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The Green Talent Scramble: Building a Sustainable Future in Irish Finance

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The Green Talent Scramble: Building a Sustainable Future in Irish Finance

​Boasting a 40% growth rate since 2015, demand for green credentials has taken the talent market by storm – are firms equipped to compete in a sustainability-focused future?

Despite the tremendous surge in green job postings, only 1 in 8 workers have green skills on their CV (according to data from LinkedIn), making for a tough hiring landscape.

In light of increasing regulatory pressures, a lack of access to green skills poses a significant challenge in the world of financial services, specifically compliance, governance, audit, and risk.

That said, it also presents a compelling opportunity for firms to future-proof their workforces and position themselves as market leaders. Here’s how (and why).

A Stronger Employer Value Proposition

Sustainable businesses are attractive to both talent and investors. ESG (environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are enticing prospects to future-facing investors, particularly since the start of the COVID pandemic.

According to projections, Ireland is set to achieve a 29% reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions against a national target of 51% by 2030. Urgency is needed, and firms have an opportunity to capitalise in a space where investors recognise the long-term value of employers who commit to sustainability.

Building a strong value proposition that reflects your dedication to green business is a must. You can start by:

  • Impact reporting – a transparent business has an easier time building trust. Since the introduction of the SEAR Individual Accountability Framework (IAF), governance, culture, conduct, and reporting have been firmly in the spotlight. Publishing an impact report (a data-rich breakdown of your firm’s progress against your objectives) is a superb way to increase accountability and spotlight your firm’s commitment to making a positive difference. Looking for an example? Download ours here.

  • Sustainable partnerships – your commitment to sustainability should be reflected in your partnerships. Buying from eco-friendly vendors, forming charity partnerships, and hosting sustainability-focused networking events can help you grow your green footprint.

  • Invest in Diversity and Inclusion – diverse and inclusive companies are attractive companies. Implementing unconscious bias training, language bias decoding tools, employee resource groups, regular inclusivity training, diversity metrics, targeted policies, and mutual mentorship programmes can help you strengthen your D&I framework.

  • Get Certified – an official green certification is a great way to authenticate your firm's commitment to sustainable business. Perhaps the most renowned of which is the B Corp accreditation, a designation given to businesses that meet the highest verified standards of performance, accountability, and transparency when it comes to their social and environmental impact. It took us over two years to become verified, and it’s proven to be one of our most impactful business developments. Find out more here.

Avoid greenwashing at all costs. There’s been a growing trend of greenwashing amongst Irish businesses in recent years, although Europe’s recent approval of anti-greenwashing legislation has led to a clampdown. Read about it here.

Closing Talent Gaps

We’re seeing heightened market activity across most of the sustainability space, with plenty of movement across financial services. The majority of the movement is in consulting, and the candidates are coming from a wealth of different backgrounds.

This is somewhat reflective of the way Irish firms are currently implementing ESG functions – from Climate Risk jobs to ESG Management Jobs, there’s no rule of where their sustainability roles sit inside the business.

As risk-savvy talent increasingly seeks companies with strong risk cultures, this represents an opportunity for firms to attract top talent by demonstrating a clear commitment to ESG principles.

Even as the dynamic of the wider hiring market shifts (from candidate-led to employer-led), competition for talent in high-growth areas like sustainability remains fierce. Re-focusing your recruitment process to target coachability, skills over experience, and transferability is a great place to start.

It’s important to note that speed matters – top talent is not on the market for long, and they likely won’t wait around if the recruitment process is lengthy (it’s often why great companies miss out on top contract talent).

Support from Broadgate

No matter how good your value proposition, searching in the same place for talent as everyone else will likely fail to yield meaningful results, or at the very least, it’ll slow you down (and the time to fill is already extremely high).

Here at Broadgate, we support our clients through a diversity-focused, community-led approach to recruitment, enabling us to create access to a broader talent pool. Simultaneously, this helps our clients reach their workforce diversity goals, and it helps our community members find meaningful careers.

Need support from our specialist recruiters? Whether you’re hoping to build an ESG function from the ground up, hire your first Senior Climate Risk Manager, or find a meaningful new career of your own, Broadgate’s financial services consultants are here to support you – contact the team here to find out more: