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June 9, 2023

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How to hire and retain EHS professionals in Europe – an insight

Gerry Pearson, Shirley Parsons’ Managing Partner, Project Services provided insight on how to hire and retain EHS professionals at NSC Network’s EU Health, Safety and Environment Forum in Amsterdam.

Gerry Pearson, Managing Partner, Project Services at Shirley Parsons

Speaking to directors and senior level executives he said: “If you have the right people on the bus, the problem of how to motivate and manage people largely goes away.

“The right people don’t need to be tightly managed or fired up; they will be self-motivated by the inner drive to produce the best results and to be part of creating something great.”

Gerry acknowledged there is an increasingly competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining talented employees.

He referenced the Salary and Insights Survey for 2023 by Shirley Parsons which showed more than half of those surveyed are looking for a new role in the next year.

He revealed 51% of HSEQ professionals are looking for a new role in the next 12 months, with over 21% looking to leave immediately.

The survey also showed 68% of respondents think their next role will be with a new employer and only 5% were sure their next role will be with their current employers.

However, the professionals do intend to stay in the industry – two thirds were sure their next role will be within HSEQ and only 1.2% were certain their next role will be outside of HSEQ.

When asked what the most important factors are when considering a new position, management style was top of the list with 59% rating it as very important.

“Managers need to invest in their employees’ development or someone else will” 

Professional developmentThe top three most unsatisfied factors were the bonus scheme (52%), progression (45%) and ESG/sustainability strategy (39%).

Gerry added: “Those hiring across Europe need to recognise that their teams have more career options than ever before.

“Flexi working and working from home is important to almost everyone but it is important to remember that employees leave managers, not companies. The results of our recent survey proved this.
“If you’re unhappy with culture, you’re looking to leave but engaged employees deliver business results – so managers need to invest in their employees’ development or someone else will.

“Make sure you change before it gets stale.”

The forum also included networking and communicating with professional peers on critical issues regarding health, safety, and environment.

NSC Networks, a global Occupational Safety and Health consulting and networking group, interacts with member companies to access administrators of relevant governmental agencies.

Gerry was a founding member of Shirley Parsons Professional Services in 2005 and has been involved in overseeing a strategic partnership that provides staff augmentation services and delivers major projects across the renewable energy and technology sectors.

In 2016, Gerry initiated Leadership First; a community that promotes a “Mind-set Approach” to long term change, leading to better business outcomes.

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