Capstone Infrastructure - Canada’s Clean Energy Innovators
With detailed insight from Chandler Robertson, our senior consultant, and Capstone’s long-serving HR manager, Sherry Provis, this case study will unearth who Capstone are, how our partnership with them came to be, and how we helped them overcome their hiring goals and grow their internal team.
Powering Sustainable Futures
As one of Canada’s clean energy innovators, Capstone Infrastructure has a presence across six Canadian provinces and the US, with 31 renewable power and clean energy facilities in operation, generating enough energy to power approximately 180,000 homes annually.
With nearly two decades of experience in the renewables market, Capstone Infrastructure continually seeks to expand its contributions to a low-carbon future. This vision for expansion was spearheaded in the middle of the pandemic, with a need to make multiple permanent hires.
However, with limited internal resources and availability, Capstone Infrastructure required a recruitment partner to become an extension of their brand and to support them with their hiring needs. That’s where we come in.
Who is Capstone Infrastructure?
Capstone Infrastructure was founded in Toronto, Canada (2004) after separating from the Australian financial services group Macquarie Group Limited to pursue its aims of contributing to global renewable energy efforts.
Since its formation, Capstone has established a legacy within the renewables space, investing and operating in clean energy organizations in specialisms such as wind, solar, biomass run-of-river hydro, and natural gas. The company prides itself as one of Canada’s leading independent power producers, with nearly two decades of experience building, operating, and owning diversified renewable energy facilities across Canada.
Their mission is to help progress the energy transition through creative and innovative thinking, developing strong partnerships, and committing to their values of having a work ethic focused on quality and integrity. Alongside its mission and values, Capstone has a vision focused on generating the low-carbon future of North America.
Ultimately, the words of their 17-year veteran HR manager, Sherry Provis, best summarize who Capstone are:
“We are a group of people who are dedicated to getting to zero emissions, lowering our carbon footprint, and providing power to people, neighborhoods, and families. Ultimately, we want to make a difference in this world and feel good about what we do.”
Why did Capstone need our support?
Amid the pandemic in 2020, Sherry had to juggle two critical business roles - the head of HR and recruitment. When the renewable energy projects started to pick back up in the wake of the pandemic, Capstone began developing its latest business plan. They sought to grow their internal team, which stood at between 80 to 100 employees, by making some permanent hires.
The challenge of finding people to take the business forward, particularly those in the development team, from construction workers to finance specialists, was met with the challenge Capstone faced regarding its limited internal resources. With a lack of people to fulfill their hiring needs, Capstone needed a recruitment partner who would listen to their requirements, care about their business, and be an extension of their brand.
How we developed our partnership with Capstone
Our partnership with Capstone began in 2020 when our senior consultant, Chandler Robertson, emailed the VP of development at Capstone about the development search they were conducting. Chandler connected with Sherry and arranged to meet to discuss the potential of a partnership.
During this meeting, Chandler explained to Sherry why it would be beneficial to work with NESF and how we could support their hiring needs. Sherry was looking for someone she could trust to execute their searches for them and be an additional branch of their internal recruitment efforts.
Once terms were signed and the partnership was officially formed, Chandler was tasked with securing a variety of roles for Capstone, across development, finance, construction, and asset management.
Confident that we could support Capstone with their hiring challenges, we knew they were not just looking for candidates to simply fill a vacancy - they needed more than that. Before Chandler could begin the search, he needed to understand exactly the type of candidate Capstone was looking for.
“They just didn't have the internal personnel so it was more of a time and availability issue to actually do the recruitment. I could be that extension of their business that could clearly focus on recruitment and give Sherry a little bit more time back into doing more HR-related tasks."
"I needed someone who would listen and care about Capstone's mission, understand our needs and ultimately be that arm of my HR department.”
- Sherry Provis, HR Manager Capstone Infrastructure
Who is the perfect Capstone Candidate?
Capstone regards its people to be its greatest asset. They have created a family-oriented culture of people who share a genuine passion for helping us reach a low-carbon future.
Sherry’s insight made it clear that this wasn't just a statement; it's something the company genuinely believes in, which is why many of their talent, including Sherry, have remained there for so long.
She also added that the type of candidate Capstone looks for needs to be driven and excited about the renewables space and what Capstone is doing in the sector whilst having a dedication to making a difference for future generations.
"It's not for us; it's really not going to make a difference for us but for our future children and grandchildren. That's the difference it's going to make.
“Our culture is a very family-oriented and all-inclusive team. We're really looking for employees who value this type of culture."
- Sherry Provis, HR Manager Capstone Infrastructure
What have we helped Capstone achieve?
Over the few years since our partnership with Capstone began, we’ve helped them place over 20 permanent hires into their business. With the working relationship between Chandler and Sherry at the helm, Capstone has grown from approximately 100 employees to just shy of 180 people in roles across:
- Asset Management
With the ongoing talent shortages in the renewables market and the specialized nature of the positions we were entrusted with filling, we are extremely satisfied with the team’s performance in successfully placing each hire within an average of five weeks from the start of the process.
More importantly, Capstone is also fulfilled with what we’ve helped them achieve, providing them the talent to support their efforts of developing clean energy projects to lower the planet’s carbon output.
Sherry gave high praise to Chandler, who has been instrumental in the success of the partnership:
"He's always very honest; he's upfront and tells me maybe sometimes not what I want to hear but what I need to hear.
It takes a long time to build a relationship where someone knows and understands your business and what you're looking for. Recruitment is not an easy thing. It's a very time-consuming, daunting, and sometimes painful exercise.
Chandler knows what kind of personality and the type of person I'm looking for that would fit into the organization."
What does the future hold for Capstone Infrastructure and NES Fircroft?
Looking ahead, we’re excited about what the future could bring with our partnership with Capstone. We are certainly hoping to support them as they continue to grow their presence in Canada, build out their brand in the US, and tap into new markets in 2024 and beyond.
Chandler will be at the forefront of the future of our partnership with Capstone. Since working with Sherry and the team, Chandler has gained a genuine passion for who they are and what they do.
Sherry has also given her compliments to NESF and Chandler for supporting Capstone in overcoming their recruitment obstacles and allowing them to see the growth they envisioned. Working relationships like this take time to build, but the results have paid off for both Capstone and us. Capstone has been supported with their hiring challenges, and we've become their first point of call.
We would like to thank Capstone Infrastructure for supporting us with this case study, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for our partnership with them.