As the population continues to grey and changes in technology impact every sector of the business world, we are beginning to see changes in recruitment. Nowhere is this more evident then in the oil and gas industry. With the changes, we are seeing shifts in technology creating a need for new thought on the development of everything from core drillers to rotary seals. Today engineers are more in demand in this industry than ever.
But where the industry once had its pick of the best students from the top institutions, today there is competition from other industries. Students with an engineering bend who once would have naturally migrated into this industry are being courted by everyone from Hollywood to gaming and software development. Good minds, young and ready to rock and roll, are in demand. The question remains whether the energy sector has on offer what they want.
Lots of Room for Entry
The last price drop left many companies scrambling to hold on to their brain bank of experienced workers by keeping them close. Unable to keep them in their full positions, many did chose to stay on in roles that were less prestigious and make less money. But their loyalty is now being rewarded with a resumption of old duties. This leaves those old lower ranking jobs open for recruitment. With many of the older and more experienced oil and gas industry workers looking to move up into their old positions, it will leave plenty of room for new recruits.
The big question with this current situation is whether the new crop of engineers and specialists will be willing to work their way to the top. Many industries have seen the push by the recent grads to move quickly into positions of power. Whether the oil and gas industry can succeed in convincing them that the old “move up the ranks” method of recruitment is acceptable remains to be seen.
The Importance of Family
Another major obstacle that the industry is facing is the changing acceptance of work in remote locations. As the technology makes connections to families hundreds of miles away easier to maintain, you would assume that the tradition of the oil rig worker out in the field for weeks at a time would become easier.
Instead, we find that the new recruits are less interested in this type of work, and would prefer to find steady work that allows them time for family on a daily basis. This return to valuation of family time is bound to have a huge impact on the ability of the energy industry to recruit top talent.
Indeed, as the older rank of senior staff begin to retire, the pressure to identify likely candidates to move to the top may make this easier to solve. But the need for rank and file workers in the field may have to be addressed in new ways.
Finding Smart Solutions
The entire world is going through a worker crises as the baby boomers begin to retire in real numbers. How the energy sector chooses to address this shortage of qualified workers will affect not only this industry but other related factors such as energy security. Finding a solution to the shortage of qualified workers is bound to be a top priority in the decades to follow, for both this industry and others.