Top Recruiting Trends in the Energy Sector

Joseph Stubblebine
Posted by in Utilities

As utility companies attempt to walk the line between cost-effective processes and the best possible management of limited resources, recruiting trends in the energy sector have created a demand for both full-time and temporary employees with special skill sets. Hiring managers are looking for specific technical skills, but soft skills also play an important role in determining whether applicants land certain jobs.


Managing resources that aren't always in line with customer demand requires ever-increasing innovation. Employees with in-depth technical skills and the ability to put creative brainstorming into practical action are in high demand with employers. The need for innovation over traditional technology drives recruiting trends toward individuals with a technical degree and the ability to grasp a broad range of energy sector processes. Although there's still a place for specialists, many companies are looking for broadly qualified tech candidates who can fill numerous shoes.


Tech employees aren’t the only applicants that interest energy employers. Recruiting trends indicate that utility companies are in need of leaders with management or project leadership experience. Energy companies are taking an increasingly team-based approach to creating solutions and dealing with complex challenges. Project managers with smart grid experience and leaders who demonstrate the ability to work within continuous improvement methodologies like lean or Six Sigma are likely to find work in a variety of niches. Recruiting trends are also moving to a global scope, especially at leadership levels. Companies want utilities professionals who can cross cultural, language, and political barriers to effect positive change within the energy field.


Recruiting trends across many industries are leaning heavily on temporary employees, and the energy field is not immune. Approximately 12 percent of all workers fall outside the definition for full-time, traditional employment. The numbers are made up of temp staff, contractors, freelancers, and consultants. In some cases, temp hiring indicates a lack of commitment on the part of energy companies—the economy hasn't returned to full vitality, and businesses don't want to be left in the lurch if numbers take a downward turn in the near future. In the utility industry, contract and freelance labor is also a viable solution to project management. A company building a pipeline or wind farm doesn't need hundreds of permanent construction employees—it's more efficient to contract out such work. The good news for utility workers is that temp employment of all levels and types can sometimes be an easier path to full-time employment than the traditional route of the interview process.


As public demands for cleaner, faster, and cheaper energy grow, utility companies are going to have to work smarter. Industry leaders are already working on more efficient and environmentally friendly processes, which are leading to recruiting trends in project management, leadership, technical positions, and temporary employment.


(Photo courtesy of xedos4 /


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