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58% of HR managers think that specialist talent is urgently needed to help firms navigate the new energy landscape according to new research across Germany, Austria and Switzerland carried out by energy consultants Baringa Partners and HR advisory firm EnergyRelations. The research identified that energy and utility companies across the region are facing a serious skills shortage.
Survey participants highlighted the sector’s key challenges as being the radical nuclear phase-out recently initiated in Germany, the transition to renewable energy, the growing importance of e-mobility and energy efficiency as well as the numerous smart grid roll-out programmes. As a result, the human resources managers who took part in the research suggested that over the next two to three years there will be few opportunities for existing senior managers and apprentices but that they will instead be on the look-out for specialist talent.
However, while recognising that there will be intense competition for suitably qualified employees, many companies have no strategies in place to address the issue. As Maik Neubauer, Partner for Baringa Partners explains: “An amazing 69% of the companies surveyed have not yet aligned their HR planning and strategic development with the new requirements of the energy market. This is a cause for concern, especially if the business risks posed by not being able to recruit the right people at the right time are being underestimated.”
Outsourcing was another area touched on by the survey. Within HR departments almost 40% of HR managers in the firms interviewed for the study have already outsourced areas of their operations, or are planning to do so in the near future.
Talking about the survey, Siegfried Handt, Managing Director of EnergyRelations, said: “the study is the first to examine the implications of the energy transition for HR managers within the sector. It is hoped that the results will assist HR departments to identify the determining factors for sustainable HR management over the coming years. By digesting the findings we hope HR managers will be able to play a more strategic role in their organisations and help protect their companies from the heightened risk brought about by the new energy landscape and the ensuing war for talent.”