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Powering The Energy Transition

The Crucial Role of Employer Branding

The Competition For Talent

In Australia’s non-stop renewable energy sector, there’s a competition that’s just as intense as the race for sustainable solutions. And that’s attracting and retaining talent.

Companies across Australia aren’t just competing to lead with the most innovative renewable tech; they’re also striving to be employers of choice for the best renewables talent. Why does it matter? Well, securing the right people means everything if you want to stay ahead in renewable energy and achieve the goals set by COP28.

This report dives into the heart of this competition. Far more than just analysis, it’s a guide for companies looking to step up their game in employer branding and talent attraction. Here, you’ll find insights and strategies on how to stand out in a crowded market and become the go-to choice for the best in renewables talent.

Australia’s Renewables Sector

The APAC region is leading the way in the global effort to become more sustainable. Australia is setting benchmarks with unique approaches to renewable policies and frameworks. The sector’s booming, with a host of exciting solar and wind energy projects.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) shared that Australia’s renewable energy capacity increased by 10% in 2020 alone, bringing the country closer to its target of 33,000 GWh of renewable electricity as part of its Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme.

Australia is investing in much more than the infrastructure needed to support renewable energy. In fact, it’s pioneering in technological advancements and introducing renewable energy solutions into existing set-ups.

This dynamic expansion in Australia is driven by several factors: forward-thinking governmental policies focused on green energy, increasing public awareness about environmental issues, and the urgent global need to address climate change.

As a result, the renewable energy market in Australia is experiencing healthy growth and increased competition. Companies are battling for pole position when it comes to innovation, market share, and, of course, the best talent.

Australia's renewable energy capacity increased by 10% in 2020 alone, bringing the country closer to its target of 33,000 GWh of renewable electricity as part of its Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme.

Australian Renewable Energy AgencyARENA

Employer Branding for Attracting and Retaining Talent

If you’re keen to attract and retain the very best renewables talent, one key component is employer branding.

Employer branding refers to a company’s reputation as an employer and its value proposition to employees (as opposed to its brand image as perceived by consumers). In an industry where innovation and skilled personnel are critical to success, establishing a strong employer brand can significantly enhance a company’s ability to attract the brightest minds passionate about contributing to the green energy revolution.

And let’s not forget that an attractive employer brand is also crucial for retaining talent, reducing turnover rates, and ensuring a motivated workforce that’s committed to achieving your company’s vision.
In short, effective employer branding encapsulates the ethos of your company, your commitment to sustainability, and your role in shaping a better future. It’s an indispensable tool in the battle for talent in the renewable energy sector.

Purpose of this Report

In this report, we’ll take a deep dive into the critical role that employer branding plays in the success of renewable energy companies operating in Australia.

By combining comprehensive analysis, illustrative case studies, and strategic recommendations, we hope to provide renewable energy firms with actionable insights on how to create and implement effective employer branding strategies.

We’ll examine the current landscape of the renewable energy sector in Australia, the significance of employer branding in attracting and retaining top talent, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Through this exploration, we aim to equip renewable energy companies, like yours, with the knowledge and tools required to manage the complexities of the market, enhance your appeal to potential employees, and secure a competitive edge when it comes to both sustainability and innovation.

And of course, if you’d like to discuss any of the subjects covered and the implications for your organisation, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our sector/market experts at Spencer Ogden.

we aim to equip renewable energy companies, like yours, with the knowledge and tools required to manage the complexities of the market, enhance your appeal to potential employees, and secure a competitive edge when it comes to both sustainability and innovation.

Understanding Employer Branding in the Renewable Energy Sector

What is Employer Branding?

Although covered briefly above, let’s start by looking at what employer branding actually is. It’s made up of various components and forms the basis of a company’s identity and reputation as an employer as viewed by both current and potential employees. It’s about representing the company as an attractive place to work and highlighting its values, culture, plus any opportunities for growth and development. Some key components of your employer brand are:


Employer Value Proposition (EVP): The core of employer branding, it defines what your company stands for, its culture,and what it offers to employees that distinguishes it from competitors. An EVP should resonate with the aspirations and values of your target talent pool.

Communication Strategy: Think about the most effective communication channels and the messages you’re going to portray that showcase your company’s EVP, culture, achievements, and opportunities. This includes career websites, social media, job fairs, and employee testimonials.

Employee Experience: Real life experiences of employees working in your company, including the work environment, leadership styles, development opportunities, and work-life balance. A positive employee experience will always reinforce the employer brand.

Brand Ambassadors: Encouraging current employees to share their positive experiences, both online and offline, plays an important role in authentic employer branding strategies. Remember, employees can be the most credible and persuasive advocates for your company.

Challenges and Opportunities for Renewable Energy Companies

Renewable energy companies in Australia face some unique challenges and opportunities in employer branding.
Challenges can include:


Skill Gaps: The rapid growth of the renewable energy sector has led to a significant skills gap, making it challenging to find talent with the right technical skills and knowledge. For instance, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) reported that the wind industry alone would need to train over 480,000 more people in GWO (Global Wind Organisation) standards by 2025 to keep up with installation forecasts across the globe.

Misconceptions about the Industry: Potential employees may have misconceptions about the renewable energy sector connected to job stability and career progression opportunities.

Competition from Established Sectors: Renewable energy companies often compete with well-established sectors (like oil and gas) for talent, which may offer higher salaries or more perceived prestige.

The Impact of Employer Branding on Business Success

Employer branding can have a big impact on business success – especially within renewables. Did you know that 75% of candidates consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job? And a strong employer brand can:

Attract Top Talent: By clearly articulating your mission, culture, and opportunities for growth/development, renewable energy firms can attract candidates who aren’t just skilled but who are also passionate about their role in sustainable energy solutions

Reduce Hiring Costs: A strong employer brand can make hiring quicker and easier, reducing the time and resource needed to find candidate. Research suggests this could equate to as much as a 50% reduction in the cost per hire.

Enhance Employee Retention: When employees’ values align with their company’s (and they feel engaged and valued) retention rates will improve. And in the competitive renewables sector, this is particularly important.

Drive Business Performance: Engaged and motivated employees are more productive and innovative. This will directly contribute to the company’s performance and help to achieve sustainability goals.

Importance of Employer Branding in Australia

The country’s renewable energy sector is expanding at an impressive speed. Australia’s renewable electricity generation is projected to reach 53,840.00M KWh in 2024. Plus, an annual growth rate of 2.67% is expected (CAGR 2024-2028). This sector growth means an increased demand for skilled professionals too.
The result? Employers are now in a race to both attract and retain skilled professionals, making employer branding an essential component of their HR strategy.

Australia’s Projected Renewable Electricity Generation


Australia's Projected Renewable Electricity Generation


Annual Growth Rate

Cultural and Demographic Factors Influencing Employer Brand

Cultural and demographic factors play a massive role in shaping employer brand perception in Australia. The workforce is incredibly diverse, and comprises various cultures, languages, and generational differences, each with distinct values and expectations from their employers. For example, this article from Standard, suggests that when it comes to different age groups:

Baby Boomers – are preparing for retirement and as such pension contributions, investments, and post-work health care benefits (i.e. dental plans) are priorities.

Generation X – concerned with family responsibilities and financial stresses, this group have dependents, meaning that insurance (critical illness, accident cover, etc.) is important. Also high on the list of priorities are things like paid sick days, well-being initiatives, and flexible working schedules.

Millennials – this group cares about work-from-home days, flexibility, and paid sick days. Interestingly, Millennials are less likely to know less about their workplace benefits than their older colleagues. And are a difficult age group to retain with their average tenure in any one role being 2 years and 9 months – much lower than their older counterparts.

Generation Z – According to the same article, Gen Z workers are a financially cautious group. They witnessed adult family members lose jobs during the pandemic and subsequent recession and as such are hard working and independent. The most attractive benefits for this group include virtual mental health counselling, financial counselling, loan payment aid and health and wellbeing support. They also care about progression and training opportunities.

When considering the other wide-ranging demographics, alongside age, there’s a potentially endless range of factors affecting what employees value and seek in an employer.

Top Tip: So how can you better understand what your employees expect from your brand? What will make them feel valued, loyal, and satisfied? Polls and surveys are a great place to start. They’re fantastic tools for understanding cultural and demographic distinctions.

Top Tip:
Consider regularly conducting employee engagement surveys and external brand perception polls to provide your renewable energy company with valuable insights into what different segments of the talent market value. These insights will then help to inform a targeted employer branding strategy that addresses the specific preferences and expectations of diverse talent pools within Australia.

Key Strategies for Building a Strong Employer Brand

A compelling Employer Value Proposition (EVP) forms the foundation of a strong employer brand. It will lay out what the company offers to its employees in return for their skills, capabilities, and experiences.

On top of this, a well-defined EVP will always align with the organisation’s mission, values, and culture, and promise a unique and attractive experience to potential and current employees. According to Gartner, organisations that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by just under 70% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%.

So, how do you develop a strong employer brand? Here are a few suggestions for how to get started:

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiatives
Nowadays, candidates (and particularly those in renewables) are increasingly looking for employers who demonstrate social responsibility and a commitment to sustainability. Integrating CSR initiatives into your employer brand can significantly make your organisation more appealing, especially in the renewable energy sector where sustainability is central to business operations.
Consider that a huge 93% of employees believe that companies must lead with purpose. One way to demonstrate this is through actively participating in social responsibility and sustainability initiatives. Think investments in green technology, community engagement projects, or working towards ambitious sustainability goals – all of which can showcase your company as an employer that cares about global issues, attracting like-minded talent.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Practices
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practices aren’t just important morally, but also strategically. A diverse workforce is proven to encourage innovation, creativity, and resilience – all essential qualities for success in the dynamic renewable energy sector. McKinsey’s report, “Diversity wins: How inclusion matters,” shows that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.
This shows that promoting your DEI efforts in recruitment materials, on social media, and through internal communications can strengthen your employer brand. It’s about showcasing your commitment to creating a welcoming and supportive workplace for all.

Career Development and Learning Opportunities
Career development and continuous learning opportunities are key in achieving employee satisfaction and retention. LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report revealed that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.
Renewable energy companies in Australia can attract and retain top talent by emphasising their commitment to professional growth, and through offering training programs, mentorship, and clear pathways for career progression within the organisation.

Technology and Digital Platforms for Employer Branding
In our digital age, online platforms have become critical for effective employer branding. A strong online presence on platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed (and also as well as on social media channels) can help renewable energy companies reach a broader audience.
Sharing content that highlights your company culture, CSR initiatives, DEI efforts, and employee success stories is more likely to engage potential candidates and help to build a positive employer brand. Using tech for improving recruitment practices – think virtual reality workplace tours or AI-driven job matching – can further differentiate your brand in the competitive Australian renewables job market.

Organisations that effectively deliver on their EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by just under 70% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%.


Case Studies

Let’s take a look at real examples of successful employer branding initiatives from Australian-based companies, focusing on the green energy sector and related fields.
Each example demonstrates how companies – even those not exclusively in the renewable energy sector – can promote their contributions to sustainability and renewable energy initiatives and use them as powerful components of their employer branding strategy.

Macquarie Group

Overview: Macquarie Group, an Australian multinational financial services group, has increasingly invested in renewable energy and infrastructure, making significant strides in sustainability. While not exclusively a renewable energy company, its activities in financing renewable energy projects are highly relevant.

Strategy: Macquarie’s employer branding strategy emphasises its commitment to innovation, sustainability, and creating a positive impact. The company highlights its role in financing green projects, including wind and solar energy developments, through its corporate social responsibility reports and recruitment materials.

Impact: By showcasing its investments in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure, Macquarie attracts talent interested in contributing to positive environmental outcomes. Their focus on sustainability has enhanced their reputation as an employer committed to addressing global challenges.

CSIRO’s Energy Business Unit

Overview: The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is Australia’s premier national science agency, plus a global leader in multidisciplinary research. The Energy Business Unit of CSIRO is well known for its dedication to advancing renewable energy technologies, including solar, wind, and more. And this focus forms the basis of its employer branding strategy.

Strategy: At the centre of CSIRO’s strategy is an emphasis on pioneering research and development in renewables. This means CSIRO is able to appeal to prospective employees who are eager to contribute to meaningful and impactful work. It’s an approach the company communicates through various channels (academic publications, recruitment campaigns, and public engagements) to highlight the organisation’s role in shaping Australia’s energy future. The chance to work with leading scientists and researchers is a USP for attracting top talent.

Impact: CSIRO’s employer branding strategy has worked well. It’s successfully attracted a diverse pool of highly skilled professionals who are passionate about contributing to sustainable energy solutions. Additionally, CSIRO is well known for its work in renewable energy and as a result their reputation as an innovative and socially responsible employer has grown. The impact extends to Australia’s renewable energy capabilities, helping to position the country as a global leader in sustainable energy research.

AGL Energy

Overview: AGL Energy is one of Australia’s leading energy companies. Since moving away from fossil fuels, AGL is now heavily investing in renewable energy sources. This is a strategic shift that not only positions AGL as a leader in sustainability but influences its employer branding, positioning the company as a forward-thinking, environmentally responsible employer.

Strategy: AGL’s strategy is based on the fact that the company invests heavily in renewable energy tech, including wind farms, battery storage, and solar projects. This transition’s consistently highlighted in their employer branding, which communicates a clear vision for a sustainable energy future. AGL promotes this strategy across a number of platforms: social media, recruitment materials, and corporate comms, ensuring it resonates with both current and prospective employees. By aligning its corporate goals with environmental values, AGL effectively attracts talent who are not only skilled but also passionate about contributing to a greener planet.

Impact: AGL’s commitment to green energy has had a positive effect on its employer brand. Firstly, it’s helped AGL to attract and retain talent who are align with and are motivated by the company’s sustainability goals – people who want to be part of a meaningful change towards a cleaner energy future. And secondly, it contributes to AGL’s corporate identity, enhancing its reputation with consumers, investors, and the general public as a leader in environmental management.

Overcoming Challenges and Mitigating Risks

Overcoming challenges and mitigating risks associated with employer branding, particularly within the renewable energy sector, means strategic foresight and adaptability.
Here are some strategies used by companies across the globe to address these issues. They’re also supported by some real-life examples and stats.


Addressing Skills Shortages and Talent Gaps

As we’ve identified, Australia’s renewable energy sector is rapidly growing, and that leads to a significant demand for skilled professionals. Companies are continuously working towards finding innovative ways to bridge this talent gap.
Example: Siemens Gamesa, a leader in renewable energy solutions, addresses the skills shortage through its innovative training programs. The Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Training Center offers courses on wind energy technology and maintenance, and aims to prepare a new generation of workers for the industry.

Top tip: Investing in training and development programs not only helps fill immediate skill gaps but also builds a pipeline of qualified candidates for the future. Partnerships with universities and technical institutes can also be beneficial.


Navigating Regulatory and Policy Changes

The renewable energy sector’s heavily influenced by government policies and regulations but they can frequently change due to political climates and economic priorities. Staying ahead of these changes is crucial for businesses in this space.
Example: Vestas, a global energy company dedicated to wind energy, actively engages in policy advocacy, and works closely with governments and regulatory bodies. This proactive approach ensures that they aren’t just compliant with current regulations but also positioned to influence future policy developments.

Top tip: Establishing a dedicated regulatory affairs team can help in monitoring policy changes, discussions with policymakers, and adjusting strategies accordingly. Engagement in industry associations can also provide insights and collective advocacy opportunities.


Managing Reputation Risks and Brand Perception

Information now spreads rapidly online, and managing reputation risks and brand perception is more important than ever. Negative publicity, whether justified or not, can have a lasting impact on employer brand.
Example: Ørsted, a Danish multinational power company focusing on renewable energy, tops the Corporate Knights’ Global 100 index of the most sustainable companies in the world. This recognition is a testament to Ørsted’s commitment to sustainability and effective communication of its achievements, which positively impacts its employer brand and mitigates reputation risks.


Top tip: Regularly monitoring comms, including social media and online platforms, for mentions of your company can help identify potential reputation risks early. Establishing a crisis communication plan and training spokespersons can ensure that the company responds effectively to any negative publicity. Transparency and proactive communication about your company’s practices, especially concerning sustainability efforts, can enhance brand perception.

Future Outlook and Recommendations

So what’s the outlook for renewables in Australia? Well, it’s clearly at the forefront of addressing global challenges such as climate change and sustainable development. And as this industry continues to evolve, so too will the strategies for building and maintaining a strong employer brand.

Let’s look at some of the emerging trends as well as our recommendations for renewable energy companies focusing on employer branding:

Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing within the Industry

Collaboration is another key factor in strengthening your employer brand.

Think about:

Industry Partnerships

Forming partnerships with other companies, educational institutions, and non-profit organisations can enhance employer branding efforts through shared initiatives and projects. These collaborations can also expand the talent pool and bring in fresh perspectives.

Participation in Industry Forums and Conferences

Actively engaging in industry forums, conferences, and workshops will not only position your company as a thought leader but also provide valuable networking opportunities. These kinds of platforms can be used to share best practices and lessons can be learned from the success stories of others in the industry.

Open Sharing of Successes and Challenges

By openly sharing both successes and challenges, companies can contribute to a culture of learning and improvement. This could include publishing case studies, participating in panel discussions, and contributing to industry publications.

Futureproof Your Talent Attraction

In conclusion, as the renewable energy sector continues to grow, companies that are innovative in creating their employer branding strategies will be in the strongest position to attract and retain top talent.

If you’re keen to be a magnet for the brightest minds in Australia’s renewables sector, be sure to consider the advice in this document. A genuine interest and commitment to sustainability can help, as well as embracing the latest technological advancements and considering the diverse needs and priorities of employees when it comes to offering attractive benefits packages.

Collaborative efforts and a commitment to continuous improvement will further enhance your ability to meet the evolving expectations of today’s renewables workforce.

Becoming an employer of choice in the renewables energy sector is not something to work on alone. It calls for collaboration – and it’s time to make sharing knowledge, resources, and best practices the norm. It’s also about creating ecosystems that thrive on innovation, inclusivity, and sustainability. And as companies commit to this approach of continuous improvement and collaboration, they not only elevate their own brands but also contribute significantly to advancing the entire sector.

If you’re ready to align your employer branding strategies with values surrounding sustainability and responsibility, you’ll resonate more deeply with prospective employees who are not just looking for a job, but also a purpose and a platform to make a real difference.

If you found the content of this report useful, why not talk to an industry expert at Spencer Ogden about your own recruitment strategy for hiring in Australia’s renewables sector? We’re here to help you create a vibrant and dynamic workplace culture to attract and retain the very best renewables talent.

About Spencer Ogden

As global recruitment experts in energy and infrastructure Spencer Ogden is continuously working to create careers to power a sustainable future for our clients and candidates.

With technology at the heart of the process, from financing to operational execution, we break new ground at every stage of the project life cycle. And it’s our mission to create a dynamic and sustainable legacy in the ever-changing landscapes we cover.

If you are in renewables or are an energy business looking to transition to a more sustainable strategy, we can help. Whether you need contract or permanent expertise to help on your journey to becoming a greener organisation, we lead the market when it comes to placing talent where it’s needed. We are deeply embedded within renewables and are passionate about making a difference today, for tomorrow.

Contact us to discuss your sustainable energy needs and how we can support you on your journey.