Rigzone Ideal Employer - Survey Methodology

Rigzone’s proprietary first annual Ideal Employer research was conducted to explore current market sentiments of global Oil and Gas professionals, particularly in regards to their choice of ideal employers and their reasoning behind it. The study goes beyond the surface and explores the professional, demographic, and attitudinal nuances that determine who someone considers their ‘Ideal Employer’. As a result we have a wealth of insights from the top 30 global ideal employers, in addition to regional, sector, and gender comparisons.

Survey Procedures

Our 2016 Ideal Employer research was conducted via an online survey tool called Sawtooth Software, and was a cross-sectional survey conducted between the months of July 2016 to September 2016. The survey was distributed via a range of digital channels including our website Rigzone.com via web banners and announcements, our email subscriber base, and organic and paid social advertising on Twitter and Facebook to reach a global audience of Oil and Gas professionals from all industry sectors (Upstream to Downstream). There were no restrictions in regards to age, gender, origin or job function of the participants, and we estimate up to 10% of the respondents are not currently working (but may have formerly) in the oil and gas industry.

Questions and Question Order

The survey consisted of 19 questions and took approximately 10 minutes to complete. Question formats included a mix of closed-ended questions, open-ended questions, matrix questions, and contingency questions. Response options were limited to structured responses and included both fill-in-the-blank and multi-option formats in particular response scales (both dichotomous scales and rating scales). The questions covered a variety of demographic and professional questions to help gain a deeper understanding of the respondent profile, before delving into the core questions. The main question pertaining to ideal employers was an open-text field with predictive data entry with the option to provide up to three employers, whereas two responses were required to complete the survey. All company mentions were weighted equally regardless of the response order. To help analyse differences in perceived and actual company strengths, we asked respondents to indicate if they ever worked for their choice of ideal employers. We then asked respondents to rank 12 hard attributes (e.g. competitive salary, health benefits or opportunities to travel) and 12 soft attributes (e.g. challenging / interesting work, company culture or leadership integrity) on a scale from 1 to 7 to understand the importance of said attributes. Subsequently, respondents were asked to rank their chosen ideal employers for aforementioned hard and soft attributes to evaluate the importance of attributes overall versus the individual company scores, i.e. their strengths. 

Data Analysis

In total, the survey garnered 8,466 responses from over 100 countries. 22,500 votes for ideal employers were cast (2-3 votes per respondent) with a total mention of 3,200 different companies. Given the vast range of responses the following standards were put in place to ensure statistical validity of the results:

  • 100+ individual respondents required per question reported on
  • 30+ votes per company required for major segments (e.g. age, gender or large oil regions)
  • 15+ votes per company required for minor segments (e.g. smaller oil regions, role or job status)

Once the data had been cleansed from any results not adhering to the above guidelines, top line rankings were pulled. Questions with ordinal scales were converted into numerical equivalents. For example, respondents were asked to rank ‘Competitive Salary’ on a range from 1 ‘Not at all important’ to 7 ‘Very Important’. To understand how individual companies ranked for individual attributes the individual responses were multiplied by the numerical equivalent of their response to allow comparisons across companies. In regards to ranking company strengths, we factored in both the importance of individual attributes and either the number or percent of mentions.