How one fast-growing UK renewable energy business is overcoming the green skills shortage

Olly Harris
14 August, 23

UK-based cleantech company Green Building Renewables is on a mission to become the largest and most reputable domestic renewable technology installer in the country by 2025. Over the last 18 months, the company has experienced rapid growth, transforming from an established family-run business with 18 employees to a nationwide network of installers with a head count of over 160. With the UK facing a considerable shortage of skilled green talent, how did it overcome the challenge of recruiting the right workforce to support its major expansion plans?

Originally known as Go Eco Renewables, the business was founded by Chris Delaney and John Gilham in 2016. With over 20 years of industry experience, Chris and John identified an opportunity to help residential, commercial and development clients reduce their save on energy bills, limit their dependency on the grid and at the same time reduce their environmental impact.

Offering a full end-to-end service including the installation and management of air and ground source heat pumps, solar PV, battery storage,, and EV charging solutions, Green Building Renewables prides itself on being able to provide a local service on a national scale as all installers are employed by the company and know the areas in which they work. The company uses no contractors to install renewable technologies.   

The Challenge of Rapid Growth

To meet and maintain Green Building Renewables’ growth trajectory, it needed to attract and hire qualified staff across all levels, from specialist installers and engineers to senior management positions. All of whom needed to understand and deliver on the business’ strong reputation for excellent service.

Chris Delaney, Managing Director at Green Building Renewables, says “Our business has grown from 18 employees to over 160 in one and a half years. In addition to mergers and acquisitions, the business is experiencing natural growth and demand from our clients is higher than ever especially as people have responded to the energy price crisis. As such, we needed to find the right talent that would help us to continue to deliver the personal service our customers have come to expect.”

However, challenging market conditions made it difficult to find suitable candidates. Like Green Building Renewables, the wider renewable energy industry is facing a green skills shortage that is threatening to hamper the UK’s transition to a more sustainable future..

“The reality is that demand for green skilled workers is outpacing the current talent pool. We initially sought to manage the recruitment process in-house but trying to find candidates with the right skills that were also a good fit for the business proved to be a difficult and time consuming effort. In fact, we found less than 10% of applicants met our high standards and were a good match for us,” adds Chris.

The Breakthrough: Partnering with Page Outsourcing

Recognising the challenge of managing a high-volume talent acquisition task with a limited in-house team, Green Building Renewables realised the importance of outsourcing the process. With the immediate need to fill a minimum of 54 vacancies within  12 months, the business invited three recruitment firms to pitch for the business. Following a thorough evaluation, Green Building Renewables ultimately selected Page Outsourcing to handle the recruitment contract.

Part of FTSE250 organisation PageGroup, Page Outsourcing offers a broad range of flexible recruitment solutions. Combining its in-depth understanding of the talent landscape with the latest technology and data-driven insights, Page Outsourcing’s solutions are tailor-made for high-volume hiring and specific project recruitment.

For Green Building Renewables, Page Outsourcing’s ability to seamlessly integrate with its talent acquisition team and provide a tailored recruitment approach is what set the company apart from the competition.

“We see the Page Outsourcing team as a part of our team– they match our culture, understand the brand and the wider industry, and tackle our challenges as if they were their own,” continues Chris. “What’s more, as Page Outsourcing is part of PageGroup’s wider network, we knew we would have access to top quality candidates and be offered a consistent, efficient recruitment service.”

A Customized Approach to Talent Acquisition

The personalised approach Page Outsourcing took with Green Building Renewables included creating a dedicated recruitment microsite, identifying industry related job boards and partners, streamlining their recruitment processes, and revitalising the referral scheme to increase internal referrals. The primary objective was to find candidates who shared Green Building Renewables’ values, with an emphasis on cultural fit over prior experience.

“We are interested in people with passion, commitment, and drive,” comments Jill Delaney, People Director at Green Building Renewables. “We were open to hearing from people from a range of backgrounds that didn’t necessarily have formal qualifications. We know their experiences will bring a range of positive attributes such as problem solving, reliability and team spirit, all essential to our rapidly growing business.”

Positive Results and Future Growth

Within just three months, Page Outsourcing successfully filled 17 of the most challenging vacancies at Green Building Renewables, demonstrating a deep understanding of the company’s requirements and an ability to  consistently deliver high-quality candidates.

“The collaboration with Page Outsourcing has proven instrumental in advancing our Strategic People Plan, overcoming talent acquisition challenges and positioning Green Building Renewables as a leader in the ever-expanding green jobs market,” concludes Jill.

Looking ahead, the company has tasked Page Outsourcing with filling a further 37 roles in the next nine months. It aspires to achieve £100 million in contracts by 2025, with several more mergers on the horizon.

“Green Building Renewables’ remarkable growth within such a short time period has established it as a prominent player in the UK renewable energy industry,” comments Olly Harris, Managing Director at Page Outsourcing. “Their growth and recruitment needs match a trend Page Outsourcing is seeing across the UK – green talent is in demand like never before. A recent survey conducted by PageGroup reveals that 68% of businesses believe the UK is heading towards a green skills gap, with many already struggling to find skilled staff. It is exciting to play our part in the evolving renewable energy sector and we are proud to help companies like Green Building Renewables navigate the changing  –  and at times challenging – growing green jobs market.”

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