ESG is one of the fastest-growing fields in business, as both investors and corporations alike are looking to incorporate sustainability into their business models. This is increasing the demand for ESG-minded leaders and executives across all sectors and in turn causing executive recruitment firms to adapt their strategies to find the best talent for these roles.
With leadership positions in sustainability quickly becoming one of the most sought-after positions in business, executive recruiters need to have a deep understanding of the ESG landscape to identify the most qualified executives for these roles. They also need to assess a candidate’s ability to successfully navigate this complex and ever-changing field. While traditional talent management firms have typically focused on finding candidates with the right skillset and experience, recruitment specialists now need to also consider a candidate’s ESG credentials.
The percentage of people with the knowledge and skills needed for environmental sustainability is on the rise, according to LinkedIn’s new Global Green Skills Report 2022. It states that workers with knowledge or skills required to support environmental sustainability in the global workforce has grown by 38% – rising from 9.6% in 2015 to 13.3% so far in 2022.
Asia Pacific is also affected, having seen a staggering 30% growth in hiring for green jobs — defined as non-derivable positions that require sustainability skills. This is largely due to new industries emerging and growing rapidly across both developed markets like China and Japan but also less economically powerful countries such as South Korea, which are looking at how they can become more sustainable without losing their competitive edge.
While some large organisations may have already established ESG or sustainability teams, many are still in the process of doing so. As a result, there is a great need for executives who can provide strategic direction and leadership in this area.
From an executive recruitment perspective:
- ESG criteria will become more important in the candidate selection process. To be considered for a role, candidates will need to demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to ESG issues.
- Companies will place greater emphasis on hiring executives with experience in sustainability. As sustainability becomes a core business issue, those with expertise in this area will be in high demand.
- ESG will become a key factor in determining compensation. Executives able to successfully navigate ESG issues, balance the interests of all parties and help their companies prosper in the years to come will be handsomely rewarded.
Essential Skills for ESG executives in the future
Future Singapore has identified more than 450 job roles across 17 sectors requiring green skills, including manufacturing, trade & connectivity (including transport), and financial services built environment.
According to Skills Future’s analysis, there will be a continuous demand for sustainability solutions such as new carbon technology, solar energy, or greener process design. These include data analysts, digital marketing analysts and customer insights specialists. Some skills required in tech-lite roles are adopting and applying new technology, data analysis, and market research. For tech-heavy job roles, such as software engineers, some priority skills are Internet of Things management and data engineering.
However, overall, candidate must
- Be able to develop and implement ESG strategies that align with the organisation’s overall business goals.
- Have a deep understanding of the various ESG indicators and how they can be used to measure progress.
- Effectively communicate the benefits of ESG to both internal and external stakeholders.
Organisations will also need ESG executives who can help them navigate the ever-changing landscape of sustainability reporting. With new reporting standards being introduced all the time, it’s important that ESG executives are up-to-date on the latest changes and how they can be used to improve the organisation’s reporting.
As the business world slowly but surely shifts its focus to ESG, the question of what roles executives will play and the skills required in this new landscape is top of mind for many. And while there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to ESG, one thing is certain: the future capabilities of executives in sustainability will be crucial to the success of any organisation, and executive recruitment will play an essential role within it.
If you’re looking for help with executive search in the ESG field, look no further than LLM. Our team of experts have the skills and experience necessary to help you find the perfect candidate for your organisation. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find the right executive for your ESG needs.