Climate Hiring Playbook!

Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time, and as a climate company, your hiring decisions can make a huge impact. That's why we're excited to launch our new Climate Hiring Playbook! It's packed with everything you need to know about finding, attracting, and hiring top climate talent.

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Candidate Testimonies: Hannah Pelfresne

We recently placed Hannah as a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Persefoni. Learn how she transitioned her career from strategic communications to ESG.

Candidate Testimonies: Hannah Pelfresne

Meet Hannah Pelfresne, a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Persefoni


NATALIE: Hi everyone my name is Natalie Lavery. I'm the marketing lead here at Climate People. And I'm joined by Brendan, our CEO and founder and Hannah, who recently just accepted a job at a climate tech company. So we're super excited to talk with her and just learn more about her journey and what she'll be doing. So perfect. Hannah, do want to start by just telling us a little bit a little bit about yourself and what jobs you'll be taking?

HANNAH: Yes, of course. So my name is Hannah, and I'm very passionate about sustainability and ESG. I am currently finishing up a Master's of Business Administration focusing on sustainability management. Also completing the SASB essential certification. So I'm really passionate about this area and was previously working within the ESG rating space. And my new role will be at a climate tech firm called Persefoni that focuses on carbon accounting and management and I will be working in product marketing for them.

NATALIE: Awesome, super exciting. So when you were looking into getting this job, why did you want to initially make an impact on climate? Why did you want to get involved in the climate space?

HANNAH: So the climate space is really interesting to me because I'm a huge lover of the outdoors. I really enjoy being able to travel and enjoy new spaces. So it's something for me that feels important and it's something that as a younger person I want to protect and cherish so that I can kind of share these moments throughout my life with like future children and grandchildren. Specifically regarding climate, it has such a positive impact when we have people working on measuring these factors because without understanding and knowing where we can make changes it's hard to make those changes.

NATALIE: Yeah, definitely. I feel like that's kind of like the common, I guess, diction that we hear with younger people is I have this passion and I want to find a way to connect my personal passion and then my career, and a lot of people don't see that space for them. So it's awesome that you did see that and that you wanted to kind of act on that. Were there any barriers that you experienced when you were looking to switch your career to focus on this or was it kind of just smooth sailing for you?

HANNAH: So one thing I found I feel like I was always kind of keeping an eye on jobs coming up on LinkedIn and because kind of the climate ESG sustainability spaces so new jobs are not necessarily posted in the same manner as a traditional finance job that's like, oh, financial analysts like it's hard to use, like LinkedIn searching for different keywords and whatnot. So obviously, there are great jobs and great companies that are out there that just kind of has this much mismatch between eligible candidates and companies that are doing great things for the environment. So that was definitely something that I was seeing that it's kind of hard to navigate a little bit working in that world. And then obviously, as someone who was hoping to be in an impact-focused company and impact focus career, it can be hard to work with general recruiting firms because they don't necessarily have the same understanding of what that means and what you're looking for. So that can also kind of create that mismatch as well.

NATALIE: Yep. That's something that we definitely hear very constantly and Brendon correct me if I'm wrong, but that's kind of one of the main reasons that kind of people was even founded was to help get more people working on climate solutions and let people even know that there are jobs in this space and in their industry.

BRENDAN: Yeah, I mean, you hit the nail on the head. I mean, that is like our core mission. As you know, Hannah, the times that we spoke. I probably said that a million times like our, our core number one core values to get people working in climate and so, you know, personally, I know I struggle with this on the individual front, like the consumer behavior changes are really important. But at the end of the day, I only can control what I can control. And I felt like if I did the biggest impact that I could make in the climate movement, was to get more people working in these jobs as a recruiter that if I could just get my candidates that I'm working with a focus on climate impact. If you're if we're all going to spend 40 hours a week or more potentially giving our time, energy and effort, and skill to something let's put it to use for the planet. And there are so many ways that we can go about doing it. I was thinking about even given your background and because you're you're not a traditional Climate Technology person, right. Like your degree was in communications, right? You got a Masters as you came at it from a marketing perspective, then got master's. So like, that's not necessarily the most traditional path. But I mean, I know that I felt for years that climate change was for scientists and engineers and policy. And here you come at it from a totally different standpoint. So at what point did you know, in your career, was it an undergraduate that you were thinking that this was the path that you wanted to go down?

HANNAH: Yeah, so I majored in strategic communications and business entrepreneurship in my undergrad. And similar to what you just said, what really resonated with me when I first started working was that okay, I'm spending a lot of time doing what I'm doing and I don't necessarily feel like this is making a positive impact on the world. And so that was, I was always really interested like in environmental causes and like personal sustainability. And through exposure to various workplaces, I was able to like realize that there's this whole industry of the private sector aiming to better this and the private sector plays a huge role in combating climate change and really making a positive change for everyone, so it's an important role to play. And it's definitely something that we've seen in the last few years companies really awaken to and set goals and set targets and it's a really exciting place to be especially right now. With existing regulations and impending regulations as well to really just hopefully, kind of make sure everyone's on the same team.

BRENDAN: Yeah, well, what do you I know, we haven't talked about this, obviously, but do you have any advice for people that some random person that sees this video on YouTube? Is there any advice that you would give to somebody who's maybe sitting in their current job, and this resonates with them, but they don't know how to bridge the gap between what they're currently doing and go-getting a job, in ESG or sustainability or climate like, is there any advice that you would give to that person that they could potentially act on?

HANNAH: My first piece of advice is always to like ask for help. I feel like people particularly within like the climate sustainability, ESG world is so opening, so welcoming. Open to coffee chats, open to offer, like, extend their network. So definitely reach out to people if you kind of have somewhat of a connection and try to make that. And another thing that's nice about the sustainability space is that there are a lot of really great certifications right now. That doesn't necessarily require the time or financial commitment of an advanced degree, but that can make you really marketable within the sustainability space. So I think there's a lot of resources like educational resources and obviously seeking out companies like climate people to help you narrow down that job search and kind of cut through the noise of like extended LinkedIn searching is definitely something to help and also just kind of in making it part of your like media consumption. Like one thing that I really like to do is have like all of my I guess business news, have some type of like sustainable business focus, like through podcasts, I listen to like articles I read, like newsletters, I feel like there's a lot of really great like ESG climate sustainability newsletters like focused within all industry topics, so there's definitely the information out there. It's just you got to do a little searching to find it.

BRENDAN: Yeah, yeah. Great. Thanks for the shout-out. Appreciate it. What are there were there any certifications you mentioned at the very beginning, but were there any certifications that you would recommend people take a look at?

HANNAH: I would recommend the SASB's FSA exam, which is the fundamentals of sustainability accounting. It just gives a really great overview of understanding materiality from an environmental social and governance land and also from a value creation lens, which I think that's how ESG is really going to be adopted long term is focusing on both sides of the coin as we want, we want higher returns, we want lower risk like we want it all. So I think that's really important to really understand and also just great knowledge for you to learn throughout your own investment experience, as well.

NATALIE: Kind of going back to what you're just touching on Hannah, how, once you kind of start immersing yourself in these climate resources and really getting involved in the community. You see how open it is, and that's something that we really push is you got to put yourself out there people in this community are really open. And once you get your foot in the door, the possibilities and opportunities really are endless. So definitely agree with that and think that's a really, really good point. Um, so while we are super excited and stoked to place people in climate roles, that really is what drives us. We also have a partnership with 1% for the planet, which is basically where we donate 1% of every placement fee to an environmental nonprofit, and we will do that in your name. So we're currently working with two nonprofits, Soul Fire Farm and the Honnold Foundation. Did you have a second, look at those and know which one you want to donate to? I can give you a quick little refresher too. If you need one.

HANNAH: Um, no, I looked into it and I'm going to choose the Honnold Foundation, just because I've recently gotten into indoor rock climbing, obviously not on the same level, but so big fan on a very low scale. So and I think that's a great organization that's doing really great things. So thank you.

NATALIE: Yeah, they're incredible. So yeah, definitely donate in your name. And yeah, Alex Honnold — he's a crazy man, but he does some good things. Yeah. Perfect. Well, I think that's all the questions we had for you, but then unless you have anything else that you want to touch on or use your hand if you have anything else that you wanted to tie in there.

BRENDAN: No, this isn't really great. And I appreciate you saying that.

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