Nexamp: Recruiting a Diverse Staff
Nexamp is a company that offers solar and energy storage solutions. Its mission is: Building the future of energy so it is clean, simple, and accessible. Baked into this mission is the idea that everyone should have equal access to a clean energy future and the benefits that come with it— including jobs that provide a fair, living wage and lead to a fulfilling career. Nexamp has built an executive team that is diverse in gender, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic background. The company also has HR policies, such as training on inclusive language for job postings and on implicit bias, that support hiring diverse employees and proactively participates in diversity-related career fairs. However, when evaluating the talent pipeline, the team saw it needed to take an intentional approach to ensuring the diversity at the top is reflected across the organization and continues to be sustained through company growth.
One of the ways Nexamp responded to this challenge was to create the Solar Sunrise program to bring in non-traditional candidates. Individuals with a high school or community college degree join the full-time paid program, where they rotate over the course of a year through the engineering, procurement and construction teams. The main requirement for entry is to be passionate about Nexamp’s mission, have a ‘can do’ attitude, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Applicants are also asked to have computer literacy. This gives participants the ability to get to know multiple areas of work and discover where they would like to build their careers. At the end of the year, participants are offered a full-time position on the team where there’s a fit between organizational need and participant interest. Another response to the challenge is in Nexamp’s participation in the Climate Leadership Initiative’s Empowering Diversity in Clean Tech (EDICT) internship program to recruit more BIPOC interns.
Nexamp also recognizes that where its offices are located affects who will apply for jobs. The company does not want lack of transportation or cost of housing to be a barrier for potential employees, so it is currently building out new office space in a gateway community in Massachusetts. The hope is that the new location will draw from a different recruiting pool and will inject new, diverse resources into the community.
Staff diversity is only part of the story for Nexamp- the company also is very intentionally thinking about supplier and contractor diversity, establishing a policy with the end-goal to ensure that certified and qualified women, minorities, veterans, service-disabled veterans, members of the LGBTQ community and small businesses can be part of Nexamp’s supply chain. Beyond their commercial operations, Nexamp is also vetting its internal office procurement procedures and seeking diverse businesses to supply catering for company events. Nexamp has active construction projects in at least 7 states with more constantly in development and offices for its 350+ strong workforce from Maine to California, so this effort has the potential to have a large impact.