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Commodities Talent Market Overview

Posted on December 2020 By Brandon Garber

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Whilst 2020 has represented challenges previously unseen, hiring in the Energy sector has been able to adapt impressively and several companies, large and small, have been able to onboard new talent remotely. The global pandemic has forced businesses in the sector to adopt to new practices such as video conferences for interviews, extending offers without ever meeting a candidate in person, and providing the tools needed for the new employee to succeed while working from home.

In particular, the retail energy sector has been buoyant, especially on the sales side, throughout the year in terms of recruitment, with an impetus on the Natural Gas and Electricity side. We have not only seen an increase in hires in this space at Selby Jennings, but also a varied geographic impact as new roles have been vibrant not only in Texas, but also particularly in the Southeast and Northeast. With major volatility in oil & gas prices this year, the retail sector has been ever more reliant on the skillsets and relationships that salespeople are able to leverage.

For wholesale traders, the difficulty in hiring new staff was more significant in H1 as, traditionally, it was crucial in these roles for an individual to be working in an office, alongside other traders and support staff. However, as we moved into H2 we began to see firms become much more open to allowing new traders to begin their tenures working from home, albeit still a challenge for employers as limiting collaboration and the cultural component has proved to be a difficulty many are simply just having to adapt to. This has driven the competition for top talent to an all-time high as firms are seeking the candidates with the ability to hit the ground running, who can be successful in an autonomous work environment and have the intrinsic motivation to perform at a high level away from an office setting.

Overall, this year has been challenging across the economy with no industry being exempt entirely. That said, the agility and lofty ambitions of growing firms within the energy space has not led to a dramatic downturn in hiring activity. Within revenue generating positions specially, the resilience of the energy sector has allowed for a busy 12 months of recruitment. As we prepare for a new year in an economic climate much different than that of last, there is great expectation for the energy market and commodities markets as a whole to not only bounce back but excel. We are poised for a big year and expecting a lot of activity in the market in 2021.

If you need support in hiring top talent in the Commodities sector, or want to discuss your hiring needs in 2021, get in touch with the Selby Jennings team.