Summer Hiring was Hot, But this Fall Will Be on Fire

Are You Prepared to Compete During Fall Hiring Season?

So far, 2015 has been a banner year for cleantech hiring, with demand often outpacing supply. Companies in industries like solar, energy storage, electric vehicle infrastructure and grid edge solutions have been consistently hiring all year. Of course, they only want to grow their teams with the very best professionals. As the fall hiring season draws near, we can expect an already fierce market to get even hotter.

Typically, late summer board meetings bring directors and executives together to generate plans for the coming year and strategize on how to meet projections for the current one. They look to tackle end-of-year deadlines with some new hires, promote qualified employees into new positions and top-grade a few positions with more ‘A Players’.

At Enertech Search, we routinely reconnect with the executives in our candidate network in early September to gauge their curiosity about moving to a new position, even if we don’t have one to suggest to them yet. This practice helps us set our client companies up for success because, by the middle of September, we have a good idea which ‘A Players’ are open to making a change and which ones are not, i.e. who is deliverable.

Additionally, we get a sense of the timing people need to make a career move. If sales executives are hitting their numbers or waiting for deals to come in, they may need to wait until December to receive their hard earned commissions. Companies can protect candidates against these earnings with bonuses and other sign-on perks. However, the details of timing are still good intelligence to have.

Unfortunately, emerging companies often wait to begin the effort of hiring until after capital raises are finalized or because of other triggers, like landing a large contract. The trouble with this level of patience is that, while financially prudent, it can hurt a company’s chances at landing quality candidates, especially at the executive level. If companies wait until October or later, the best of the best (who are also deliverable) are typically already in negotiations with competitors.

Waiting can also hinder a company in securing a quality recruiter to help them handle the extra workload. Companies receive better results when the more specialized the recruiter is in their industry. Waiting to engage a specialized recruiter can put you at risk for capacity limitations or conflicts of interest. First, the best recruiters might not have the bandwidth by October to handle new searches. Secondly, they could have conflicts of interest with your competitors who engaged with them earlier. So the longer a company waits, the more likely they may be forced to find a more generalized recruiter to help fill their current positions.

The good news is that some recruiters, like Enertech Search, will accept a down payment to begin working with you and only require full compensation if a candidate suggested is the one ultimately hired. This retingency model allows companies to engage with recruiters earlier, even while waiting for financing rounds to close.

Regardless if you will use your own staff to handle searches, or if you seek the experience and connections of a recruiter for fall hiring, it is best to start candidate searches earlier than you think you need to. As the old adage goes, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.”