Energy companies are going digital: 78% have already accelerated their transformation model in the aftermath of the pandemic
The crisis caused by COVID-19 has affected all economic sectors and energy has not been an exception. If there is one resource that conditions the economic activity of a country, it is undoubtedly energy. Since the state of alert was declared in our country last March, productive activity and mobility limitations have caused a general decline in the energy resources sector. The pandemic has not stopped its march, but it has suffered a direct effect: the drop in demand.
The energy sector represents just over 3% of Spain’s GDP. More than 10,500 million euros come from renewable energies, a sector that is growing at an annual rate of 10%. Every million euros invested in this industry generates up to 14 jobs.
In this context, Adecco Energticas, the specialization of the Adecco Group dedicated to this sector, in collaboration with the Spanish Association of Energy Women (AEMENER), carried out a survey of the main energy companies operating in our country to analyze and understand the evolution of the sector: how the pandemic has affected them, hiring, selection process, profiles and skills most in demand, etc.
The impact of the pandemic in the energy sector and projections
As in all Spanish industries, the health crisis has had a more or less significant impact on energy. Thus, 56% of energy companies consulted by Adecco consider that the pandemic has led to a drop in their billing, while 39% say that it has not been affected, and only 6% has involved growth. This increase is between 1% and 15% for 59% of growing companies, and between 15% and 30% for 23% of them. Only 9% of organizations say their revenue has increased by more than 50%.
In recent months, also due to the health crisis, there has been a significant shift in the way companies use technology. All of them have sought to adapt to the new reality, in this way COVID-19 has led to the digital transformation of many companies. And in this case, 78% of energy companies accelerated their digitization model after the first months of the pandemic, while 6% remained unchanged. The remaining 17% consider that it was already 100% digital.
The energy sector is optimistic about the future and the growth of companies, so 56% of the companies surveyed believe that within 5 years, they will need a greater volume of contracts and give more work they are not generating any now, while 31% believe it will continue as it is now, and only 14% say they will downsize.
The energy labor market
When entering the field of the energy labor market, companies indicate that the most sought-after profiles in the sector are engineers (65%). In addition, 3 out of 10 companies request marketing and sales positions, 24% must integrate IT profiles, 22% of staff and 16% of operators.
Looking to the longer term future, the profiles most in demand will be those of technological transformation, as thought by 3 out of 4 companies. 58% believe that new technical models for energy transition (storage, aggregators, self-consumption, electric vehicles, etc.) will be very important positions, and 50% believe that renewable energy specialists will be in high demand. And 1 in 4 believes that the most sought after will be those in the field of sustainable development (CSR, environment, governance).
COVID-19 has brought many challenges to the table at work, many people have developed new skills that were not typical of their jobs such as emotional intelligence, leadership skills, digital skills … In this context, 57% of energy companies consider that the most important skill in a candidate is now teamwork, and 41% bet on the orientation of objectives. Problem solving (35%) and learning ability (32%) are other skills that are highly valued in this industry. To a lesser extent, other relevant soft skills are: quality compliance orientation, self-reliance, change management and digital skills.
Taking into account the selection processes in energy companies, what they value most when selecting a candidate is experience in the sector (42%), followed by training and knowledge. technical (31%). 25% of companies focus on personal skills and values, and only 3% on basic training in the sector.
And from the employees’ point of view, what do they value most? 69% of energy companies consider the stability and creditworthiness of the company to be what their workers consider most important, followed by salary, as half of them think. Flexibility and work-life balance measures such as teleworking and a good schedule (44%) and the work environment (42%) are other aspects that companies consider valued by their employees.
Other less important are: a plan for growth and development within the company (training and promotion) or the mission and values of the company (Objective).
The flip side is to compare what energy companies are doing to attract candidates, what their strengths are, their value proposition. Logically, the results coincide with the aspects that employees value the most, so stability and solvency are what 67% of organizations stand out, followed by flexibility and reconciliation measures (53%). Half of the companies ensure that the mission and values of the company are one of their strengths, followed by the work environment (44%), training and internal promotion (42%) and salary (42 %).
Women in energy companies
There is no doubt that the energy sector is masculinized. Throughout history, this industry has only been run by men, especially because the world of science and engineering has always been associated with this genre and because the percentage of women in careers technology has always been weaker. The representation of women in these careers is less than 30%. In fact, only 12.9% of those enrolled in computer science are female and in the case of female engineers, the figure is 28.5%. Perceptions of gender roles are considered the most important barrier to accessing this sector.
Today the difference between the number of men and women in the energy sector is very high. This sector is one of the sectors where women work the least. In 2019, the percentage of women working in traditional energy industries was 22%, compared to 78% of men. Renewable energies employ around 32% of women, compared to 68% of men.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has not only impacted employment on society, it has also exacerbated the inequalities women face, such as the pay gap, career advancement, glass, the precariousness of employment, the difficulty of reconciliation, and they have less possibilities of access to the labor market in any sector.
However, in energy selection processes, 54% of the companies surveyed ensure that gender is not taken into account, but capacities and skills when evaluating a candidate. In addition, 41% say that the participation of women is increasing and they try to promote the integration of women in all positions.
TO BRING OUT they underline the importance of the energy sector in the economy, the environment and society, which is in the process of energy transition towards a sustainable and carbon-free model. This is a crucial time when no talent can be wasted, so the goal is to put a feminine face on the energy. At AEMENER, they consider it essential that young students and professionals have female references in the energy sector, so that they choose these scientific subjects. Women should have the opportunity to get to know the hand sector from other women and that it can be attractive for them to develop their professional career.
Adecco, for its part, has a clear commitment to women. It aims to promote their integration into the labor market in all areas. And for this reason, the two entities signed a memorandum of understanding last October to promote the development of women in the energy sector.
With this agreement, the two entities strengthened their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of gender equality and the empowerment of women, defined in the 2030 Agenda by the United Nations.