The Time for Change in Energy is Now - But How?

Oliver Hewitt

Since I joined Talmix seven months ago, I’ve been focused on introducing how talent marketplaces, and in particular Talmix, could work within the Energy sector.

I wanted to share some learnings and my excitement about how the enormous changes taking place in the industry align with the massive changes in how workforces are structured, sourced and how work gets done.

The sustainability agenda is forcing the industry to innovate and create new initiatives to both discover renewable and new energy sources, but also how the business is geared up to deliver on these initiatives. The way the whole company is structured is under scrutiny as everyone wants to see energy reinvent itself and ensure a future not just for the business, but for everyone. A bit hard to distil just how big a change this is in one short paragraph, and I hear it, and the challenges that it brings in every conversation I have, whether it’s with strategy teams, finance departments, and onwards.

Net Zero, obviously a particularly pertinent topic as we’re heading into the COP26 summit, may be the ultimate goal, and I particularly liked this comment from Tracy Beam, CEO at Strategic Transformation Partners who said – “it’s going to take a multiple solution approach through innovation and technology, improvements to policy and infrastructure, strong partnerships across the ecosystem”.

Digital Transformation is still the all-consuming item for most energy businesses. It’s seen as essential to enable innovations in these other topics, and it’s the catalyst for how the businesses see themselves. Without being digital, the forward thinking mindset they need to embrace and amplify, just won’t be there. As we see in energy, and in all our client industries, digital transformation encompasses changes to every function, every member of the workforce, and every way they interact with their own customers, so it’s not surprising that these initiatives continue to challenge, and are still a long way from completion.

And there’s one more area that again, while it’s crucial to all business, has a particular nuance in the energy space, and that’s introducing and implementing DEI policies and actions. With more digitisation, renewable sources, and as the approach to the type of work that is undertaken in this industry changes, there is scope for a more diverse workforce to be achieved. This really represents a huge transformation in what was considered a very male-dominated industry, and an industry which had clear tiers of authority. Now a more equal mix can be the positive outcome of the other changes.

The extent and sheer scale of all these changes is overwhelming, and there’s one piece which runs through all of them. I know there’s a bit of ‘well he would say that wouldn’t he’ going on here, but every single item on the agenda, every element of change, requires a set of skills that most energy businesses probably couldn’t even identify ten years ago, such is the pace of that change. And even with those skills identified, the need to upskill and reskill the workforce is the mammoth project behind every other initiative.

Aligning the talent needed to the timescales to deliver is potentially the greatest risk to making the change needed, and this is why talent marketplaces are resonating with everyone I speak to who is trying to bring talent on board – from the central teams, through to the project owners. Knowing that they can bring new skills in on-demand, and have those skills make an immediate impact to project teams is a clear route through to the results required in all those major projects. It’s not just about bringing those rarer, hard-to-find skills in, on-demand, it’s also about how they form part of a more flexible approach to getting work done. Having fixed teams might have worked when the sector retained the status quo for so many years, but now agility is key to pushing through the changes that lead to a new, sustainable future for the industry.

At Talmix we talk about speed, convenience and precision – these three advantages of using our marketplace are exactly how the sector needs to respond to building the teams that will deliver. As one of my clients said “we have far more work than people to do the work” – that’s what I’m trying to help with, and that’s what Talmix can resolve for every business in the industry.

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