Petrochemicals talent management and the role of digitalisation

Petrochemicals Complex

Digitalisation is reshaping the petrochemicals industry and employees are increasingly looking for innovative, flexible working cultures. The Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) highlights a risk that talent may depart for greener pastures. Employers can address this by embracing the digital era

While the price of oil has fluctuated, the petrochemicals sector has experienced relative calmWith oil prices increasing, there is a risk that petrochemicals talent may depart for other industries. The traditional lures of pay and stability may not be enough to retain workers.

Our recent Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) found some concerns, but also sheds light on ways petrochemicals employers can attract workers and keep them happy.

GETI reveals that

  • Two thirds of petrochemicals workers would consider a move to a different sector, with 30 percent considering a switch to oil and gas. This is despite positive trends in pay and worker happiness within petrochemicals.
  • The index shows a slow but steady rise in petrochemicals sector pay and broad optimism about salaries. 46 percent of respondents reported a pay increase over the past year and two-thirds anticipate a pay increase within the coming year.
  • Worker contentment has remained steady as well. 66 percent of respondents state they are as happy, or happier, as they were three years ago

What can petrochemicals employers do to retain their talent?

A possible answer may lie with digitalisation, which is reshaping workforce expectations. Workers in the petrochemicals sector foresee a myriad of benefits from new technology. Large portions of GETI respondents anticipate increased efficiency (65%), increased productivity (60%), and reduced risk (47%) as a consequence of technological advances.

Digitalisation could enable many of the workplace improvements that workers crave. When asked what changes the sector needs to make to ensure it attracts the best talent

  • 37 percent of respondents cited the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology
  • 39 percent cited flexible and remote working
  • 61 percent cited training and development opportunities.

As petrochemicals firms digitise their operations, they can increasingly provide these benefits to enterprising workers.

The GETI results show that petrochemicals workers are looking for more than just stability and high pay. They’re seeking out careers at companies with innovative, flexible working cultures. By embracing the digital era, employers can address pay concerns and provide workers with flexibility and long-term career paths.


Michael Sanches is a Global Sales Director and Process Sector Leader at Airswift

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