Why employer branding is important to energy & infrastructure firms

January 15, 2020


The world’s energy industry is going from strength to strength. For example, wind and solar energy has accounted for more than half of the globe’s power generation capacity additions over the last few years, and global oil consumption is set to grow by an average of 1 million barrels per day until 2030.

This growth means that more and more job opportunities are arising in the industry, especially since digital technology is playing a more prevalent role in companies across the sector.

However, many HR departments are starting to find there’s not enough talent to go around. It’s often hard for energy companies to find the right skills, particularly when top engineering talent tends to gravitate towards big companies like the energy super majors, and the entire industry is competing against household names like Amazon and Google for the top tech candidates.

Strong employer branding can help with this, as it helps businesses attract talent based on their company’s reputation.

Employer Branding Icons - Recruit New Candidates

How will improving employer branding help to recruit new candidates?

Having a strong brand reputation makes attracting the right candidates much easier, not to mention cheaper. Research by the Harvard Business Review found that a company with 10,000 employees could be spending up to $7.6 million in additional wages to make up for a bad reputation. The study suggested that a pay increase of 10% or more was necessary to convince a candidate to take a job at a company with a negative reputation, leading to a spend of around $4,723 more per hire.

If your business doesn’t have a solid image as a reputable company that employees enjoy working for, you may struggle to find talented people to fill your roles and risk paying more because of it.

So, what makes an attractive employer in the oil and gas industry?

There are several factors that can make an energy company stand out against competitors. These include:

A healthy environmental footprintEmployer Branding Icons - Environmental Footprint

Having a strong Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) profile is essential if you want your energy company to stand out to prospective candidates.

A negative environmental image can put people off studying degrees that lead to a career in the energy and infrastructure sector. That’s why it’s so important to oil and gas companies in particular to boost their reputation by reducing their negative environmental footprint and embracing values that motivate the next generation of workers to work on projects that serve the world’s energy needs. You can do this by ensuring your business complies with the HSEQ standards.

This includes:
  • Establishing and documenting measurable HSEQ targets, objectives and performance indicators
  • Regularly reviewing your company’s health, safety, environmental and quality performance, and communicating the HSEQ policy requirements to teams
  • Creating plans and programs that include designated responsibilities, time frames and performance indicators and considering the risks and legal requirements associated with them

A positive work cultureEmployer Branding Icons - Positive Work Culture

Your current and former employees are your biggest advocates, followed by interview candidates. In tight-knit communities like the energy industry, both positive AND negative word of mouth can make or break your ability to hire top talent. Bad candidate experiences can have a negative impact on your application rates; according to Forbes, 72% of candidates who have a negative experience are more likely to tell others about it.

To ensure your company culture is promoted positively by both employees and candidates, ask yourself:

  • How do you handle staff exits?
  • Do you know why employees in your company resign?
  • Do you collect feedback from your recruitment partners?
  • Do you collect feedback from candidates you didn’t hire?
  • Do employees know what they have to do for their next promotion?

Having the answers to these questions can unlock a wealth of insight into your company culture, and how you can improve it to attract the very best talent. Culture drives reputation, so if you don’t handle exits well or fail to take on board feedback from staff and candidates alike, word could spread and repel potential new talent.

How to boost your employer branding

There are plenty of ways to boost your employer branding to attract the candidates you need. These include:

Expand your job search to all channelsEmployer Branding Icons - Expand Job Search

Nowadays, energy and infrastructures don’t need to limit their recruiting efforts to the region they’re based in.

There are candidates looking for work all over the world, and many are willing to relocate for the right job, giving you access to a much wider talent pool.

Targeting new regions not only gives you access to previously untapped talent pools, but it also gives you a blank canvas to build a brand that resonates with the sensibilities and values of the candidates in that market. This will attract more candidates to your company because they will feel as though your company’s values are in sync with their own.

However, recruiting globally can be a mammoth task, especially when you consider the complexity of immigration laws and the relocation process itself. One way to get around this is by partnering with a global workforce solutions provider. Such companies can lead the recruitment process, help you build your brand overseas and take care of all complicated HR requirements.

Find out about global mobility services from Airswift

Offer further training to your existing talentEmployer Branding Icons - Train Existing Employees

Introducing apprenticeship or training schemes to help your staff develop new skills will provide an incentive for workers to stay within the energy industry. It will also provide them with more of a progression path to help them move forward within their careers.

From an employer branding perspective, offering training opportunities to your workforce represents a culture that promotes learning and career progression, which is attractive to prospective candidates.

Whether your energy business is recruiting for new talent, looking for ways to recruit overseas candidates or needs assistance with talent mapping, Airswift can help. Check out our services page to find out how.

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This post was written by: Rhys Morgan, Regional Manager - Recruitment & Consultancy - APAC