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How to Attract the Next Generation of Oil & Gas Workers

November 11, 2021
Austin, TX
ecruiting younger talent can be challenging for the Oil & Gas sector, but by following some key steps, you can make your business more appealing.

The Oil & Gas industry is in urgent need of younger workers.

The sector’s workforce has undergone significant downsizing in recent times—approximately 120,000 jobs were shed in 2020 alone.

Part of this downsizing is because the industry is becoming increasingly automated and, as a result, it is now more reliant on technology to complete the tasks that used to be done by Oil & Gas workers. However, another key factor in the decline has been an aging workforce.  

Why Younger Oil and Gas Workers are in Demand

The tenured Oil & Gas workforce—that is, the sector’s longest-standing workers—makes up approximately half of the industry’s personnel and most will be retiring within the next five to seven years. Consequently, it is vital that the industry ensures that the skills and knowledge of these retiring workers are passed on to younger staff so that the benefit of their experience is retained in the sector.

Due to the trends identified above, there is not only a growing demand in the Oil & Gas industry for younger recruits but, more specifically, for younger recruits that will focus on areas such as unmanned aerial systems (drone technology) and data science.

Indeed, in the context of technological expertise, the industry is experiencing a significant skills shortage.

Attracting Younger Talent Can be a Challenge

The Oil & Gas industry will be hoping younger recruits will be able to plug the significant technological skills gap, as well as helping to address the shortage of workers in other disciplines such as reservoir, drilling, completion, production, and maintenance.

To begin with the issue of technological skills, the shortage has become a more pressing problem because technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and cloud technology will continue to drive advancements in the energy sector. However, the desire for a workforce with a more diverse set of skills means the industry may have to invest more in training programs for younger recruits. Alternatively, the Oil & Gas industry may look to recruit young professionals from institutions such as coding academies as it seeks to bolster its ranks with professionals that have digital and software expertise.

The pool of potential recruits the Oil & Gas industry could target at coding academies has risen dramatically in recent years. Research published in 2020 showed that the number of ‘coding boot camp’ students and graduates grew around 20-fold over an eight-year period, from 1,745 in 2012 to 35,446 in 2020. Meanwhile, with regards to skills related to reservoir, drilling, completion, production, and maintenance, the industry has an urgent need to train workers in these disciplines, which constitute a significant proportion of the upstream petrotechnical professionals (PTPs) workforce.

A report by Accenture Strategy highlighted how these parts of the industry have been particularly hard hit by industry job cuts. In addition, retirements of workers active in these areas have diminished the talent pool even further.  

Accenture has predicted that by 2025, the global shortage of PTP workers could be as high as 40,000. Yet, attracting younger recruits to fill these roles has not been easy for the Oil & Gas industry. This is partly because the Oil & Gas sector has to compete with a wealth of opportunities being offered in other industries.

Four Ways to Make Your Business More Appealing to Oil and Gas Industry Recruits

So, what steps can be taken to make the Oil & Gas industry more attractive to potential recruits? Here are four recommended actions to overcome the challenges of recruitment:

1. Promote the Benefits of an Oil & Gas Industry Career.

The Oil & Gas industry is a long-established sector that is likely to provide significantly more job security than a lot of start-ups. It is also recommended that more is done to promote the industry in high schools and colleges, as well as in the rapidly expanding online education sector.

2. Maximize the Benefits of Collaborative Tools to Enable More Remote Working.

The wider use of video calls has meant that remote working has become an increasingly viable option for younger workers. As a result, this may widen Oil & Gas companies’ potential talent pools because young people from outside the vicinity of your head office may now be more inclined to pursue a career with your company.

3. Create More Flexible Career Paths.

Developing a range of different career paths could help younger workers develop diverse experiences in a variety of roles. A flexible labor strategy could play a key role in improving worker retention rates and help to build the next generation of field leaders.

4. Emphasize Building Social Engagement.

High levels of social engagement—either in person or via video calls—are very important when seeking to attract younger workers as many may be keen to mix work and home life. An emphasis on social engagement will also help to retain workers. This is an especially important consideration because the increase in remote-working is expected to make it easier for people to change jobs.

It is expected that the adoption of new strategies to attract younger recruits to the Oil & Gas industry will mean the workforce becomes more diverse. As a result, providing more leadership and management training will be beneficial as it will help managers expand their understanding of how to work with people from different backgrounds.

Recruiting Oil and Gas Workers: What’s the Next Step?

If you have experienced difficulties attracting younger talent, it is recommended that your business works in partnership with a staffing agency.

A high-quality staffing agency will connect you with the Oil & Gas workers you need. Ask a staffing agency to analyze your specific requirements and identify the best candidates. The agency should also create a pool of backup candidates to ensure your project is always fully staffed.

Learn More

Workrise can help with training, staffing, technology, and professional services  so you can get back to focusing on what you do best. Visit our website at workrise.com.

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