Recruitment and Training: Green Energy Transition Challenges

May 29, 2024 | Read: 11 minutes

The recruitment and training of renewable energy engineers are the two greatest challenges facing field service companies in the UK.

There’s a huge amount of work to be done in both areas if the country is to reach its goal of net zero emissions by 2050…

While the demand for energy production and use on the whole has decreased (due to rising costs and challenges with energy supplies, affected by various world events), there continues to be an increased demand for cleaner, fossil-fuel-free sources of energy….

Of course, that means adapting to use new technology, which is only getting more advanced.

This means your engineers will need to adapt and learn new skills. That includes installing and maintaining new types of hardware, such as heat pumps, solar panels, inverters, and more.

It’s only through these new technologies that the nation can decarbonise in both residential and commercial spaces. 

Of course, transitioning will take time, and engineers will need to know how to take care of both traditional and new systems alike. But with a skills shortage already impacting the industry, it’s understandable that businesses are concerned with how they can cope.

What do you think? Is your field service business prepared to handle the necessary recruitment and training hurdles that come with reducing the world’s carbon emissions? 

Below, we’ll explore what you can do to help your team and transform your business. 

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Two Challenges Presented by the Clean Energy Transition

Making the transition to a clean energy future brings a unique set of challenges for maintenance companies.

Here are some of the key hurdles to consider:

1. Skills Gap

While your staff and teams are most likely incredible in their roles, the current pool of technicians and engineers may not have the necessary experience or training to work with new clean energy technologies.  

Learning new skills to remain competitive is touted as the most important way workers can future-proof themselves against workforce disruptions, such as automation; surveys show nearly 40% of workers fear their jobs will become obsolete in the next five years.


Don’t forget that teaching employees new skills can come with hurdles. 

Unless you’re a hands-on business owner teaching the skills yourself, you’ll have to spend money and time on additional training or certifications. 

Unfortunately, you also run the risk of employees taking their newfound skills to the competition.

But if you aren’t focused on upskilling your team, it may cause you to lose out on business opportunities (like larger commercial maintenance contracts) that the competition is prepared to handle. 

2. Increased Demand

As time goes on, the need and desire for clean energy solutions will continue to grow. Because of that, field service companies will need to scale both the quantity and quality of their workforce, to ensure they can meet demand. 

In a recent Clean Energy Market Report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), they stated:

On the back of COVID-19 stimulus packages, there has been a significant acceleration in clean energy deployment since 2019. From 2019 to 2023, clean energy growth outpaced growth in fossil fuels by a ratio of two to one.

They went on to discuss how the implementation of solar PV, wind or nuclear power, electric cars, and heat pumps – from 2019 to 2023 avoids annual fossil fuel energy demand of around 25 EJ (which is almost equivalent to the combined total energy demand of Japan and Korea from all sources last year!)

The future is green and without the proper employee training programs and a system to manage jobs, you’ll be unable to meet the high demands for clean energy, negatively impacting your company. 

Recruitment: How to Build a Successful Maintenance Team

Now you might be wondering – how do I find and assemble the all-star maintenance team I need to help my business go above and beyond in the race for a sustainable future? 

Building a successful service team starts with the recruitment process. 

Ask yourself – why would the most qualified or experienced clean energy engineer want to be on my team? 

If you can’t come up with at least a few answers to that question (and strong reasons to back them up), you may have a hard time recruiting the best technicians for the company you envision. 

If you want to recruit technical engineers with the most up-to-date skill set, you’ll need to showcase your company as one of the top places for them to seek employment. 

There are many ways to stand out from the crowd, think about those small differences that make your business unique compared to others. 

You may offer the best salary in town (which is a great starting point), but that usually isn’t enough to keep people around if the work environment is poor.

Use the following tips to recruit the best possible candidates for your company: 

Target the Right Candidates

Now more than ever, people want to make sure the company they’re working for is operating with ethical practices in mind. 

So if you want to target engineers who are interested in building a sustainable future, you need to make sure the job listings and company website reflect that. 

Instead of copying and pasting the typical job advertisement you’ve been using for years into LinkedIn, create a new one and highlight how and why this role is focused on making a positive environmental impact. 

With every blooming industry, you’ll see all sorts of businesses try and secure their corner of the market. If you’re having trouble targeting candidates, consider using an agency, like the Green Recruitment Company.

Using a third-party company to help with hiring can take a lot of stress off your admin team and be an effective way to find any specific employees you’re looking for. 

Offering Advancement Opportunities

Before signing an employment contract, workers like to know that when they join the company, they’ll have the opportunity to grow as it does. 

Keep in mind that growth may look a little different for everyone on your team. But as a business owner or hiring manager, it’s your responsibility to hear them out and not just figure out how they benefit your business, but what benefits your business can offer them. 

If you can consistently find ways to help an engineer grow professionally and personally, not only will it help their career but it will pay off for your business in the long term and the way it’s perceived by other potential candidates going forward. 

Partner with Local Training Programs

If you’re having a hard time bringing in qualified candidates through job boards, or don’t have the right sustainable energy solutions training program, you may want to consider local education partners. 

Start to build professional relationships with universities, trade schools, or third-party training programs by reaching out and telling them about your company and its goals. 

Most schools and programs are always working to help place their students in jobs after graduation. If you can find where your company fits into the process, it will help you get access to a consistent pipeline of potential candidates. 

This is a great way to keep your team filled with motivated individuals who want to start or transition their careers to the clean energy sector. 

Hiring: Selecting Engineers with Relevant Experience

Now that you’ve recruited some of the local talent, how do you select the best people for the role? 

Outside of the standard questions, are you prepared to talk about the following topics with candidates?

Technical Expertise and Skillset

Glancing at someone’s resume is always a valid way to get information on where they’ve worked previously and the skills required for those roles. 

But if you don’t ask the right questions and read between the lines, you may end up hiring a person who’s underqualified for a renewable energy engineering job. 

There’s a lot of technical expertise required when it comes to working with technology like solar panels or wind turbines, so it should be apparent if a candidate isn’t familiar when discussing renewable energy topics. 

For example, you can ask a question like this: “What would the general procedure look like for repairing a heat pump that stopped working due to an electrical problem?” 

Communication and Customer Service

When you manage a maintenance business, you know that your technicians in the field are also your best customer service asset. 

You can have the smartest and most technical engineer in the world on your team. But if clients aren’t comfortable having them in their homes or offices, it won’t matter how good of a technician they are. 

If they can’t work with customers well, one bad employee can do a lot of damage to a company’s reputation and revenue (even if it’s a mistake). Word of mouth travels fast and customers are more likely to leave a review about a negative experience. 

When interviewing or getting ready to make a decision, don’t forget to discuss their customer service experience and how they handled any common customer issues in the past. 

For example, try asking a potential hire about a time they had to deal with an angry customer and what the outcome of the situation was. 

Problem-Solving and Continuous Learning

New types of low-carbon technologies mean new types of breakdowns to troubleshoot and solve. This becomes even harder to do successfully if you’re racing against a guaranteed response time or service level agreement. 

Everyone thinks about and handles problems differently, so don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to evaluating problem-solving skills,

Asking an out-of-the-ordinary question can give insight into how their brain starts processing when presented with a challenge, even if it’s not directly correlated to the role. 

Consider asking a thought-provoking question like: Can you share a situation where you had to think on your feet and come up with a creative solution to a newly presented problem?

How Job Management Software Can Help Build a
Sustainable Future

Digital tools like job management and renewable energy software can help you streamline operations when it comes to recruiting, training, and managing engineers for your field service business. 

The best green energy software is loaded with useful features and perks like service contract monitoring, inventory management, and so much more to help your business make the largest impact possible. 

Mobile Workforce Management

With technicians in the field, it’s vital to have a system in place that manages your mobile workforce. 

Having clear channels of communication, real-time vehicle tracking, and the ability to manage renewable energy assets from anywhere will give you and your team in the field full visibility and insight into every job. 

The more prepared and synchronised everyone in the company is, the better they’ll be able to function throughout the workday. Which leads to more renewable energy system uptime and an overall healthier environment. 

Optimised Scheduling Processes

Whether it’s a quick visit for planned preventive maintenance or a site audit for the start of a large project – organizing the service schedule can be overwhelming. 

On top of that, considering the remote locations of most renewable energy technology, finding a service appointment time that works for everyone can be tricky if you already have a fully booked calendar. 

But when you use dynamic scheduling software, you gain access to tools like mass scheduling, shift management, and automated routing that make scheduling simple.

You can also access tools like customer self-service portals. They give clients the opportunity to book a service, pay invoices, or leave reviews at their convenience!

Using Commusoft to Streamline Renewable Energy Management

If you think you’re ready for field service management software, Commusoft is the solution to get your business operating at maximum efficiency.

As you expand your team with recruitment and training efforts, Commusoft will be able to support how you the manage your team to help them work more efficientky.

Improving every aspect of your company, including recruiting and training, will take time, but as you expand your team and grow your client base, you’ll see the benefits, including grater customer loyalty and increase revenue! 

All of that sounds pretty great, right?

Click the banner below if you’re ready to learn more or get started! 

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