Renewables sector boosts pay to retain key staff

A shortage of talent in the renewable energy sector is inflating salaries as companies try to prevent defections to competitors, according to a new study by global management consultancy Hay […]

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By ELN reporter

A shortage of talent in the renewable energy sector is inflating salaries as companies try to prevent defections to competitors, according to a new study by global management consultancy Hay Group.

Hay Group carried out a flash survey of 25 human resources staff at 20 major businesses in the renewables sector, and found that in contrast to the rest of the UK market in general, they were pushing up pay in order to hold on to key talent,

Hay Group consultant Gavin Brown said: “Even during a very difficult economic period, growing sectors like renewables are defying the rest of the employment market by increasing pay as companies try to establish themselves as market leaders.”

In the renewable sector, where many firms also operate in other extremely lucrative energy market sectors, talented individuals can command a premium over comparable pay grades in other industries.

As a result of fierce competition for talent, renewables bosses fear an unsustainable salary inflation bubble, with one respondent saying: “Company budget constraints might not meet employee expectations in terms of compensation.”

However, despite the pressures felt by the industry, staff turnover is not unusually high, at just under 4% over the last 12 months. Staff involved in offshore projects, such as technicians and project managers, were most likely to leave.

When staff do leave, they don’t go far. Some 86% of employees head elsewhere in the industry while competitors attract a smaller proportion, with 14% going to a direct competitor.