The CEO of a solar panel company said he had arranged 8 interviews to find a new electrician, but only 2 applicants showed up

2021-11-26 06:54:30 By : Mr. Alex Lei

The CEO of Alternative Energy Southeast said that job applicants have been skipping interviews.

Montana Busch said he has raised his starting salary, but he is working hard to recruit staff.

"Now this is largely an employee market," he told Insider.

The CEO of a solar panel company said that job applicants would not participate in interviews.

Montana Bush, the chief executive of Alternative Energy Southeast of Northern Georgia, told Insider that he had recently arranged interviews with eight candidates for electrician jobs, but only two showed up.

With a severe labor shortage, companies across the United States are increasingly competing with each other for talent. Some companies are increasing wages and providing better benefits to attract new employees and retain existing employees. But many people also have to cut their business because they simply cannot find enough employees.

He said that Bush’s industry used to have to work hard to attract new entrepreneurs, but the pandemic has made the challenge even more daunting. His company is one of many companies that are working hard to recruit new employees. Some business owners told Insider that as many as 90% of candidates did not attend job interviews, and some resigned soon after being hired. A taco restaurant owner said that he was "basically hiring anyone who would show up."

Busch said Alternative Energy South has 25 employees, but ideally hopes to add another 10.

"The workload of solar energy is unlimited," he said, adding that demand is surging because customers want to complete the installation work before the end of the fiscal year so they can apply for tax credits.

Busch said he has increased the starting salary of new solar installers with no experience to around $13 an hour, while those with some experience in the construction industry have increased the starting salary to $16 or $17. He said he also provides medical care and paid holidays.

But one of the biggest obstacles is that job applicants don't realize that working in the solar industry does not require a college degree, Busch said.

"Solar energy is something you can do after graduating from high school," he said. "There seems to be a motivation that you have to go to college to find a high-paying job, but that's not the case."

Busch said solar installers can receive apprenticeship training or receive on-the-job training. But solar installers need at least one year of training and supervision to work completely independently, which means the company cannot immediately deploy new employees to install it on its own, he said. He said this means that solving the labor shortage in the industry is a slow process.

Despite the company’s hiring issues, Bush said that Alternative Energy South’s attrition rate is very low.

"Now this is an employee market, they have all the power, they can ask for a raise and the company, they have to give it to them, or if they want, the employee may go elsewhere and get more money," Busch said. "By treating our employees well, we have been able to avoid this to a large extent."

The Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) has set a goal that by 2030 solar power generation will reach 30% of the US power generation. To achieve this goal, the industry will have approximately 230,000 laborers in 2020, and an additional 800,000 workers will need to be added. association.

“Recruitment has been a challenge for ten years, but the pandemic has exacerbated it to the extreme,” Matthew Messer, owner of the New York Solar Maintenance Company, told Insider in July. "We are all fighting for an already small labor pool."

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