Hiring driven by increased investments in renewables
Aspen Andersen — Foto: Leo Pinheiro/Valor
Power companies are expanding their workforces to include more managers involved in renewable energy production.
According to a study by ManpowerGroup on hiring expectations for the next quarter in Brazil for the recruitment and selection of professionals, the energy and utilities industry is the one with the highest hiring intentions, with 50% of the total, among the nine segments evaluated.
Comparatively, the sector concentrates more job opportunities than the technology sector (41%), which is traditionally known for its constant demand for résumés, said Nilson Pereira, the country manager of ManpowerGroup. The study was conducted between April 3 and 28 among 1,020 employers in the country.
Among the states with the highest hiring expectations across all sectors surveyed, Minas Gerais stands out with 40%, ahead of Rio de Janeiro (33%) and São Paulo (31%). “This is mainly due to the renewable energy sector [in the state], which is receiving strong investments and expanding recruitment,” Mr. Pereira said.
Since last year, Minas Gerais has been the leader in solar power production in Brazil, according to a study by the Brazilian Solar Energy Association (Absolar). According to the study, conducted in collaboration with the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (ANEEL), the state concentrates 30,900 megawatts of power for the production and consumption of solar power, between plants in operation and those under construction.
“Over the past three years, we have built a renewable energy portfolio through partnerships and acquisitions, positioning ourselves as an energy company in mature markets such as electricity and ethanol; and in segments with rapid growth potential, such as biogas, green diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and electromobility,” said Aspen Andersen, vice president of people and technology at Vibra Energia, which has 3,300 employees.
According to the executive, the company founded in 1971 as a subsidiary of Petrobras and privatized in 2019 has already invested around R$4 billion in renewable energy solutions. Proof of this was the recent creation of a new department focused on the sector. The unit will be headed by Clarissa Sadock, former CEO of energy group AES Brasil, who will take over in August.
CPFL Renováveis, created by the CPFL in 2011, hired 50 people last year alone. The company with 600 employees (4% of the group’s total) owns eight hydroelectric plants, 49 wind farms, 46 small hydroelectric plants, and eight biomass plants, as well as two thermoelectric plants and one solar plant, in eight states.
“The strategy for the coming years is to train the people who live near our wind farms,” said Francisco Galvão, director of operations at CPFL Renováveis. One of the courses, in Rio Grande do Norte, will take place from August to February 2024 and is open to indigenous communities – it will train electrical system maintenance assistants for wind farms.
Experts in the recruitment of managers say that the competition for managers is likely to intensify in the coming months because of the investments already committed to new operations. In Rio Grande do Norte, for example, the state government has just signed an agreement with the Chinese multinational Citic Group Corporation for the construction of a solar power plant in the municipality of Assú, 200 kilometers from Natal, with investments estimated at R$2.5 billion.
In São Paulo, the State Energy Plan 2050, which promotes energy transition actions and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, identified in May 21 projects with a total private-sector investment of R$16.8 billion. At least 10 are in the implementation phase, according to information from the São Paulo government, and include the production of cars that use hybrid engines as an alternative to gasoline and the construction of plants that generate energy from sugarcane bagasse. Companies such as Raízen and Toyota own some of the shares.
At the end of June, a mega-auction awarded nine concessions for the construction and maintenance of 6,100 kilometers of power transmission lines in six states. Eight companies or partners plan to invest R$15.7 billion in the coming years and the event was considered the largest, in the transmission segment, carried out by ANEEL, and is expected to create 29,300 jobs.
The movement of executives in the sector is so significant that it is also causing changes among the major recruitment brands. In March, the Fesa Group, a human resources consultancy founded in 1995, announced a merger with Select Humans for Energy, which has been providing candidates for the energy industry since 2015. “The goal is to strengthen the team in the segment,” said Carlos Guilherme Nosé, CEO of Fesa Group.
In the same month, WorldWide Recruitment Energy, an agency specialized in recruitment in the energy sector, created in Spain in 2015, partnered with Brazilian Energizar Consultoria, in the market since 2020, to identify candidate profiles in the renewable market. Talent mining should serve both to find global executives for local companies, as well as to refer Brazilians for job opportunities in Europe.
According to Luisa Gentil Blandy, vice president and partner of Fesa Group, salaries in the segment can vary according to the size of the employer. “In general, the management positions have a salary range of R$25,000 to R$35,000, while positions in the board pay from R$35,000 to R$60,000,” she said.
The training of personnel is also the focus of the organizations. Elgin, known for making sewing machines but now producing and distributing photovoltaic equipment, trained more than 2,000 system integrators between January and June.
*Por Jacílio Saraiva — São Paulo
Source: Valor International