talent has to be hired from abroad

talent has to be hired from abroad
talent has to be hired from abroad
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Until 2030 the so-called green transition will create up to 30 million new jobs in the world, according to data from the International Energy Agency. Although the need for sustainability specialists and managers is growing intensively, companies conducting personnel selections are turning their heads on how to attract talent from abroad – there are not many professionals in this field in Lithuania. According to Audrias Rutkauskas, head of the Sustainability Department of SEB banka, they are lacking for several reasons – the uncertainty of the field, unsettled practices and numerous requirements.

Evelina Latyšovič, head of business operations of the Lithuanian division of the global personnel solutions company Manpower, tells the Tvari Lietuva initiative that the need for so-called green talents is extremely felt today, and it will be even greater in the future.

“As many as 7 out of 10 global employers are currently planning to hire specialists in the field of sustainability, according to the latest data from ManpowerGroup. Also, even 94 percent of the world’s employers claim that they lack experts who can help achieve the set ESG (environmental, social, governance) goals. Sustainability specialists are currently most attractive in the energy and services (81%), manufacturing (36%) and logistics (31%) sectors.

What’s more, research shows that one in two talent looking for a new job would currently choose a sustainable company over one that doesn’t care about the environment. Investors do not sleep either – even 79 percent. they claim that the way a company implements its ESG plans is an important indicator when choosing what and how much to invest in,” the interviewee mentions as eloquent figures.

SEB has specialized in the field of sustainability since 1995.

The head of the sustainability department, A. Rutkauskas, says that the first sustainability specialist started working in the SEB group back in 1995. Less than ten years later, the first green bonds were introduced, in 2015. SEB focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“Finally in 2021 SEB Group presented a sustainability strategy, which aims to contribute to the creation of a sustainable society, promote the transformation of business customers and reduce fossil fuel financing. SEB Group has set new goals and objectives in the field of climate change, the results of which have been used to evaluate the Group’s progress for several years. In the same year, the position of head of sustainability appeared in SEB Bank Lithuania, later the team was supplemented by several more specialists,” the interviewee tells the “Tvari Lietuva” initiative.

A. Rutkauskas notes that sustainability specialists working in SEB banks in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are united by the Baltic States Sustainability Office. Currently, a team of eight people works in it, they are supported by specialists from different fields who help to implement sustainability changes in the bank.

Identified what is required of sustainability managers and specialists

According to the head of the Sustainability Department of SEB bank, this area is quite new in Lithuania, therefore there are still gray areas, unsettled practices, evaluation methodologies, standards, there is a lack of good quality data that would purposefully help assess the current situation, set measurable goals related to the implementation of the sustainability agenda .

“It is difficult for organizations not only to obtain, but sometimes even to define what data are key to assessing different aspects of sustainability. Looking at the Baltic market, there is no consensus on what data the states collect, where they store it and how they use it. It is difficult to meet expectations when there is no coherent, clearly defined methodology and consensus on the importance of such data in order to confidently move towards the sustainability goals set by the EU, especially in the field of curbing climate change”, A. Rutkauskas is convinced.

According to A. Rutkauskas, another competence that is in high demand and where there is a lack of specialists with experience is the preparation of sustainability-related reports, knowledge of regulatory requirements and ensuring that the reports are submitted correctly, comply with the requirements and expected standards.

“A sustainability specialist must have a range of skills. He must know data analysis, have communication, project and stakeholder management skills. Of course, specific knowledge is needed to help understand the current issues and problems of climate change and sustainability and to find solutions,” he notes.

E. Latyšovič, the head of business operations interviewed by the “Sustainable Lietuva” initiative, seconded the SEB specialist. She assures that there are considerable requirements for the candidates – they must have a higher education in the fields of environmental protection, engineering or business sustainability management, work experience and know English.

“In addition to the general requirements already mentioned, future sustainability managers are also expected to have good leadership skills, organization, communication and the ability to manage a team. Knowledge of environmental protection, social security, governance laws and regulations, and experience in project management are also expected,” she emphasizes.

According to E. Latyšovič, the best sustainability specialists are talents with experience in the field of business management, as well as experts in risk management or quality control.

You notice gaps

The director of the KTU Institute of Environmental Engineering, prof., was previously interviewed by the initiative “Tvari Lietuva”. Dr. Žaneta Stasiškienė said that marketing, communication or environmental specialists often become sustainability managers, but, according to her, these skills alone are not enough. Ž. Stasiškienė assured that those working in the field of sustainability often lack competences, especially when it comes to systematic assessments, decision-making, and development issues.

The interviewee mentioned that Lithuania does not have a specific system for certification of sustainability leaders, certification of competences, which often causes difficulties.

“We communicate a lot with industry organizations. Sometimes we ask them what requirements they set when adopting the sustainability guide. It turns out that they announced a competition, the requirements of which are as an environmental specialist. More than that is needed, which is why I have been talking about this topic for several years. Sustainability should be understood broadly, knowledge of Lithuanian and English at a professional level, technical knowledge is one of the basics. There are not many such specialists in Lithuania”, she is convinced.

The salary also reaches 4 thousand. euros, talent has to be sought abroad

E. Latyšovič agrees that it takes a long time to find talent in the field of sustainability in Lithuania. According to her, the selection of these specialists is much more complicated due to the complexity and uncertainty of the position.

“Due to the lack of talent for sustainability specialists, we also have to think about attracting Lithuanians who have emigrated to their homeland or hiring them from abroad, where sustainability specialists have more work experience in this field and can bring fashion and good practices to Lithuania. Unfortunately, such solutions are not suitable for all companies, because there is a language barrier, salary expectations and possibilities are exceeded, and a lack of knowledge of national law,” says the specialist.

The interviewee states that the salary offered to sustainability specialists varies on average between 1476 and 2682 EUR/month. before taxes. The average salary of sustainability managers offered on the market is 3350-4000 EUR/month. before taxes.

“It is likely that due to the increasing demand, these salary cuts will only increase, because not all companies have yet realized that they need and will definitely need sustainability specialists in the future,” E. Latyšovič is convinced.

Internship programs help you improve in the field of sustainability

A. Rutkauskas notes that even with the above-mentioned competences and strong potential, the question inevitably arises – where to start pursuing a career in the field of sustainability? The specialist sees a fundamental problem – organizations are usually looking for already experienced specialists. However, it is possible to grow and improve. The sustainability manager identifies what opportunities SEB Group offers in this area.

“Internship programs help to grow, understand ESG data processing and gain a deeper understanding of sustainability issues. Specifically, SEB bank offers such candidates an international 9-month internship program with the opportunity to stay and work in the SEB Baltics Sustainability Office team, which is responsible for the implementation of the sustainability agenda. Program participants have a unique opportunity to do internships abroad, solve business challenges and improve in the field of sustainability data”, assures A. Rutkauskas.

The interviewer adds that he himself participated in a similar program at the beginning of his career in the United Kingdom, although he was working in a different field then. SEB’s head of sustainability has no doubt that it was one of the best decisions that laid a solid foundation for a successful career development.


The article is in Lithuanian

Tags: talent hired

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