Enhanced Service Offerings for Mobilizing and Enabling Wind and Solar Project Teams

Solar and wind energy construction projects are fast paced, and managing a project’s schedule can be challenging. From budget and costing issues to last-minute changes in design, there are a wide range of variables that can negatively impact a project’s schedule and cause costly delays. To avoid the costs associated with having to hire full-time employees and ensure that your project has the team it needs, staff augmentation is a viable solution.

What is staff augmentation?

OEMs, service companies, owner/operators, and developers turn to staff augmentation companies to provide temporary solar and wind energy workers. But what exactly is staff augmentation? Simply put, staff augmentation is the use of outside personnel to fill skill gaps on projects and for a fixed period. With staff augmentation, time and costs associated with hiring and training staff can instead be redistributed to ensure the timely completion of your renewable energy projects.

The challenges of basic staff augmentation services

Staff augmentation services are not all created equal. Most employers are familiar with the standard staffing model: The client sends a job order to a staffing firm, the recruiter sources and presents candidates, and the client selects a candidate. Because this model tends to be more transactional, it comes with several challenges.

1. Quality of candidates

Basic staff augmentation services lack quality assurance in the talent-attraction stage and, consequently, the quality of candidates often suffers. While on the job, project managers may discover that the worker does not have the necessary skill set to perform the required tasks. This leaves the client either having to invest time in training the contractor or terminating the assignment and starting the candidate search all over. Before partnering with a staffing company, learn what steps they take in their recruitment process, and find out how extensively candidates are vetted.

2. Lack of enablement

Owner/operators working on large-scale renewable energy projects need contractors to arrive on day one fully prepared. When deciding between staff augmentation companies, renewable energy firms should determine whether hired contractors need to be fully enabled with equipment, such as laptops, cell phones, trucks, and PPE. Contractors that are supplied this equipment by their staffing company can hit the ground running, saving the client time from having to coordinate these enablement services themselves.

wind energy technicians on construction site

3. Ensuring regulatory compliance

When partnering with a staffing firm for staff augmentation services, employers should assess the company’s compliance practices. Unfortunately, many clients assume that all staffing firms have stringent regulatory compliance standards in place to shield them from legal risks. A common compliance area is the misclassification of contractors, which can result in costly penalties and serious damage to a business’ reputation. Therefore, it is vital that employers choose a staff augmentation company that maintains rigorous contractual compliance, such as with regulatory bodies like OSHA, to limit their exposure to these and other risks.

Full staff augmentation services for solar and wind energy projects

Renewable energy construction projects need the ability to quickly ramp up and ramp down. When working with a staffing firm that offers full staff augmentation, you can rest assured that workers will be enabled to do the best job possible, safely and in compliance with existing regulations. Many firms offering basic staff augmentation only provide staffing without properly equipping workers.

Progressive has a full-service offering that includes enhanced services to go along with the skilled talent. These offerings include:

1. Vehicles and fleet management

We can provide our contractors with trucks that enable them to drive through all sorts of construction sites. From Dodge Rams to Chevy Silverados, half ton to three-quarter tons, we will ensure that our contractors have the right vehicle with the right tire treads to navigate through any terrain and weather conditions.

2. Technology, including laptops and mobile devices

Depending on the contractor’s role and responsibilities, they may need tech equipment to perform the job. To unburden client employers from having to order and supply new contractors with requisite technology, we can fully equip our contractors with laptops, iPads, monitors, software, and cell phones before arriving for their first day of work.

3. Employee training and certification

We have a list of preferred vendors that we work with when employees need training or certifications prior to starting an assignment. Common training and certifications that workers on large-scale renewable energy projects are often required to have include GWO training (for climbing with harness) and NFPA 70E (high voltage safety training). We will schedule these training sessions and ensure they are completed so that contractors show up on day one with the required credentials.

4. PPE and Fall Protection

Workplace safety policies are ever evolving, and it’s important that you work with staff augmentation companies that always set health and safety as a top priority. Solar and wind energy workers spend their workdays in environments that have an increased risk of fatality or serious injury. Wind technicians are often working on turbines that can be up to 345 feet up in the air.

Staff augmentation companies that offer enhanced services can fully equip technicians with different fall protection gear, including climbing hard hats and helmets, climbing gloves, full body harnesses, positioning lanyards, trauma straps, and vertical safety systems, such as Lad-Saf or GlideLoc. Having your contract staff fully equipped with the necessary PPE and fall protection gear will give you peace of mind knowing that your workers are protected.

Are you in need of staff augmentation?

With the construction of utility scale solar and wind energy projected to grow exponentially throughout the decade, finding the right staff augmentation company to support your construction projects is critical.

Contact us today to learn how our staff augmentation services can help your business reach its goals, or download our Expert Guide to Renewable Energy Staffing for more information.

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