People as Moat – Ad Hoc Expands into Search

People as Moat – Ad Hoc Expands into Search

by Jim Kapsis | May 2024

In climate tech, we talk a lot about, well, technology. But talk with most CEOs and they’ll share that the hardest part of their job is figuring out how to hire and retain the right people. In my experience, a company’s ability to hire and effectively onboard the right people is what differentiates successful businesses from those that falter. Because, as a CEO, you can have a great vision, but if you don’t have the right people, you can’t execute it.

At The Ad Hoc Group, we’re often brought in to fill gaps at growing companies – and to support the existing team in moving faster. While we work with tech companies at various stages, for our startup clients we have always described our work as temporary by design. We’re not meant to fill the gap forever -- “ad hoc” means that we’re going to support you for a defined purpose for a temporary period of time, typically 2 to 4 years, and by the end of our time together, you should have the full-time team to take the work forward.

As part of our work, we’ve often supported hiring processes for our clients, especially in sales, policy, customer success, and other go-to-market positions. Many of us have had these roles ourselves so we know first-hand what success looks like. Through our leadership roles at major trade groups, utilities, tech companies and within government, we are connected to thousands of professionals from the C-Suite down to individual contributors. We’ve leveraged this network to refer talent to clients for open roles and we’ve participated in and sometimes designed hiring processes for them.

Over the last year or so, however, our clients have asked us to do more. They’ve asked if we would take over search for certain roles ourselves and run the process from start to finish. So we listened and began running search processes for several roles from executive to mid-level positions.

Search is a natural extension of Ad Hoc’s work and consistent with our mission to help our climate tech clients build sustainable and scalable businesses. We also enjoy it! That’s because one of the things that is so special about working to support the energy transition and climate tech more broadly is that we get to work with a community of mission-driven professionals. And, frankly, there is nothing more rewarding than making a good match for a client, and helping someone in our network find the right next job.

We have already helped hire some great people into different roles and levels, like Rajiv Shah, the Head of Policy and Market Development for the Americas at Octopus Energy, Nate Underwood, a U.S. Business Development Manager at, Ryan O’Keefe, the Chief Strategy Officer at Infravision, and Giana Amador, Executive Director of the Carbon Removal Alliance, to name a few. We’re excited to hire more.

Investors often tell startup founders that they are looking to invest in tech that can create a “moat” around the business that makes it hard for competitors to follow. At Ad Hoc, we believe that a company’s people are the deepest and most powerful “moat” of all.

To learn more about our Search offering, email: