely quickly, what do you find that they tend to do really well, and what do they struggle with?
- They tend to not be as good at identifying the right candidates other then someone who fits the job description. They may not know how to talk about short term and long terms goals for the company. Consistent messaging through the organization during the hiring process is key.
- With an early stage company, often they want to make decisions by committee. This is difficult, time consuming and can create internal conflicts. Everyone wants to find the perfect person, but everyone has different opinions. I’d suggest to a company to identify one or two people that are the final decision makers.
- What do they tend to do really well?
- They are very good at crafting a job description that will attract a lot of people
- What do you notice tend to be the consequences of not having a good hiring process specifically when companies are growing? The reason I ask is that I feel most companies will feel that they can do it themselves and might wonder why they would work with a search consultant.
- You mentioned something two questions ago that I wanted to get more deeply into. You said to companies, “don’t be afraid of the candidates that ask the tough questions”. Is this really something that companies really are afraid of?
Switching gears to professionals that are looking to get into the industry
- When you start searching, how do you go about looking for professionals? What do you tend to find the value is in linkedin vs resumes? What’s the best way for people to display their credentials? What is your mix of tools and what makes people standout?
- I usually find people through professional referral.
- Often times it’s active head hunting, I go through my talent network.
- Linkedin is a great tool. I tend to use it for due diligence.
- Most recruiters will use their own database and their existing network but Linkedin and facebook are becoming my two favorite tools for finding unfound talent.
- Lets talk about resumes for a second. I’m not a resume junkie, I’ve rather have a conversation with someone, but the resume will always be a one dimension of your life’s work. The question is how do you fit it on one page. Personally, I recommend two pages and if you don’t you’re going to compromise your experience.
- Have you noticed a move towards project evaluations or trial periods, in place of simply resumes?
- It sounds like you’re go-to tools are existing relationships that you have and the backups and linkedin/facebook while the resume is the standard way people are screened but it doesn’t sell them. What are you top 3 pieces of advice for professionals looking to get into the industry?
- For Linkedin advice. What are the signals to a recruiter that someone is looking for a job?
If you’re a company looking for talent or a professionals looking to get into the industry, here is Karen’s contact information.
- 781 523 1906