Utilities Face Challenges in Recruiting and Retaining Skilled Tech Talent
The energy and utility sector is facing the same difficulties in attracting talent as other industries. And in some ways, this industry may be even more challenged because it relies on specialized workers to fill technical roles. As pointed out in a recent report from Deloitte, “Advances in smart grid, distributed generation, microgrids and energy storage are revolutionizing the energy business, which necessitates a new talent profile. Utilities need electrical engineers with an understanding of power and emerging technologies; technologists who are knowledgeable in software-based programming; and candidates who can adapt to change.”
Utilities are fighting multiple factors in the struggle to attract new hires. The industry must work to shrug off its perception of being static and old fashioned, while finding itself competing with startups, government agencies and well-established companies that may be perceived as better places to work. “With the war for top talent heating up, utilities may need to embrace updated AI-driven technology to turbo-charge the hiring solutions needed to compete," Deloitte reported.
Improved Recruiting Efforts Can Make a Difference in Hiring Top Talent
Though many industries are facing the same challenges, Deloitte recommends some adjustments utilities can make to their recruiting methods. “Using a creative lens to approach some of the biggest real and perceived gaps can help give utilities an advantage on the talent battlefield,” the report said.
Companies in this sector should consider rebranding to adjust the perception of the industry, refocusing on talent development and transforming the workplace to enable better development, sharing and execution of innovative ideas.
“Workplace transformation is a valuable tool for increasing productivity and attracting and retaining the new talent profiles,” the report notes. “To accommodate flexibility and move away from cubes, physical office spaces should be adaptable, digital, and offer shared working areas.”
Automation and AI Can Help with Recruiting and Hiring
In a recent online post, Natalie Runyon, Director of Enterprise Content and Talent, Culture and Inclusion Strategist in Market Insights for the Thomson Reuters Institute describes how artificial intelligence can help employers with talent recruiting.
“While technology has been used in the hiring process to produce efficiencies for about the last two decades, even these antiquated solutions are underperforming in the uber competitive war for talent. Many companies, therefore, need to update their technology to compete and drive efficiency especially as the war for top talent continues,” Runyon writes.
In particular, she highlights the possibilities for AI to be used to attract and screen candidates. Innovative companies, Runyon writes, “are using updated AI to ask potential employees to upload a resume or bio, then allowing the AI to match the bio with open roles.”
AI can also be employed to save time on scanning resumes. The technology can identify people based on the skills required for open positions, greatly reducing the amount of time required to meet a company’s hiring needs.