Finding talent for new energy

By Xiao Wan (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-07-05 10:29
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BEIJING: Log on to the website of, one of the largest online human resources service providers in China, and you can easily find many recruitment advertisements for different new energy firms in businesses ranging from wind to solar.

These companies include well-known international giants such as Danish wind power equipment maker Vestas, one of the leading wind energy developers in the world. An increasing number of domestic companies also show up on the site, including Himin Solar and wind turbine maker Sinovel.

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Take Shandong-based Himin Solar for example. The company has launched an ambitious recruitment plan this year as part of its efforts to develop into one of the top solar energy developers in the world, Huang Ming, president of the company, told China Business Weekly.

Such a boom indicates the rapid development of new energy industries in China in recent years, said analysts. "I believe there will be more job opportunities in the future, as these industries will continue to see quick growth," said Han Xiaoping, a veteran energy analyst in Beijing.

"It (the new energy industry) is very active in China," said Tony Goodwin, founder and chief executive officer of human resources service provider Antal Ventures. For the London-based company, which now has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, the new energy industry presents huge business opportunities, he said.

According to a report released by the company in June, the energy sector is among the top five with most job opportunities.

As the world's second largest energy consumer, China has made big strides in developing new energies including nuclear, wind and solar power. Development of these sectors will also be highlighted in the country's 12th Five-Year (2011-2015) Plan for the energy industry.

There are two major targets in energy and the environment for China at present - to increase the use of non-fossil fuels to 15 percent of primary energy consumption in 2020, and to reduce carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent in 2020 from 2005 levels. These have made the development of new energies a must, said analysts.

Although now the scale of new energy sources in China cannot be compared with conventional providers, such as coal and oil, the sectors would remain more dynamic, said Han.


Despite the fact that a number of new energy companies in China are increasing the number of their employees to meet the expansion, most of them are facing the same problem: where to get the best talent.

Take the country's nuclear power industry for instance. Many industry insiders have said that recruiting talented individuals will be a big issue for the industry in the near future.

Reports of a small leak from a fuel rod at the Daya Bay nuclear power station in Shenzhen attracted much attention in June. Commenting on the issue, Yu Zusheng, a member of the experts committee with State Nuclear Power Technology Corp (SNPTC), said it should not be called an accident and would do no harm to the environment. However, he agreed that China needed to invest more on manpower in the nuclear industry.

In the US there are around 4,000 people involved in the safe operating and monitoring of around 100 civilian nuclear power reactors in the country. The figure in China is only 300, said Yu.

As for Antal, Goodwin said one strategy his company used was to find capable people across different industries to meet the requirements of its customers in the new energy industry.

It is difficult to find talented people with many years of experience in China's new energy industry, so Antal tends to search among other industries, he added.