In an attempt to pinpoint all the barriers that are preventing people from working on climate, we’re conducting a survey. We’re coming straight to the source — everyone in climate jobs, people who are interested in climate jobs, and people who didn’t even know climate jobs existed — to address what is preventing (or prevented) them from working in climate solutions.
One of our earliest findings from this survey is that many individuals are concerned about taking a job at a “start-up.” The majority of ClimateTech companies are still in their early stages and are considered start-ups.
This loosely-defined term with oftentimes negative connotations is preventing people from transitioning their careers to work on climate.
First things first, what defines a start-up?
→ A company that is in its earliest stage of development
→ Is typically self-funded or seeking venture capital investment
→ Has a small number of founders and employees
→ The key signifier of a start-up is a company that proposes a unique solution to a specific issue and is highly focused on scaling to solve it
In an attempt to address this issue, we wanted to nip the top 5 start-up misconceptions in the bud.
1. No Work-Life Balance
It's a candidate-centric market. According to PWC, 65% of workers are looking for a new job right now. Alongside that, nearly nine in ten (88%) executives say their company is experiencing higher turnover than normal.
The same surveyed employees ranked their top reasons for looking for a new job, flexibility was among the top responses. Employees want the ability to have flexible schedules, be able to work from home, and not be expected to work excessive overtime. As we’ve said countless times, it’s an employee-centric market, and companies need to recognize these increasingly evident stats to retain and attract talent.
2. No Financial Stability
According to PwC, over 10% of venture dollars were put toward climate start-ups in 2021. In the first half of 2021 alone, more than $60B was invested in Climate, representing a ~3x increase over the prior year. There’s a significant amount of money getting poured into this space and these numbers will continue on a similar upward trajectory.
Alongside the increase in funding, the majority of start-ups offer stock options that allow employees to have a share of the company’s profit.
3. “You’ll Have to Wear Multiple Hats”
This is the subtle way of saying you’ll be expected to perform tasks outside of your job description. While it’s extremely important to be a flexible and versatile employee, this is not always the case. Many of Climate People’s clients are in their initial hiring wave, they’ve hired their primary tech employees and plan on hiring for other roles in the near future. These companies will continue to grow and scale alongside the climate crisis and will have the capacity to hire for various roles very soon.
Again, we want to reiterate that it’s an employee-centric market. Employers in this industry understand and respect the fact that candidates shouldn’t be expected to perform tasks outside of their pay grade and job description.
4. No Flexibility
Employers are prioritizing talent attraction and retention. In the PwC survey we mentioned earlier, the surveyed employees ranked their top reasons for looking for a new job:
→ Career advancements
HR professionals and hiring managers are well aware of the industry trends and are concentrating on what is keeping their employees are happy. ClimateTech employers are allowing work location and hours flexibility. The majority of Climate People’s clients are SaaS companies and allow their employees to be remote, this structure inherently allows for more flexibility.
5. Fierce Competition
Traditionally, the start-up world is hyper-competitive. In a typical tech environment, start-up founders are aiming to solve a niche issue with their innovative technologies before others follow suit. In the climate space, it’s a collaborative environment that fosters growth between “competitors.” Founders in this space recognize that the more people we have working on climate solutions, the greater impact we will make on climate change.
Similar to most things climate, this space breeds a more diverse and welcoming environment when compared to more traditional tech industries. The start-up environment inherently has its risks, but ClimateTech companies are highly in-demand, well-funded, and founded on ethical principles that allow employees to thrive.