Top Six Hiring Trends in the Smart Grid
To ensure we continue to be well-positioned to council our clients on best practices for Smart Grid hiring, we recently partnered with Zpryme's Smart Grid Insights on a research study to validate our "hunches" about developing trends in this market sector. We reached out to the top technology vendors and utilities in the industry to understand the challenges they are facing and the solutions they have identified for meeting the unique human capital requirements associated with the Smart Grid.
Leveraging feedback from 184 of these executives (all responsible for hiring candidates for Smart Grid roles in the U.S.), we were able to identify six topline developments in the areas of compensation, hiring activity, recruitment efforts and retention challenges:
- Average Compensation Exceeding Industry Averages for Engineering and Engineering Management Roles in the Smart Grid Sector*: Average compensation for experienced engineers in Smart Grid roles outpaces the industry average by 8%. Senior level engineers employed in the Smart Grid sector earn 4% more and engineering managers take home an average of 20% more than their counterparts in other industries.
- Hiring Activity Increasing More Rapidly Among Mid-Sized Smart Grid Players: Companies with 501-1000 employees hired 35% more Smart Grid candidates in 2010 than in 2011. Hiring in the 1000+ employee sector declined, largely due to extensive merger and acquisition activity. Overall, hiring increased by 2%.
- Starting Salaries for Smart Grid Roles on the Rise: 65% of respondents indicated that starting salaries are on the rise for experienced hires. 59% reported increases for new hires (those with no previous work experience outside internships).
- Recruitment of Experienced Hires is Becoming More Challenging: 45% of hiring executives stated that it is taking longer to identify and recruit experienced hires. 25% reported the same challenge for new hires.
- Retention of Smart Grid Employees Becoming Problematic: While only 24% of respondents said that retention has declined over the past five years, 72% indicated that retention of Smart Grid employees is a problem on some level. Rising salaries and the increased level of difficulty associated with recruiting experienced candidates are the most likely factors contributing to respondents’ assessment of retention as a problem.
- Recruiters Playing an Integral Role in Identifying New Hires for the Grid: Recruiters were named the top source for helping Hiring Managers identify new hires for Smart Grid roles and one of the top three sources for experienced hires.
*Based on comparative national average data for electrical engineers from Salary.com
Download a FREE INFOGRAPHIC depicting these and other trends here.
These findings are only the tip of the iceberg. In the coming weeks, we will be taking a deep dive into the statistics we collected to identify additional trends associated with specific Smart Grid verticals. We will also be segmenting the data by company size and employee type to glean statistically significant trends at a more micro level. You can look forward to receiving additional updates in the very near future.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us directly at 561-200-3428 with any questions!