Posts tagged green hiring

Smart Grid To Provides Jobs of the Future

America’s Smart Grid is set to change our lives and the lives of our children. Today’s energy grid is ‘dumb’ – it essentially has remained stagnant for the past hundred years.  It doesn’t adapt to the needs of homeowners and businesses based on their demand for energy; it simply pumps out a standardized amount of electricity, much of it going to waste. Our current energy grid doesn’t make use of new eco-friendly technologies like solar and wind – it still relies on harmful and waste producing coal and oil.

The Federal Government has pumped billions of dollars into the new Smart Grid to turn things around on a number of levels.  The grid will be intelligent for one: fluctuating the amount of energy sent to various corners of the country based on the current demand while also integrating new sources of energy from solar and wind power.  This new system of energy distribution will not only conserve valuable electricity, but also will save our country billions of dollars in wasted energy costs over the next ten years.

There’s another huge benefit to the smart grid as well – green jobs.  The New York Times recently published an interesting article that  details the Grid’s predicted job producing effect, as well as how a portion of the federal stimulus money is going towards training a new generation of workers who are proficient in utilizing the Smart Grid.

From the New York Times:  “The Energy Department estimated that some 30,000 workers would be trained because of the grants, which range from $87,000 for the Preparing Occupations for Lineman Education, or Pole, program at the Austin Community College District to $5 million to Florida Power & Light to develop its Gateway to Power Program, which aims to bring industry and academia together to develop power system and smart grid education.”

Just like how a previous generation of workers became invaluable due to their expertise in nuclear and chemical engineering, this new generation of smart grid technologists will be equally as important.  Today, one of the highest paying jobs in the country is a chemical engineer – within the next decade it will certainly be an engineer who specializes in some niche within the vast array of smart grid technologies.

There also will certainly be a plethora of small and medium sized businesses that evolve and revolve around the smart grid ecosystem; providing services and products that make the grid even more effective in each local environment.   For these businesses, adept grid technologists will be in high demand, creating a healthy and competitive market for talent in the sector.

Finding and hiring this valuable new generation of smart grid talent will be another challenge for the government and businesses alike.  Competition will be fierce for the brightest minds in the field, and companies and projects will succeed or fail based on their ability to secure the best.  Not only will higher pay grades, perks and benefits provide ammunition to hire talent, but also a company’s ability to use cutting edge technology to make hires.  Smart Grid organizations that utilize applicant tracking and hiring programs that are able to intelligently seek and attract workers in specific sectors will be able to gain an edge in the field.    These will be the individuals and companies that shape the future of energy.

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Win the Green Hiring Battle with Applicant Tracking Software

America recently tuned in to see President Obama’s first official oval office speech in reaction to the BP oil spill crisis.  Although Obama spoke specifically to ‘fighting the oil spill’ the speech changed directions  midway towards the administration’s continuing strategy to pull America away from its oil dependence.

The oil spill has furthered our country’s determination to get off of oil dependence and embrace clean energy solutions.  Clean energy not only will prove far safer for our future global environment, but also is projected to be a massive piece of future economies.  China has already begun to invest billions of dollars in clean energy, signifying that most economies of scale that want to stay relevant will need to fully immerse themselves in green technology.

Obama spoke directly to our country’s innovators and entrepreneurs to develop the ground breaking businesses and technology necessary to pace the country towards winning the battle against oil:  “Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash American innovation and seize control of our own destiny.”

Although there are sure to be some specific new innovators, startups and existing companies that lead the way towards our oil-independence through new forms of green technology, in reality most of the fight will likely occur in the trenches.  It will be the engineers, the researchers, the lab technicians and the software programmers that win the war against oil.  These are the individuals that will be going to work everyday with the goal of completing a task that furthers our path towards clean energy.  They will be the ones who will build new technologies from the ground up and test them to make sure they are safe enough for mass production.

These individual will be the ‘green talent’ that make all of the behind the scenes operations function.   The question is: how can the right companies, whether a miniscule startup or a multi-billion dollar conglomerate, land the right talent? It is absolutely  integral that the companies that are leading the way in our battle against oil dependence find the best people to carry out the fight.

Startups that are building their clean energy empires from the ground up will need brilliant talent from the get go.  Whether a startup sinks or swims is almost entirely decided by the people that are working there – the decisions made in hiring this initial talent are the most important decisions a startup will make throughout its lifetime.

Many larger companies that are transitioning towards clean energy production also need to have the right staff in place to make sure they are successful.   The human resources battlefield will be the first, and also perhaps most integral battle for big business.  Green talent will be a valuable commodity that these companies cannot overlook.

Luckily, there are specific ‘weAdd an Imageapons’ that companies of all sizes can equip themselves with to make sure they win the hiring battle.  Cutting edge applicant tracking software enables companies large and small to efficiently navigate the often turbulent waters of hiring talent.  While the competition can be fierce, employing a worthy applicant tracking solution will enable a company to find, track, target and land the perfect candidate.

One thing is clear, winning the war against oil dependence is going to need to be a unified effort.   The country and the companies that will be leading the way in clean energy  need to make sure that the right team is put together on all fronts.  Every individual green candidate will make a difference, and it all begins with finding the right candidates.

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The Next Decade in Green Hiring

We’re hearing it on the nightly news and reading it in the morning paper: green jobs will be the future of this economy. President Obama recently commented that the US cannot fall behind other countries like China and Germany, who are at the forefront of the green technology and clean energy revolution. China has committed a massive investment of $217 billion on clean energy tech over the next five years and Germany already spends far more than the US on renewable energy. Clearly, for the US to catch up and maintain its foothold as an economic superpower, clean energy sources like wind, solar and fuel cell technology will need to be put at the forefront of our domestic production machine.

The current Obama administration has made it a goal to do this – committing a starting cache of $80 billion towards green technology as part of the stimulus package. The other part of the equation that the green revolution will supposedly solve is the job problem. Clean energy tech will be the catalyst for a slough of green hiring – from small businesses to major corporations that have thrown their chips into the eco-friendly pile. The jobs will range from blue collar workers to specialized positions that go along with each niche green technology sector.

Lets assume that this is all  going to work: one way or another it makes sense that the US needs to start investing in the future, and it is clear that renewable energy sources are the way of the future. For those companies that are taking part in this new green economy – hiring becomes the number one most important aspect of competition. As a result of the stimulus and commitment toward the green sector, it will make sense that universities (and beyond) begin to train the next generation of engineers, scientists, technicians, managers, marketing specialists and all other high-level positions associated with green technology. Companies that want to get a hold of this new and specialized talent will need to stay on their toes to properly attract applicants.

The internet boom, and the rise of highly specialized programmers is a great example of this hiring ecosystem.  During the previous decade, as companies like Google and Facebook blew up, the demand for their specific services also rose, pushing the value of the programming talent. Not only did programming become more niche depending on what type of internet service you wanted to build (you need a PHP coder for one thing, a MySQL programmer for another, etc.) but the varying skill level of these programmers became more visible based on past work as well. A similar hiring ecosystem seems to be in its nascent phase with clean energy tech.

As clean energy tech gains steam, specific green skill sets will also become more valuable. Attracting this type of niche green tech talent will need to become a priority for companies both large and small, because it will determine what kind of competitive edge a business can forge through proprietary technologies. Just as in the web boom, companies can attract the best talent by distinguishing themselves through culture, pay grade, branding and an aggressive recruiting program. Many green companies will benefit from using cutting edge hiring software, which can allow them to easily track applicants, post on job boards and analyze statistics.

The future of green technology is here, that’s for sure – and the next generation of Googles (Chevrons to be more parallel) will live and die on finding the right talent.

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