ESG values a deciding factor for job candidates

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues are a huge draw for job candidates, many of whom are taking advantage of transferable skill sets and their ability to move around the world to work for companies they morally agree with.

Paul Lewis, chief customer officer at job listing site Adzuna, told HR magazine: “Jobseekers are in the driving seat of today’s labour market and demanding more from employers. 

“For many, sustainability credentials are essential requirements when choosing a company to work for.”

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This trend is particularly pronounced in the energy sector.

Four in five (80%) workers in the sector now say that ESG issues are a factor in whether they will remain in or resign from an organisation, demonstrating the increasing hold ideals have over the workforce.

According to STEM recruiter Airswift’s Global Energy Talent Index 2022, environmental concerns are having immediate effects on the industry, as a highly mobile workforce equipped with largely transferable skills votes with its feet.

More than half (54%) of those working in oil and gas who were open to switching sectors said they would be most interested in moving to the renewable energy sector.

In comparison, only around a third (37%) of those considering a move from renewables said they would move to oil and gas.

Albert Kahlow, global head of sustainability at Airswift, told HR magazine: “There is no doubt that ESG is a growing concern for those working across the energy industry, and oil and gas professionals are no exception.

“Getting this right is crucial to successful hiring and retention strategies”

Tom Hopkinson, chief executive at renewable energy recruitment firm Taylor Hopkinson, added that the UK workforce is facing severe pressure from the large numbers of skilled workers leaving the workforce.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “All things combined, there’s a challenge – and that challenge becomes more acute in the next three to five years.

“The advantage that renewable energy has is that it ticks the box on ‘purpose’, which I think is important to a lot of people these days.”

Ryan Penniston, head of UK talent acquisition at wind energy firm Ørsted, told HR magazine that employees feel that working with renewables will allow them to make a real contribution towards fighting climate change.

He said: “We do get a lot of candidates who are extremely keen to work in the renewable energy sector because they see it as a chance to make a difference, a theme that comes up again and again.”

Migration of oil and gas workers into areas like renewables isn’t the only example of new technologies shaking up worker patterns added Lewis. 

Candidates that would traditionally stay in finance, for example, are increasingly moving into areas like fintech and cryptocurrency.

“The overriding theme is that workers are moving away from dinosaur industries and into dynamic, fast growth sectors that prioritise culture, values, and sustainability – as well as often offering tantalising pay cheques.”