For Hire: Is There Anyone Out There?

It’s no secret the oil and gas industry is struggling to obtain and retain a skilled labor force. Recent bad press coupled with the aftereffects of the recession of oil prices in the 1980s and 1990s has caused a major hiring gap in the sector. Furthermore, intra-industry poaching has placed a lot of power into the hands of the established workforce and corporations continue to fight over the small group of talented, younger employees who are entering the workforce.

How do you get a leg up in this human capital landscape? The first place to start is by looking to other industries that are successfully recruiting, training and retaining their workforce. Take a look at what you can do now in three easy steps:

  1. Recruiting & Early Engagement

By now you should know Millennial candidates are cut from a different cloth than your seasoned professionals. You’ll need to roll out the red carpet for them in order to catch their attention. As much as it may hurt to do so, you’ll also need to court them. Here are some ways you can catch the eye of your prospective Millennial hire:

  • Interactive video game tour: Let them meet you virtually by creating a walk-through of your offices or sites to show them what’s in store after they’re hired.
  • Appear to be selective: You may be secretly dying to hire a fresh graduate, but don’t let them know that. Make them want to work for you, too, by letting them know you are being selective in your hiring process. That way once they’re hired it will be on an even playing field.
  • Go green: Environmental concerns are rife in the O&G industry and at top-of-mind for many Millennials no matter the industry. If you don’t already have a “Go Green” strategy, it’s time to start one.
  • Rating systems: This is scary, but it’s best to be transparent with your company culture. Millennials are information collectors and thrive off the reviews of others. Let your current and prospective employees rate their hiring, training and development programs. Trust me; you’ll be better for it. Read some more creative recruitment tips
  1. Learning & Development

Since O&G companies are chasing higher risk assets in more complex geographical locations, employees are expected to develop practical skills to safely manage the expansion of their organization’s operations at a faster pace. This is a tall order.

The key to a successful L&D program is to impress competency and autonomy in employees from the get-go so they can begin operating and demonstrating ROI.

Often what an employees needs to boost morale and performance in a high pressure environment is a bit of technological or human support. This helps them learn and retain information more effectively. It’s important to recognize the long-term value of learning, long beyond the initial training sessions have ended.

When you make an effort to improve employees’ abilities, they will, too. Taking an interest in employee learning is a visible way of showing them that you are spending time and money to make them better. It sends the message that they can be even more valuable to you, and that you are willing to do your part to make them so, according to Jason Silberman, Managing Director at WalkMe.

There are three important ways to hopefully help give a disengaged employee the lift they need; by multi-directional strengthening communication, encouraging and reward success, and showing that you care about his or her long-term learning and performance.

  1. Knowledge Transfer & Succession Planning

More than half of the oil & gas workforce is approaching retirement. The time is now to prepare for knowledge transfer and succession planning to ensure safe continuity of operations.

The key is to start the conversation between younger employees and senior leaders. Utilizing incentive programs for this engagement and allowing the more senior employees to work virtually or on more flexible part time schedules will entice them to stick around to pass on their skills and knowledge.

Some additional succession planning tips include:

Holding regular talent reviews. Review talent across departments and managerial levels. Talk about your employee’s strengths and weaknesses, but also take into account everyone’s knowledge of the particular employee before approaching them about their particular succession plan.

Identify only viable successors. Identify the employees with the most potential for a top position in your organization. Be forward thinking and consider roles for certain employees who are particularly talented – even if those roles aren’t currently in existence within the company.

Build a pipeline. If you advance an employee, make sure to fill the void where they left off. It’s as simple as that. Read more succession planning tips here.

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