There’s excellent news, extra excellent news and a little bit dangerous information.
The seventh biannual State of the Occupation (SOTP) report, organized by GreenBiz and sponsored by Weinreb Group, paints a principally rosy image for sustainability and ESG professionals. Termed “The Nice Reshuffle,” the survey knowledge present an abundance of “will increase” over the previous two years: a rise in salaries; a rise in commitments to cut back GHG emissions; and a rise in CEO engagement in ESG.
As a recruiter who has been monitoring the sustainability profession area for greater than 15 years, I’m heartened by the progress, and I need to dig beneath the information and share three tendencies and what they imply to the sphere.
1. Salaries proceed to rise
The SOTP report covers salaries for 3 ranges of sustainability professionals — supervisor, administrators and vice presidents — all of which elevated over the previous two years, though extra considerably for folks at greater ranges.
Greater than 80 p.c of the folks we surveyed acquired a increase, and new hires have gotten the most important wage boosts. Beginning salaries for managers who’ve three or fewer years of expertise have jumped from $109,000 in 2019 to $126,000 at the moment. On the opposite finish of the spectrum, higher-level executives have seen their compensation exterior base wage develop; bonuses and shares comprise a bigger proportion of their complete compensation.
Broadly, this paints an image of prosperity. Coupled with general finances will increase for sustainability, it signifies recognition of the elevated significance of sustainability inside corporations. This additionally displays what I see in my work as a recruiter — with a rising variety of candidates getting a number of gives and receiving huge wage boosts, and corporations placing collectively greater and higher complete compensation packages for executives.
2. Sustainability jobs in reporting and internet zero are hot-hot-hot
As I just lately shared with a reporter at Insider, the demand for ESG and sustainability experience is outpacing the market. The SOTP report provides this notion additional legs: The “inexperienced hiring fee” accelerated forward of the general hiring fee within the U.S. and globally. Whereas 76 p.c of respondents elevated their organizational headcount, with the identical quantity noting an general improve of their budgets, it additionally exhibits we don’t at the moment have sufficient expert folks for some jobs obtainable.
Essentially the most sought-after abilities I see are net-zero strategists (together with Scope 3 expertise) and reporting expertise. Weinreb Group tends to fill “head of” or “senior-most” roles, plus a rounding out/finishing of groups. The precise skillset round internet zero and reporting can both be the whole position (“Director of Internet Zero”) or it may be included as a duty for the top of sustainability (somebody with the CSO, VP or SVP title).
As I wrote within the SOTP, reporting was “0.5 FTE,” or half of an individual’s full-time employment. This individual would write an ESG report for about half the yr and fulfill different obligations for the opposite half. At this time, a minimum of two persons are possible managing ESG reporting year-round: one on the communications/storytelling aspect, one other on the information/dashboard aspect.
From what I see, an growing variety of these jobs report back to investor relations — both instantly or through dotted line. That is excellent news: Shareholders driving change will get the ear of the CEO in a short time.
3. Stressed workers + greater wage alternatives = jumpy job market
For the primary time, the SOTP survey requested questions on job motion and located that greater than 1 / 4 of VP-level executives had modified jobs in the course of the pandemic. That’s a major quantity. I’ve seen this development in my work as nicely, with extra workers shifting after a shorter time frame.
It’s possible that is due, partly, to the primary development: New workers are being supplied extra money, giving folks an incentive to depart for a brand new position. It’s additionally associated to the pandemic and the belief that work may be achieved from anyplace. An growing variety of persons are on the lookout for flexibility. As I’ve written beforehand in regards to the Nice Resignation, workers are shifting to employers that give them the best set-up in the case of wage, flexibility and distant work or work-from-anywhere.
That is the place the difficult half is available in: If persons are leaping from job to job extra incessantly, it is going to be exhausting for corporations to make critical progress on their commitments. Sustainability is pressing, difficult work that will depend on cohesive groups with longevity — a.okay.a. dedication from proficient folks.
I’ve little question sustainability will proceed to develop as a career, and I’m actively engaged in serving to fill the pipeline with youthful and extra numerous professionals, whereas additionally serving to my purchasers discover — and maintain — skilled professionals.
I do imagine, nonetheless, that the gold rush we’re in proper now will abate over the following few years as jobs change into extra outlined and the pipeline of expertise expands. I’ve mentioned this many times: Discover a job you like, and it received’t really feel like work. I do know that’s true for me.