OP-ED| Recruitment: Can We Solve the Talent Shortage by Decarbonizing Industry?
The need for a green transition and the talent shortage are two critical strategic challenges for industries worldwide. While these challenges seem unrelated, they are closely connected. Decarbonizing the production process may significantly enhance the appeal of industrial companies to highly skilled and qualified young engineers.
As per Olivier Helterlin, the VP Sales of France Benelux and Switzerland and CEO of PTC France, ecological awareness among the highly educated is a crucial factor in the ongoing talent shortage. Young and educated individuals actively seek sustainable organizations that align with their values and morals.
The climate crisis, which has gained significant attention over the past few years, is a determining factor in the evolving attitude of the younger generation towards the environment. A report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) suggests that higher education is strongly linked to climate emergency convictions. On average, about 58% of individuals with higher education support climate change policies compared to 42% with a lower level of education. Also, the youngest generation appears to be the most committed to the climate crisis. In France, 83% of individuals under the age of 18 consider the crisis an emergency, compared to 68% of those above 60.
The impact of these ecological issues on the employer’s brand has caused a debate among young graduates and recruiters. Graduates in engineering schools like AgroParisTech are now “deserting” companies involved in ecological devastation and seeking more sustainable options. This change in attitude represents a continued trend among the highly skilled, and companies must recognize this shift and adapt to it.
Decarbonizing industry is a strategic long-term choice for industries that reduces their carbon footprint, which may not be profitable in the short term. However, in the long run, several factors point towards the rapid adoption of decarbonization. The first factor is the development of technologies that combine economic and environmental performance. Additionally, the scramble for young skilled talent is intensifying, and organizations that proactively reduce their carbon footprint help to attract and retain highly skilled and motivated individuals who will assist them in accelerating their ecological transformation.
Moreover, businesses that prioritize eco-friendliness generate a decisive competitive edge by ensuring the acquisition of critical skills and talents to drive their eco-transition. This move is a virtuous circle that will enhance the growth of such companies that start on this path as soon as possible. In winning the talent race, organizations must take up the challenge of ecological transition. It is a daunting challenge, but it is worthwhile in the long term.
In conclusion, the ecological transition and the talent shortage are two interdependent strategic challenges affecting industries worldwide. An eco-transition by industries may help attract and retain young talent that is more environmentally conscious. Moreover, the eco-transition of industries leads to a decisive competitive edge by ensuring the influx of strategic skills and talents. The results of this transition are a prosperous and sustainable future.