The Race to Net Zero: How AI Can be Harnessed to Meet the Growing Demand for Green Skills  

Technology and Nature handshake

By Román Campa

The demand for green skills in Europe is surging, but there’s currently a shortage of talent to meet it. Román Campa, CEO of Adevinta Spain and Head of Real Estate & Emerging Verticals at Adevinta, discusses below how AI is the key to the puzzle, offering solutions that can elevate the recruitment process for both job seekers and employers. 

As the need to transition to more sustainable ways of living and doing business has become more urgent, the demand for green skills has accelerated across Europe.   

With the green economy requiring roles ranging from engineering and building to science, tech, and operational management, more employers than ever are jostling to track down top talent with the experience to meet their needs.   

But with an estimated 18 million people needing to be reskilled across the continent for it to reach its climate goals, there’s a limited pool of candidates to draw from. It’s an unprecedented problem that endangers Europe’s ability to meet net zero targets. 

Overcoming the shortfall in the long-term calls for concerted action from policymakers and large-scale funding. Whilst corporates and governments alike work towards these objectives, the jobs market is under pressure to innovate to make best use of the talent available.  

Enter AI. It has the potential to be transformative for the recruitment and job-search industry over the next few years, and its value to the sector will grow exponentially as it becomes more advanced.   

However, with increased innovation comes increased risk. As artificial intelligence evolves, technology platforms must ensure that AI is used both ethically and responsibly, with humans remaining firmly in the driving seat when it comes to decision-making. 

In the here and now, the recruitment industry is largely operating with the help of “still” non-autonomous AI-assisted technology, which already offers game-changing tools for both employers and candidates to elevate the recruitment process. 

Empowering employers with AI   

By harnessing the power of AI, companies can overcome pain points in the recruitment process and take their talent hunting to the next level. Online job marketplaces are pivotal to this process, facilitating the connection between candidates and employers. Add AI into the equation and you have a formidable combination.    

So, how can AI help? AI-powered assessment tools implemented on jobs marketplaces can now be used to guide employers on the suitability of potential matches, calculating a suitability profile for a candidate using a range of factors — such as the years of sector experience they have, their location, academic credentials, relevant green skills, and the languages they speak. Recruiters can then use the information generated to help them filter applicants according to a job description.   

And recent leaps forward in generative AI mean recruiters at larger organisations can do away with the sometimes tedious task of writing vast numbers of job descriptions. With just a few thoughtful and well-selected prompts, the technology can generate these descriptions itself, significantly speeding up the recruitment process. 

Naturally, ethics and transparency must remain front and centre in the utilisation of these tools to avoid introducing unnecessary bias. When AI is used to profile and score a candidate’s suitability, for example, information such as gender, race, or age, must be excluded, and it’s critical that the process by which the result has been calculated is always clear to the user. With these rules adhered to by jobs marketplaces and boards, companies and job seekers alike stand to benefit.   

Given that since 2021, EU countries have witnessed an increase of 12% in labour market vacancies for green jobs, these tools will fast prove invaluable, particularly for large corporates with blossoming sustainability departments to fill.   

Empowering candidates with AI  

AI is also a game changer for jobseekers. Candidates want to better understand whether a job is a good fit for them before they apply, and the same suitability profile that’s created by AI can help them just as much as it does employers. By accessing the information it generates, candidates can better understand whether a job is a good fit for them before they apply.   

In fact, most AI tools can provide a two-way street. As well as enabling companies to produce job descriptions more efficiently, generative AI technology can also help candidates to make their job applications better. Inputting their skills and career history, job hunters can generate a description of their experience that they can then edit, refine and personalise.  

But these simple efficiencies are only the tip of the iceberg. As jobseekers themselves become more comfortable with using AI-enabled functions when job searching, they will find themselves able to enjoy increasingly more sophisticated advantages. For example, AI can be used to analyse data from across job postings and resumes — to give candidates insight into emerging trends in the green economy. This information can show how employers’ skills requirements are evolving, meaning candidates can identify the green skills that are in high demand and upskill or tailor their applications accordingly. In the near future, these kinds of useful insights will become more and more widely accessible. 

Future-proofing the green skills talent market  

According to data from the World Economic Forum, Gen Z will make up 27% of the global workforce by 2025 — with this percentage only set to grow. For a generation that has zero tolerance for friction and lofty expectations for seamless user experience, AI technologies are a welcome addition to the job searching experience and soon set to become commonplace.  

But whilst Gen Z are widely considered to be the most climate conscious generation, this alone doesn’t present an easy fix for the green skills gap. Employers and jobs marketplaces alike have a crucial role to play in showcasing the opportunities available in green careers, and indirectly influencing junior jobseekers to pursue training in green skills — and any tools able to provide efficiencies in this respect will only aid the achievement of this objective.   

Looking to the future, the growing demand for green skills in Europe clearly calls for urgent action. Rising to the challenge will require collaboration from policymakers, the corporate sector and the talent industry, and AI is already proving pivotal in helping both employers and job seekers to navigate the green jobs market more efficiently. By integrating AI solutions Jobs marketplaces – as critical matchmakers – can help make a material impact on the green agenda. It’s by embracing AI, rather than fearing it, that Europe can accelerate its progress towards net zero. 

About the Author

Román CampaRomán Campa is the CEO of Adevinta Spain and Head of Real Estate & Emerging Verticals at Adevinta. He previously led the Finance, Strategy and Growth area of ​​Adevinta in Spain and was General Director of InfoJobs. 10 years before coming to Adevinta, he worked at the consulting firm McKinsey, an experience that helped him understand the importance of commitment and transparency.  

He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from ESADE Business School and a master’s degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management. His great strategic and analytical capacity stands out. He is passionate about connecting people with data and throughout his career he has specialised in helping companies adapt to the demands of the digital economy, creating value-added projects. 


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