Current Trends in Hiring Sustainability Professionals

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The growing awareness of sustainability has become a hot topic for companies worldwide. Society is demanding businesses create changes in how they operate. They want greener, more sustainable efforts in their agendas.

Now that leaders have succumbed to the growing demand, the job market is shifting quickly. The need for talent in sustainability is increasing. Linkedin’s Global Green Skills Report shows that these abilities have seen a 38.5% growth rate. Many people are anticipating what the future holds for these careers.

Here are the trends you’ll see rising in green talent.

1. Increasing New Roles in Green Jobs

Many of the fastest-growing green job titles include sustainability manager, solar consultant, environmental health and safety specialist, ecologist, and wind turbine technician.

Most of these jobs — such as compliance manager or facilities manager — don’t require extensive training in sustainability. However, specific skills are needed. Opportunities for people to incorporate climate change into their job is expanding.

Many are seeing demand for people to create focus on climate in their careers. Companies must show how they minimize greenhouse gasses, so climate-tech jobs — data scientists and software engineers — are the most crucial positions to fill.

2. Facing Fierce Competition

Despite increasing resources and more job openings in sustainability, students graduating with degrees related to sustainability will most likely still struggle to find suitable jobs.

This is mainly due to new graduates lacking connections and experience. In 2020 two-thirds of new hires in sustainability teams were found from outside the organization. Still, most professionals reported getting their position because of someone they knew at the company or were contacted by the company. Many companies are still determining what qualifications they’re looking for and feel more comfortable hiring professionals they already know.

So what does that mean for companies looking to fill sustainability positions? Before hiring, determine what aspects of sustainability matter to your corporation and what qualifications a candidate should have. Also, never be afraid to find out what connections your employees already have to sustainability professionals.

This may also mean going out on a limb in hiring someone newer to the field. If this is the case, check references, ensure their knowledge, experience, and values align with your company’s, and determine if they are the right person to help you lay a path to meeting your sustainability goals.

3. Fulfilling Sustainable Positions Internally

Companies are integrating the value of the triple bottom line and embedding sustainability as a strategic effort into their mission, goals, and business strategy. This key factor means they believe they can teach sustainability and want someone who knows how to implement changes and understands the company. 

This is good news for those with experience, but it also provides more opportunities for those making a career change. However, those roles require someone with a background in program implementation, stakeholder engagement, and moving corporate citizenship forward.

Essentially, businesses look for employees with two top skills — innovation and knowledge. People that can integrate sustainability with commercial success become the ideal person for the job.

4. Upskilling Is Needed to Meet Green Talent Demand

Green skills apply to recycling, remediation, climate change, renewable energy, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration policy. These abilities are in most demand across job sectors. 

Employers also look for people with a background in sustainable business, such as environmental finance, eco-friendly fashion, and oil-spill response. Moreover, increasing job postings for business engineers and financial analysts requires skills in renewable energy as more companies launch their sustainability initiatives.

Therefore, upskilling is in high demand in the green job market. More recently, Climatebase launched its fellowship program for professionals to accelerate their careers and work with mentors in green industries. The program is an excellent opportunity for professionals seeking green skills to work through courses, projects, and mentorship.

5. Adapting to the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Most sustainability initiatives within companies start with employees who don’t have a formal role in the practice. Businesses centered on climate change embrace influence, leadership, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Today, businesses need to pick up the pace to meet change and want innovators to thrive in a constantly growing role. The most prevalent skills in demand include social intelligence, cross-cultural competency, and adaptability. 

One way professionals can get a job in sustainability is by carving out careers in their current positions. Employees are far better off since they have the network and understand the sector. Then they must create a business case for their new role by leveraging their knowledge.

Taking a Leap Forward

Those who care about sustainability and want more purpose can find a fulfilling career in the green job market. Moving into a sustainability field will require upskilling for green job skills, and businesses need to pick up the pace of hiring green talent to meet the needs of the changing world.

To show businesses how green knowledge can benefit an employer, professionals need to think innovatively and be willing to learn new skills.


Jane Marsh is the founder and editor-in-chief of


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By Jane Marsh