Case Study - Hydrogen

Sourcing a Multi-Disciplinary Engineering Team

Our client is an industrial scale developer and operator of clean hydrogen, offering end-to-end asset integration.

The Client's Hiring Challenges

As a start-up, our client sought personnel who were agile and dynamic and recognised that a move into a fledgling industry involved a degree of risk.

A start-up business with a deadline

As a start-up, they have no established hiring processes in place. The client had committed a sizeable investment into a global portfolio of Hydrogen projects totalling 5GW in capacity and therefore urgently needed to secure volume and multi-disciplinary engineering resource to fulfil the project scope.

Conflicts of interest

We have worked with the client’s parent company for a number of years through our Managed Services brand – NES Advantage Solutions. During our partnership, we have built a demonstrable history of supplying highly experienced energy personnel for some of the region’s largest and most technically complex projects, often in highly tight turnarounds. Whilst our existing parent company relationship instilled confidence within the client, they did not want to take any existing personnel from this business, further narrowing the eligible talent pool.

Lack of developed talent pool

The junior status of the hydrogen industry means the qualified talent pool is slim. The client’s Norway location means that the local talent pool is heavily weighted toward the upstream offshore oil and gas market. It was clear that the search would need to involve candidates from other geographies, and industries with transferable skills. To try and mitigate the risk, the hiring manager had stated that if prospective engineers lacked Hydrogen experience, they should at least offer Downstream process experience.

Our Recruitment Solution

We appointed a dedicated Alternative Energy consultant to launch a full search and head-hunting exercise across the whole of central Europe with a particular emphasis on searching for personnel within countries with a thriving Downstream industry, and for candidates with experience in transferable technologies.

  • Our central European exercise encompassed Norway, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Spain and France. Through our established European office network, our specialist was able to co-ordinate with colleagues across the continent and therefore speed up the time-critical exercise.
  • The multiple nationalities involved in the drive meant our consultant worked around the clock to facilitate constant communication which would keep the process on track, including navigating around the lengthy Norwegian holiday period.
  • The lack of open talent pool meant that the passive market was targeted with confidentiality until an interview was secured.
  • All of the roles were on a permanent basis making our comprehensive screening process all the more pressing – not only did we qualify for technical aptitude and orchestrate extensive background checks, we screened personalities heavily to ensure that prospective hires were the right fit for a start-up environment.

The client placed such high value in our consultancy that they invited our specialist to sit in the first stage interviews with the client’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the HR Director. Following the interviews our specialist advised the best candidate options and managed the negotiations.

We have built the client’s entire engineering team and have recruited 8 people so far across process engineering, electrical engineering, instrumentation & automation, mechanical & piping and technical safety.


Our support enabled the start-up business to implement efficient and effective internal processes to better support their future recruitment and onboarding efforts. 

  • The candidates we have placed are from all across Europe with the multi-national team embodying Norwegians, Swedes, Spaniards and British personnel.
  • The depth of our networking has enabled us to supply concise shortlists of 4 prospective candidates against each position.
  • On average, 50% have made it through to a second interview stage.
  • Speed has been at the forefront of the recruitment drive and we have placed candidates as quickly as 8 weeks from receiving the brief to candidate acceptance.

Staffing expertise for a brighter tomorrow

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