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.
Download our 20-page playbook today and take the first step towards attracting top talent to your climate company 🌱 📘.
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The Volatile Job Market of 2023 Gives Way to a Promising Outlook in 2024
In the ever-changing landscape of the job market, 2023 was a year filled with unique challenges. Across the entire climate landscape, there was limited growth, startups grappled with hiring complexities, and funding freezes halted company growth plans. Yet, as we step into 2024, there is renewed hope and innovative solutions to these struggles.
Navigating the Hiring Maze: Overcoming Job Seeking and Hiring Struggles in 2024
In the ever-changing landscape of the job market, 2023 was a year filled with unique challenges. The climate landscape saw limited growth, startups grappled with hiring complexities, and funding freezes halted company growth plans. Yet, as we step into 2024, there is renewed hope and innovative solutions to these struggles. This blog aims to delve into the hiring and job-seeking struggles of 2023 while shedding light on potential solutions for 2024.
The Hiring Challenges of 2023
The climate sector witnessed a paradoxical situation in 2023. As layoffs increased across various industries, many job seekers sought greater impact and meaning in their careers through working in the climate space. However, the limited job openings, particularly for non-technical positions, led to frustration for many. The result? An influx of applications, yet not enough opportunities to absorb the talent.
Startups, too, faced their unique set of challenges. With budgets slashed, Founders sometimes tried to combine multiple jobs into one. Compounding the problem was the limited experience in hiring for some companies and apprehension about making incorrect hiring decisions. This resulted in extraordinarily long hiring processes that often resulted in companies looking for “unicorn” hires.
Funding freezes also played a significant role in the hiring struggles of 2023. Companies that had planned for growth had to reduce headcount drastically. As previously stated, organizations were looking for 'unicorn' hires, which led to risk aversion.
Moreover, the diversity in the climate sector posed another challenge. These companies, embedded in various spaces or creating new industries, had starkly different hiring needs. This led to nuanced recruiting strategies, adding another layer of complexity to the job-seeking process.
The nuances of the situation were further complicated by various factors such as the company's stage, the role being filled, and the type of solution required. Early-stage companies often found themselves in need of more technical talent but were limited by financial constraints and a lack of industry experience among their workforce. On the other hand, later-stage companies looked for individuals with extensive experience but faced competition from larger and more stable organizations. Established verticals like transportation and energy encountered challenges in securing funding while emerging ones like food/agriculture and carbon capture grappled with novel solutions and the intricacies of a nascent market. According to Net Zero Insights, 60% of all funding in 2023 was directed towards adoption technologies - innovations that already exist and require scaling. In contrast, a mere fraction of that amount went towards breakthrough solutions, which necessitate further research and development. This dynamic made navigating the landscape of new solutions particularly challenging.
Finally, the sheer number of applications overwhelmed many companies. The ease of application processes and the One-Click application feature many job boards offer led to a massive influx of candidates, many of whom were under-qualified and lacked demonstrated interest in a career in climate (a key hiring criteria for most companies). This forced companies to rely heavily on their networks to find talent, as limited bandwidth prevented them from managing all the applications.
Solutions for Hiring in 2024
As we look forward to 2024, Canary Media reports that the landscape is showing signs of positive change. For Series B and later-stage companies, the funding landscape is expected to improve significantly, taking the pressure off of existing teams and allowing for growth.
Early-stage companies are also advised to be more strategic with their hiring processes. If they lack the bandwidth to handle large volumes of applications, leveraging their network or working with a specialized recruiter can save valuable time. The advantage of using a recruiter becomes even more significant when in-house resources are limited, and your network isn’t able to help you find the best possible candidates for a given position.
Job seekers, too, can adopt a more strategic approach. Focusing on three sectors, understanding where their skills are transferable, and networking can open up new opportunities. Leveraging projects to demonstrate their skills can also make them stand out from the crowd. This strategy will be essential in the 2024 climate job market. Read a step-by-step guide on how to do this here.
The hiring and job-seeking landscape of 2023 was riddled with challenges. However, as we step into 2024, the future looks promising. With improved funding prospects, strategic hiring practices, and a more focused approach from job seekers, we can expect to navigate these struggles successfully. Here's to a year of growth, opportunity, and successful hiring!