Energy Efficiency Talent Trends for 2015

What will be the emerging talent and hiring trends in the energy efficiency workplace for 2015? One major trend is that the demand for energy engineers, project developers and managers, sales managers and program directors is on the rise.

As an executive recruiter in the Energy Efficiency and Building Technologies space, I see several trends that have been increasing due to the growth advancement of the industry.  Therefore, those in positions of leadership and those with highly sought after technical skills will find themselves in a position of strength for 2015

From my perspective, these are the 5 talent acquisition and retention trends to watch in 2015:

    1. Increasing Mergers and Acquisitions:  With the increasing number of state and federal organization utilizing energy efficiency measures over decade long contracts, those smaller energy services firms who win these contracts are increasingly being sought after by larger ESCOs.  In addition, companies who are on the forefront of the latest technology are in the crosshairs for organizations who want to add energy efficiency to their portfolio. Most notably, look at the multibillion dollar acquisition of Nest by Google earlier in 2014.  These mergers and acquisitions will cause high-level talent to begin looking at new opportunities and will require firms to add to their teams due to growth.
    2. Big Data Employment Boom: The data economy needs dedicated people — 4.4 million of them by 2015 in the IT field alone, according to a Gartner Research analysis. In the US, a McKinsey & Company report projects a shortfall of between 140,000 and 190,000 big data professionals with deep analytical skills by 2018.  Building automation manufacturers and energy services firms are increasingly using advanced data analytics to leverage their value-add to the buildings they serve.  Those who have a deep understanding how Big Data can affect a building’s performance will have a strategic advance in 2015.
    3. Counteroffers on the Rise: With more job openings and career opportunities in 2014 than we’ve seen in the past 5 years, Hiring Managers and HR executives in the Energy Efficiency space are expressing concerns over losing top performers. As a result, many employers have increased their use of counteroffers. Counteroffers may come in the form of a salary increase, additional company benefits or a promotion, and is a last-ditch effort to retain top talent rather than lose them to a competitor or bear the expense of replacing them.
    4. Executive Leadership on the Market:  With a growing economy and industry expansion there will be a significant increase in leadership changes at the top of organizations in the Energy Efficiency industry.  With these changes companies take new directions, create new visions and not everyone will be on board.  As a result, we’ve seen a significant increase in high level executives looking for their next challenge.
    5. Growing Job Market: Recent studies from the Department of Energy suggest that energy efficiency investments produce jobs at a greater rate than any other sector analyzed in the study including trade and services, construction, renewables, manufacturing, and energy.  In addition, according to Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from energy efficient buildings is expected to grow from $307 billion in 2014 to nearly $623 billion in 2023. Popular positions on the rise are energy engineers, project developers and managers, sales managers and program directors.

Matthew Cohen serves as the Energy Management Practice Leader for DRI’s Energy Management sector comprised of Energy Management Software, Demand Response, Energy Services, Energy Efficiency, Building Automation, AMI & AMR Technologies, Energy Management Hardware and Systems Integration. To contact Matthew, 440-996-0860 or  

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