By Eghe Herrmann
The Resilient Virginia 2021 Conference: From Recovery to Resilience, which included the 8th Annual Green Jobs Forum and Career Fair, took place from August 25 – 27. The second panel of the Green Jobs Forum, held on August 26, was moderated by Catherine McLean, founder and CEO at Dylan Green.The second panel of the Green Jobs Forum was moderated by Catherine McLean, founder and CEO at Dylan Green.
Dylan Green specializes in clean, renewable energy, emphasizing business development, project management, policy and marketing, and has developed a podcast called the Green Light. She opened the session with a quick introduction of the speakers and their current positions.
Natalie Lavery – Recruiter, Climate People
Victoria Waye – Executive head-hunter Energeia Works
Catherine McLean – Founder and CEO of Dylan Green
Natalie Lavery is responsible for marketing at Climate People, a sustainable, equitable and inclusive recruitment firm that places people in tech companies aiming to decarbonize the economy. She is a passionate storyteller and is excited about helping clients and candidates navigate the clean energy and renewable energy sector.
Victoria Waye is affiliated with Energeia Works, an executive employment firm focused on all facets of renewable energy, including wind, electric vehicles, solar, hydropower and biofuels. She has been with the company for 5 years and is active in areas of accounts management, working closely with recruiters.
Catherine Mclean, the moderator for the event is the Founder and CEO of Dylan Green.
Speakers were asked to describe their role as recruiters, as well provide insights on how to prepare for a job search in clean energy.
Nathalie predicted that there will be 25 million American jobs in the next 15 years in the growing renewable energy industry with good potential for varied roles, positions and skills. Her company makes efforts to speed up the recruiting process and emphasizes the importance of transparency and clear communication between candidates and recruiters.
Her advice to job seekers is to research the industry but also the specific position through newsletters, books and podcasts and use that information to emphasize those characteristics that make a candidate suitable for the position.
She says that 70-80% of people get their jobs through networking. Nathalie recommends a well-developed LinkedIn profile as she uses the platform almost exclusively. She encourages incorporating relevant industry keywords into the headlines, helping recruiters to find candidates.
She concluded her presentation by saying highlighting areas with the most activity in the renewable energy sector: battery innovation, data tracking, solar energy and innovation in climate action.
Victoria finds that most openings in the green space are for people in project development, engineering, finance, asset management and software. She says people with skills or experience in these fields can transfer them to green industry. Therefore, identifying skills and how they can fit within a role is important.
She emphasized that recruiters need full information about candidates in order to properly present them to clients. Recruiters want candidates who are sincerely interested in the job and share common values with the company offering the position. “Candidates can expect recruiters to advocate for them while doing what’s best for both the client and the candidate,” she says.
A candidate’s LinkedIn profile should reflect their resume and keywords and including specific detail is important to catch the attention of potential employers. She also mentions the importance of being open to relocation. Asking for mentorship from those already active in the industry, could open also opportunities to candidates. Reaching out to at least 10 people per month who are working in areas of interest, and building a relationship for the future, is important, she says. Victoria loves to see candidates who volunteer in areas they are passionate about, as this shows initiative. Victoria pointed to utility-scale solar and energy storage development as the most ‘active’ areas in the green careers space.
Catherine McLean said that recruiters aim to understand the motivation of candidates: job location, the nature of the job or financial compensation. She also recruits in both a proactive and reactive way, matching candidates directly with available jobs as well as gathering information on well-qualified candidates for potential future positions.
She stressed the importance of ‘prepping’ for an interview. This is particularly important when working with a recruiter, as a bad interview reflects negatively on the recruiter and may discourage them from recommending future candidates. Catherine concluded with useful information for candidates: prepare a good resume that highlights important and relevant skills and achievements, but is short (2-3 pages); have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile that matches the resume and states motivations; prepare references; prepare examples using the (Situation, Task, Action, Result); and tell stories in a succinct way.
Leaders in Energy is grateful to our panelists and moderator for all the wonderful advice!
See the session recording here.
Eghe Herrmann worked for over 5 years as a Process Engineer, in the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria and later obtained a master’s degree in Chemical and Energy Engineering in Germany. She is currently a Project Coordinator, working jointly with partners in industry and academia to promote sustainable use of energy and mitigation of greenhouse-gases through Power–to-X technologies in the Energy, Chemical, and wastewater industry.