How oil and gas companies can build a healthy talent pipeline

It’s getting harder for oil and gas companies to build healthy talent pipelines, data from the Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) 2019 report suggests.

GETI 2019, the energy industry’s largest workforce trends report, collected information from 17,000 energy professionals across 162 countries. The results highlight a trend currently worrying a lot of professionals in the sector – where is the next generation of talent coming from?

The knock-on effect of factors such as the Great Crew Change and a historic lack of investing in apprenticeships and training during global economic downturns is seen in GETI 2019.

55% of respondents believe that engineering will be the discipline affected most by a global talent shortage, with 27% and 24% feeling problem-solving and leadership respectively will be the type of skills most in demand.

With over half of respondents worried in some way about an impending talent crisis and 40% believing it’s already here, a lack of talent – engineering or otherwise – is a situation that energy companies need to solve as quickly as possible to ensure they stay on course, on budget and are successful.

Download The 2019 Global Energy Talent Index

Visit the GETI site to download the report

How HR departments can find the best engineering talent

So, what’s the best way for the HR department to approach a worldwide talent crisis?

There are several channels to build a strong and healthy talent pipeline of experienced local and international energy workers, to be called on to complement their workforce at any time.

While GETI 2019 describes the problems HR departments are facing in a recruitment sense, it also highlights the following as opportunities for oil and gas companies to bridge the gap.

1. Retraining existing workers to meet demand for new skills

One of the key challenges for oil and gas companies in 2019 is that there’s growing demand for non-traditional and rapidly changing skills. The industry has been embracing new digital technologies, for example, which require a very different set of skills compared to what was the norm even a decade ago.

However, rather than recruit new workers to meet this demand, many respondents in the GETI report are of the opinion oil and gas companies can rebalance their workforce from within and retrain existing staff to fill areas where talent gaps are most glaring.

57% of non-hiring professionals believe that better training can help companies attract the right talent, for example. Retraining workers in light of trends such as digitalisation can be a great way to build a steady stream of talented workers for the future.

2. Giving workers greater career progression opportunities

Another step oil and gas companies can take to build their talent pipeline is to ensure workers have clear career progression options, as well as the opportunity – and inclination – to move into leadership roles where they can take responsibility for upskilling the next generation.

In some cases, this kind of talent transfer can solve other problems, too. Many emerging nations are introducing localisation laws, for instance, which state that companies should employ a certain number of local workers on their projects – workers who may not have much experience in the oil and gas industry or the opportunities to gain it. One solution would be to move experienced expat workers into leadership and training roles and put their knowledge and expertise to use in developing a local talent pool for the future.

3. Increased remuneration and benefits packages

Pay is rising as the industry gathers pace again, with companies reviewing salaries to help them keep the best talent. Almost two in five workers (39%) think their wages will rise by over 5% in the next five years. As such, half of the hiring managers who took part in the GETI research believe the best way to attract the right talent to the oil and gas industry is for companies to offer increased remuneration and benefits packages.

One of the most encouraging points from the 2019 report is that 81% of 18 to 24-year-olds would still pursue a career in the energy sector if they entered it now. With the industry looking healthier than it’s been since the start of the decade, companies can build attractive financial packages to attract a pipeline of the best young workers as well as specially-trained staff in certain disciplines to fill skills gaps.

4. Improving brand attractiveness with flexible working

GETI also shows that 33% of hiring managers believe underlining a flexible working culture is an effective way to attract talent. As flexible working becomes more common and less a perk than an expectation, it’s important for companies to show they can deliver this or else cut themselves off from talent pools that won’t consider working for organisations where it’s not an option.

5. Working with a specialist oil and gas recruiter

Finally, recruiting from external sources still has a major role to play for HR professionals in the oil and gas industry. As such, building a strong, strategic long-term relationship with a specialist energy recruitment agency who knows what you need and when can be one of the best ways to navigate what is fast becoming an industry-wide recruitment crisis.

Airswift has achieved a 93% fill rate on all roles because of our deep understanding of our clients’ drivers, objectives and challenges, a meticulous and compliant approach, a global presence, and access to the very best talent pools worldwide. We also believe strongly in helping to develop local talent – a practice that can not only enhance your employee value proposition in new regions as a great place to work, but also improve your compliance with local labour laws.

The Airswift Team, in partnership with Energy Jobline, compiled the GETI 2019 report, a definitive guide for workforce trends in the energy industry. Click below to download your copy today.

Download The 2019 Global Energy Talent Index

Visit the GETI site to download the report

airswift-blog-banner

This post was written by Sara Howren, Recruitment Director at Airswift