There’s excellent news, extra excellent news and a bit of dangerous information.
The seventh biannual State of the Profession (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 house for greater than 15 years, I’m heartened by the progress, and I wish 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 larger ranges.
Greater than 80 % of the folks we surveyed obtained 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 immediately. 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 whole compensation.
Broadly, this paints an image of prosperity. Coupled with general funds 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 massive wage boosts, and corporations placing collectively greater and higher whole compensation packages for executives.
2. Sustainability jobs in reporting and web 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 price” accelerated forward of the general hiring price within the U.S. and globally. Whereas 76 % of respondents elevated their organizational headcount, with the identical quantity noting an general enhance of their budgets, it additionally exhibits we don’t at the moment have sufficient expert folks for some jobs accessible.
Probably 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 web zero and reporting can both be the whole function (“Director of Internet Zero”) or it may be included as a accountability for the top of sustainability (somebody with the CSO, VP or SVP title).
As I wrote within the SOTP, reporting was once “0.5 FTE,” or half of an individual’s full-time employment. This particular person would write an ESG report for about half the yr and fulfill different tasks for the opposite half. As we speak, at the least two persons are doubtless 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 by way of 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 through the pandemic. That’s a big quantity. I’ve seen this development in my work as nicely, with extra workers shifting after a shorter time frame.
It’s doubtless that is due, partially, to the primary development: New workers are being supplied more cash, giving folks an incentive to go away for a brand new function. It’s additionally associated to the pandemic and the conclusion that work could be accomplished from wherever. An growing variety of persons are searching for flexibility. As I’ve written beforehand in regards to the Great Resignation, workers are shifting to employers that give them the perfect 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 regularly, it will likely be onerous for corporations to make severe progress on their commitments. Sustainability is pressing, difficult work that relies on cohesive groups with longevity — a.okay.a. dedication from gifted folks.
I’ve little doubt sustainability will proceed to develop as a career, and I’m actively engaged in serving to fill the pipeline with youthful and extra various professionals, whereas additionally serving to my shoppers discover — and hold — skilled professionals.
I do consider, nevertheless, that the gold rush we’re in proper now will abate over the subsequent few years as jobs develop into extra outlined and the pipeline of expertise expands. I’ve stated this repeatedly: Discover a job you’re keen on, and it received’t really feel like work. I do know that’s true for me.