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.
Meet Brendan Andersen, a seasoned tech recruiting expert and founder of Climate People. Climate People is a sustainable, equitable, and inclusive ClimateTech recruitment agency with the mission of mitigating the negative effects of climate change through professional and mission-driven talent acquisition services.
With 20+ years of experience and a thriving tech recruiting career under his belt, Brendan was checking all the boxes. He had "made it" as a recruiting professional. While many others in his position were able to take a breath of fresh air, for Brendan the impacts of climate change were constantly looming over his head.
Despite all his professional successes, he knew that he needed to do something more than his personal choices. He dove headfirst into learning about the problems more deeply. He was well aware of all the IPCC's stated realities, it might not even be a stretch to say that he had nightmares about the dreaded 1.5-2 degrees.
"As a family, we were doing the right things to reduce our carbon footprint at home," Brendan said. "However, no matter how much we composted, recycled, reduced waste, and made dietary changes, I had the sinking feeling that my efforts didn't really matter.
For many years he separated his professional life and his sustainability passion. In the beginning, he had a hard time drawing the parallels between his recruiting career and his desire to make an environmental impact.
As years went by and that feeling that he wasn't doing enough never subsided, Brendan decided that it was time to take action.
In 2016, Brendan and his family installed solar on their home and he started reading a book called "Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think" by Peter Diamandis. The book highlighted the fact that technologies are improving at an exponential rate and these technologies are allowing independent innovators to achieve startling advances in fields traditionally considered unsolvable.
This book truly opened Brendan's eyes and he began to start questioning the separation of his professional life and his sustainability passion.
"I asked myself what I could do to make a bigger impact," Brendan said. "I decided that I could truly make a difference by mobilizing a workforce to help fight against climate change."
After many more months of research, Brendan applied the lessons from his most recent read and learned that he could be part of the solution via the ever-evolving and hopeful field of ClimateTech.
Brendan continued this research and learned a great deal about all of the technological players who were actively working to reverse the impact of climate change through advanced technologies in the mitigation, adaptation, and carbon removal sectors. He learned as much as he possibly could about the various industries that need to be decarbonized, including heavy industry & manufacturing, transportation, energy, agriculture and food systems, built environment, and carbon removal.
He then quickly realized the expansive demand for these types of jobs. Even though ClimateTech was still an early-stage industry — only accounting for 6 percent of total capital invested in 2019 — it was growing rapidly. Venture capital investment in ClimateTech increased from $418 million per annum in 2013 to $16.3 billion in 2019. Brendan quickly recognized that this scale was approximately three times the growth rate of venture capital investment in artificial intelligence and five times the average for all venture capital. With a crisis as expansive and ever-evolving as climate change, Brendan noted that every job type would have a seat at the table in ClimateTech.
Meet Climate People
Five years of extensive research and courage-building later, Brendan was finally ready to make the career transition.
Inspired by the Jackie Robinson quote, "A life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives," at the beginning of 2020, Brendan embarked on the journey to create Climate People a recruiting agency that is "Driven by Impact."
His early work was fueled by the fact that we all must be aware of the direct implications that coincide with climate change and was inspired by the opportunity that he had to make a better future. Brendan acted on the fact that there are things that we can do now to dramatically improve the quality of life down the road and instilled that mentality in the very basis of his business.
Climate People is driven by four core pillars that still drive all of their efforts today: Impact, Optimism, Diversity & Urgency.
IMPACT: Climate People is driven by impact, they join forces with like organizations and mission-driven talent to create a profound and lasting impact on climate change.
DIVERSITY: Climate change disproportionately impacts historically marginalized communities. They believe it’s crucial to have a diverse, equitable, & inclusive workforce to solve these formidable challenges.
OPTIMISM: Climate People is optimistic in the fight against climate change and believe their customers will decarbonize the global economy. They see both the problem and the possibility.
URGENCY: While they're optimistic, they're also realistic. We’re in a race against time to combat climate change. It’s paramount to place exceptional talent quickly to help their clients deploy their solutions.
Climate People's motto is "We're Stronger Together" and Brendan truly believes that when mission-driven individuals and climate-forward organizations join forces, the impact can truly be unmatched.
Half of a year down the line, Climate People has grown to a team of 3, already placed 18+ candidates, has a 9,000 candidates base, and 55 client collaborations — and the work has only just begun.
The team is growing rapidly — alongside the booming ClimateTech industry — with hopes of expanding their recruitment and service offerings to include DeepTech recruiting, scientific recruiting, corporate sale, marketing, finance, venture capital, policy, corporate ESG, and more.