This is part one of a two-part series recapping a recent conversation with a client in the renewable energy development space asking me about the market and why they keep getting sent so many of the same kind of CVs/Resumes. They, like others in the market, have struggled to hire ‘the right kind of people'. There is an issue with Unicorn Hunting, a fragmented industry and low barriers to entry.

“Is no one else hiring in Singapore? What about all the big players and all the news?”

What is with all these ‘renewable energy’ recruiters?

The overall size of the external or agency recruitment market in Asia has shrunk. This is the immediate reason there are a lot of CVs/Resumes getting sent around the market by recruiters. Most of the leading energy, infrastructure or related recruitment firms have lost at least 50% of their headcount and many have simply shut down in Asia.

A large part of the ‘renewable energy’ recruitment market is actually leftover oil and gas recruiters who have watched their easy-money recruitment market of the 2010s completely disappear. Many of these recruiters read the same positive news about the Renewable Energy transformation and jumped into the sector expecting it to be a similar market.

The Renewable Energy Industry is nothing like Oil & Gas

Projects are much smaller, less technically complex, run on cutthroat margins and largely outsourced to local civil and electrical contractors. Each Renewable Energy project needs fewer direct employees, and there is less need for highly-specialised and hard-to-find skills.

Instead of needing the complex skillsets of the Oil & Gas industry, Renewable Energy companies often want people with very specific experience - having completed a certain size or scope of projects, network with very specific companies, etc. Due to the size, age and highly fragmented nature of the Renewable Energy market in Asia, there simply aren't many people who fit any given requirement.

The Recruitment Industry is nothing like the 2010s

The overall market has expanded and the volume of recruitment taking place continues to increase each year. There are now multiple alternatives competing within that expanding market. Social Networks, Inhouse Recruiters, Thousands of Recruitment Technology startups - compete with external recruiters for the same space.

“Why should anyone pay a recruiter 20% of the hires annual salary for sending them a message on LinkedIn and forwarding the CV to a hiring manager?”
Recruiters shouldn’t be surprised that they suddenly have a lot less space to move around. Many industries are facing increased competition. Like other industries, external recruiters need to find a value beyond 'me have good CV. you want?' if they want to continue to recruit. "If You're in a Dogfight, Become a Cat!"

A lot of desperate recruiters and bad practices

There are a lot of desperate recruiters who are used to lazy recruitment ("search a few keywords, send out a few CVs and ‘Cha-Ching’ watch the money come in!!!") and a much smaller market to work in.

If you are getting too many unsolicited or irrelevant CVs/Resumes, just ask them to take you off their mailing list or just start Blocking/SPAM filtering them.

If it makes you feel less guilty, those recruiters haven’t spoken with the people who’s CVs/Resumes they are SPAMing to you and they aren’t personally sending each message to you. You are just one email address in a list of "likely hiring managers for CVs that mention ‘renewable energy’ like keywords".