Five talent acquisition strategies for the hydrogen sector

By Josh Smith

Over the past year, the team here at Gibson Watts have been developing relationships and growing knowledge in the fast-growing growing hydrogen market.

We have been placing candidates into a variety of roles including positions like fuel cell specialists, R&D heads and electrolyser engineers. There are some truly exciting businesses and teams appearing around the world and demand for skills in this industry is growing at a rapid rate.

As more and more investment is funnelled toward hydrogen, demand for skilled hydrogen experts will only increase. Having a strong recruitment strategy and talent acquisition strategy is hugely important. Having been recruiting in the industry for a while now, the team have some solid talent aquisition strategies for attracting and retaining the best talent in the hydrogen sector.

Here are some top tips for attracting and retaining the best people in the hydrogen sector.

1. Speed

The moment we engage with an applicant and mention an opportunity, we have kicked off what we call an ‘applicant journey’. Speed of response and speed of interview process is key. If a process is long and drawn out, lasting weeks and weeks, this creates a negative impression and turns applicants off. On the flip side, a speedy three stage process (maximum) with an offer if appropriate within three weeks of the start of an applicant journey is best practise. Our best clients are booking in interviews less than 24 hours after receiving a CV.

2. Pragmatism

Our best clients are building teams made up of many working parts. They do not have very specific needs but are more open to a variety of skills and experience that can help shape a team. These businesses are not defining an organisation or team structure too early, they are letting the team take shape based on the talent available. Sure, as a team grows, the specific needs narrow, but being too prescriptive in the early stages can be detrimental to the growth of the team.

3. Diversity

We expect our clients to want a diverse workforce and we are observing ‘diversity attracting diversity’. Demand diverse shortlists, speed up diverse applicant responses and utilise internal employees for referrals.

4. Global Flexibility

Gibson Watts offer global mobility and PEO services (you don’t need an entity in a country to start hiring through us). Some of the teams we are recruiting for have gone completely mobile – ‘we hire based on talent and skills, not location’. Opening your talent pool to the globe means you are attracting and onboarding higher quality, diverse, relevant talent. In a world of ‘Teams Meetings’ and ‘Zoom calls’ does it matter if someone is dialling in from Edinburgh, Sydney, Rio or your office on The Strand?

5. Outstanding benefits and pay

Specialists in hydrogen are becoming very aware of their worth in the market, offering outstanding pay and benefits is a basic requirement. Offer applicants what they are worth in the market or risk losing them to your competitors. Offer applicants true working flexibility, strong holiday allowances and tailored benefits, and you win. Offer a 9-5, minimum holidays and an off the shelf basic benefits package and you will struggle. This is fact.

If you would like any help in shaping a recruitment process or talent acquisition strategy, some insight into building teams in hydrogen or would like us to grow your hydrogen team, please drop me a message.

Written by Josh Smith

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