The cleantech boom

Posted on 08 July 2022

​The Clean Tech Boom has seen many companies scale aggressively, putting extreme pressure on businesses to hire the best and brightest minds quickly.

Each month that goes by without finding the “right” candidate is a month of potentially lost sales or lost time on engineering development.

After start-ups reach 10-30 people, attracting, interviewing and hiring niche talent becomes a very time-consuming task. Partnering with a recruitment firm that has consultants specialising in ‘Clean Tech Recruitment’ can become very advantageous and offer significant ROI, as well as removing some of the most common recruiting Myths:

Myth 1: Recruiters are ineffective and don’t know what you actually do.

Typically, these types of comments come from people who have worked with ‘generalist recruiters’ and do not specialise in the cleantech sector. Without expertise, knowledge, contacts and experience in the industry, a recruiter will fail to convey your business's opportunity and attract the best talent.

Within technology, most generalist recruiters will have a basic understanding. But to see true results, in cleantech, they must have a deep understanding of the current technology, transferrable skills and market drivers shaping the future.

Just as you would not want to price your house to sell incorrectly, recruiters can help your positioning, salary benchmarking, and EVP to ensure the best outcome and avoid any false starts with the search. A poor advertising campaign, misselling the opportunity or leaving it open for too long can tarnish a company’s reputation, as people will start to think there’s a reason why no one is taking it.

The relationship between an emerging growth company and a specialised recruiting firm is a partnership, working as an extension of your business. By accurately and persuasively reflecting the value and culture of your company, a recruiter with strong industry knowledge will increase the odds of success.

Myth 2: Anyone can troll LinkedIn and find talent; I don’t need a recruiter.

73% of today’s candidates are passive job seekers, meaning the quality of your talent pools and LinkedIn network will be crucial to the success of your hiring. A recruiter specialising in cleantech will be building talent pools and communities of ‘AWESOME’ candidates within cleantech every single day to understand what could potentially interest them and why.

The alternative to hiring a recruiter, of course, is trolling LinkedIn yourself. This comes with its challenges and unfortunately, due to confidentiality concerns, most people who are not actively looking for a new job generally will not respond to a direct inquiry from a company representative.

On the other hand, if candidates respond to your posting, they are likely responding to a lot of postings. This can cause bidding wars, difficulty managing processes and counter offers and in short, a lot of hassle and wasted effort. External recruiters can help you prevent this from happening and increase your acceptance and retention ratio.

Myth 3: Recruiters poach your best people

Most recruiters operate from the “path of least resistance” mindset. If you are seeing a pattern of recruiters poaching from you, it’s likely because they know there is some level of unrest in your company and are betting that employees there are potentially motivated to make a change.

This experience also can come from working with big volumes or multi-site who are not talking to one another and make approaches accidentally. Likewise, smaller recruiting firms can be so desperate to fill jobs and get paid that they blur the lines of ethics and steal people away.

Working with any recruiter is about building an honest and ethical partnership. A great recruiter is more interested in the bigger picture and will include an anti-poaching clause in its own contracts. If it isn’t there already, insist on it!

If you’re happy working with your recruiter, make sure it knows, to help reduce this temptation. If you are suffering from poaching at your company, then you likely have a larger systemic problem of employee engagement and retention. A solid recruiting firm with a strong reputation can help get you back on track.

 Myth 4: You can attract candidates with a cool brand

Good branding can attract and retain employee-only up to a point and can play well with a younger workforce. However, emerging technologies must compete for talent against well-established companies with strong recruiting budgets and resources.

Once businesses reach a certain size, leveraging your brand to attract talent becomes more difficult, especially for executive and leadership positions. At this stage, your company’s operations, technology and compensation package will encourage them to come on board. A quality recruiter will be your partner in understanding and articulating these key elements to bring your opportunity to life, and ultimately secure the brightest minds in clean tech for you.

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