3 Key Considerations when Recruiting for Clean Tech Startupsby@nickzamanov
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3 Key Considerations when Recruiting for Clean Tech Startups

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The rise of the clean tech industry challenged businesses to seek new models and incorporate renewable sources to face the increasing environmental concerns, supporting the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations. With the debate heating up, world leaders have increasingly found themselves under the pressure to show their commitment to a sustainable future through renewed regulations pushing for the use of cleaner energy sources. And the industry, in turn, shows no sign of deaccelerating its growth, with its value expected to grow to nearly $2 trillion by 2030

However, early-stage clean tech startups often lack the business experience and renowned reputation to attract the right talent to help pave the way to success and consequently catch an investor’s eye. Nonetheless, with the number of clean tech startups multiplying each year, it’s hard for entrepreneurs to break through the clutter and stand out to those they wish to hire.  

A simple yet effective way to attract talent is through referrals of colleagues within the same industry, as this interchange is a reflection of a sense of community entrepreneurs and their companies build. After all, a well-connected leader inspires trust and confidence. 

The more knowledgeable a leader is within the industry, the greater credibility and validity the company gains, making attracting talent a breeze. However, this is just one part of building a name and company reputation. The rest of the process, or the bulk, must speak to what A-list clean tech talent is drawn to—passion, strong leadership, and resilience. 

1. Accountability as a sign of passion

Success has many parents, but failure is an orphan. While it is always easy to take credit for success, taking ownership of failure or the coming short of goals is a difficult task. The same difficulty is faced by those leaders and organizations who fail to engage in the company culture and follow through with their sustainable ambitions. Without engagement, there is no accountability, and without accountability, there is no engagement. 

With the tides of the green wave upon us, it’s pertinent to not only state but show commitment to environment-friendly solutions. For example, as an electric vehicle (EV) charging provider startup, our company infrastructure mirrors our values and aligns our benefits by offering charging stations in the office building. The immediate result is that it attracts more employees, customers, leads, and potential partners or investors to meet in our company headquarters since their EVs will be charged for free. 

If the end goal is to support sustainable growth and the use of renewable sources, the offices should leverage electric-powered appliances instead of gas-powered engines. They should also showcase the recycled materials used for daily use and tasks, leaving the employees and visitors feeling responsible for the environment, which is your shared passion.

Accountability requires constant work and dedication; setting clear standards and examples eliminates ambiguous expectations and ultimately attracts those with a common interest, embedding accountability into the company culture. 

2. Strong leaders are flexible

Since the pandemic, there has been growing speculation over the swinging pendulum of remote work and flexibility becoming the new norm. While we can’t address this theory with all certainty, we know that flexibility is needed within the company structure to foster creativity and grow innovation.

Cross-departmental and functional collaboration boosts employee knowledge and is the key to achieving organizational peak performance. It allows members across multiple teams to add their input and be part of the end product. This success wouldn’t be possible under a rigid organizational structure mostly found in traditional business models. 

However, reaching higher levels of motivation and flexibility comes down to the CEO or top management and how creativity is spread throughout the organization. In my experience, completing tasks unconventionally at the end paves the way to a new standard. For example, to come up with a sustainable and viable solution, it’s not necessary to follow a trend in the market as this allows the creation of a unique building engine. Thinking outside of the box gives the advantage of finding solutions ahead of time. For me, it has often led to technological advancements and, ultimately, a cultural thinking process within the company.

As knowledge is shared within the company without limitations, the process builds innovative and leading solutions in the industry, leaving the talent within the company as a protagonist and, therefore, highly sought-after. Many employees come to meetings with innovative ideas, and the managers are more than happy to help develop them. This leads to a high attraction and retention rate, giving clean tech startups an advantage over large, rigid working structures. 

3. Resilience and persistence to build a name

While early-stage start-ups struggle to keep up with the ever-changing market needs, the increasing adoption of advanced technology, and juggling environmental concerns, keeping a north is essential.

The end product presented must leverage resilience and persistence to reflect the quality and a permanent solution instead of a race against competitors. This dictates the success of the usage and relativity of your company and how it is viewed in the market. The more prominent and prosperous a solution may seem, the easier it will attract talent. After all, who would want to work with the second-best in the market when they can work with those in first place? Flaunt your achievements and developments and aim to create new ones, staying ahead of the competition. 

Whether an entrepreneur is well connected or offers the number one solution in the market, the company must reflect passion, strong leadership, and resilience to remain competitive and make an outstanding impact on the environment and society. The bulk is up to you. 

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by Nick Zamanov @nickzamanov.Nick Zamanov, is the head of sales & business development at Cyber Switching and an EV infrastructure expert since 2012
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