Monica Scantlen: Senior Recruiter at EnergeiaWorks

Monica Scantlen recruits employees in the solar and other renewable energy industries for EnergeiaWorks, a recruiting firm that is exclusively focused on renewables. Working remotely from Austin, Texas (the company is headquartered in New Jersey), Monica interviews job seekers for a wide range of positions and skill levels. “I love the variety that comes with recruiting for this industry,” she says. “I’m talking to engineers, I’m talking to estimators, I’m talking to project developers — all the way from general managers down to technicians.”

Monica says candidates are often surprised to learn about the diversity of jobs available in solar. “You might be a structural engineer, and solar companies would take these skills and have you look at the structural integrity of PV systems. You might be an electrical engineer, and an inverter organization is looking for someone with your background. You might be a business development manager with a very successful sales background, and now you’re looking to move into the solar industry. And I’ve worked with programmers and accountants who really want to move into the industry because they believe in and support renewable energy.”

Monica has found the most successful candidates are those with a genuine passion for renewables. “Those are the ones who tend to really thrive, because it becomes their passion and not just a place to work.” She adds that the solar industry is very collaborative, so candidates need to be willing to step out of their narrow fields and team up with colleagues across an organization.

For solar companies that have difficulty finding qualified employees, Monica says moving quickly through the recruiting and interview process is key. “This is such a tight job market that we’re constantly telling our clients, if you are interested in a candidate, you’ve got to move quickly. If companies are not quick to respond, they may lose out on someone who could have been the perfect hire.” And when a company finds a great candidate, they shouldn’t delay sending the job offer! She adds, “Companies need to be actively out there networking, making sure they’re at industry conferences and trade shows, meeting those people that could be potential hires down the road.”

Monica also recommends that companies partner with an executive search firm, which is a good way to recruit “potential candidates who are not actively looking for a new role or on the job boards, but who might be interested if it’s the perfect job.”