Up with renewable energy!

June 05, 2023

All around the world, ESG is a hot topic. And if you’re looking for new talent: most definitely one to follow up on.

Do job seekers care how sustainable you are?

All around the world, ESG is a hot topic. And if you’re looking for new talent: most definitely one to follow up on. 

As we mentioned in our blog about inclusiveness, it can be worthwhile to explicitly mention that your company is sympathetic to environmental, social and governance issues. According to a survey we did among 4,000 people in Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, there’s another way to make your company more attractive to a certain group of people: making efforts for the environment, and striving for greater sustainability. Oh, and: explicitly mentioning it. Job seekers would absolutely consider applying. 

Especially the French are susceptible to companies that strive toward environmental friendliness: as many as 72% consider it important when choosing a new employee. In Belgium, it is 68%, in Germany 63%, and in the Netherlands 61%. 

And when we consider sustainability, the numbers are even higher: 79% of the French attach importance to it, 68% of Belgians, 62% of Germans and 60% of the Dutch. That’s a total of 67%.

And when asked in which sector they would consider working, this trend seems … complicated. Especially when looking at the energy sector. (Disclaimer: we didn’t ask people to come up with their favorite sector out of the blue, but instead offered them a list to choose from.)

Renewable energy is the most popular: 73% of the French would feel comfortable working in this line of work, 68% of Belgians, 65% of Dutch and 64% of Germans. In France and the Netherlands, it is even the most popular sector to work for. It’s also the sector of choice for the higher-educated French: 82% of people holding a Master’s degree or Ph.D. would definitely be interested in working there, against 64% who finished secondary school.

The natural gas sector is much less popular than the electricity sector (an effect of the war in Ukraine?), but still many people would consider a job in it. Just under half in Belgium (49%), 40% in the Netherlands and 39% in Germany. Of all the French people, more than half (57%) see no problem working there.

And what about that much-debated, much-contested but still crucial energy sector: oil? Well, it’s getting dangerously close to the sectors that traditionally appear in a bad light, such as weapons, tobacco and gambling.

In Germany, only 31% would consider a job in the oil industry, just one percent more than in the arms industry.

Yet, in France, it is still 45%. Okay, only two percent more than the arms industry, but still nearly half of the people in our survey. In Belgium, 41% would feel comfortable working for Big Oil and its cronies, in the Netherlands 35%. 

Remarkably, older age groups are more likely to see a job in the energy sector than younger people. In Belgium, 79% of 58- to 65-year-olds would opt for a job in the renewable energy sector, compared to 53% of 18- to 25-year-olds.

Concluding: if your organization is into renewable energy, you’re probably in pole position in the crunch for talent.