“If you hire the right person, everything goes ten times better; if you hire the wrong person, everything goes ten times worse.”

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This is what Janelle Wang, co-founder and CEO of Acton, a specialist micro-mobility solutions firm, said in Episode 96 of the Leaders in Cleantech podcast. Wang, based in Silicon Valley, was Female CEO of the Year in 2016 and one of the 19 most influential women in mobility in 2019.

We were discussing the opportunities and challenges the cleantech sectors are facing now, and what comes up time and time again is talent. Both as an opportunity with huge scope and potential, but also as a challenge in that we are in the relatively early days of the clean energy transition and talent and skill shortages are holding things back. One of the challenges within hiring is that finding the right fit can be made more challenging with globally dispersed and remote teams, creating and maintaining cultures.

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As I’ve said previously, without great people in your business, you don’t have a business. Your people, values, and indeed your culture are your crown jewels – so if I were to give any leader a piece of advice, it would be to not compromise on recruitment.

When starting up, or going from start-up to scale-up, the game changes – and fast. But one thing is constant, your people are everything. We understand it can be frustrating and perhaps overwhelming for leaders who are already spinning a dozen plates to focus on talent attraction, onboarding, and retention too. Easier to pass it on to an office manager, surely?


Who you recruit is a vital ingredient of success and can be the make or break of a project, initiative or culture – and should be handled as such. It could be said that your success as CEO or Leader of any team, is based on who you hire, and who you fire. Do you want to leave that responsibility to someone else?

A bad hire can be a world of pain. A great candidate who is a poor cultural fit may be a short-term relief, but a bad apple spoils the barrel. However, while the saying, ‘anything can be learnt’ rings somewhat true, it’s important not to hire just on cultural fit. Capability and skillset are requirements for a reason, so companies at critical stages must go by head and heart – have a logical and emotional recruiting process with a long-term vision in mind.

Where Hyperion comes in is in equipping you with the right human capital to drive your organisational ambitions and goals forward. Our network is established from years of experience working within the cleantech sector across the globe, fully embracing the market and interacting each and every day with like-minded professionals who have a passion for the clean energy transition.

We focus on both skillset and cultural fit, which is why we assess the makeup of existing leadership teams to accurately calculate the potential working dynamic, thus ensuring the working relationship will be a successful one and so will subsequent projects. Our proven process has helped us support some of the most successful cleantech scle-ups globally.

If you’d like to know more about how we support cleantech start-ups and scale-ups hire right and build winning, high performance leadership teams, please get in touch for an informal conversation.

David Hunt