Workforce Summit Discusses Industry 'Brain Drain'

A meeting of the minds to examine the oil and gas industry's workforce trends met in Houston this week to share ideas about overcoming talent shortages, the big crew change and other talent management issues facing the industry's global economy.

Panel sessions and workshops at the 2011 People in Energy Summit lead by the industry's most well-known companies focused on hiring and retaining high-potential employees, leveraging cultural diversity, and growth and development efforts that can increase productivity.

"The oil and energy sector are suffering from 'brain drain' as experienced resources retire from the workforce. Equally troubling is the ramp up time to develop new talent. Hiring requirements in this sector are complex and highly skilled resources are in demand," said Pamela Bartz, senior vice president of PageUp People, a multinational talent management solutions provider that assists employers by enabling them to align their multinational hiring practices with corporate strategies.

Bartz moderated a panel discussion titled "The Changing Face of the Oil & Energy Workforce – Crystallizing Potential in the Industry's Future Leaders," along with senior human resources leaders from Cameron International and Baker Hughes. The panel discussed how to acquire and develop critical skill sets; ensuring the mobility of talent to meet project demands worldwide; what global sourcing channels can be leveraged; the role of data in driving better human capital decision-making; and how technology supports talent management initiatives.

"As with many sectors, the oil and energy industries have identified how human capital can be a key competitive differentiator that is as important as their other investments," Bartz said.

Other speakers at the conference include Noble Energy Vice President of Human Resources & Administration Lee Robison, Chesapeake Energy VP of Human Resources Lisa Phelps, Schlumberger University Collaboration Director Najib Abusalbi Ph.D., and The Center for Generational Kinetics Chief Strategy Officer Jason Ryan Dorsey, also known as The Gen Y Guy.

The panel, being held at the Hilton Post Oak Hotel in Houston, began Tuesday and ends Thursday. Visit for more information.


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Mark | Dec. 1, 2011
I'm glad the industry is focusing on the brain drain and may be more open to experienced workers from other industries who could add significant value combined with a shorter learning curve. I have many friends in Houston's aerospace sector who have been laid-off but are not even given a shot at less senior jobs from the various energy companies. All are willing to learn and take pay reductions but they don't seem to be considered yet by most.

john | Dec. 1, 2011
There is a 10 year gap in the industry , budget constraints haven't allowed in-house training. Furthermore the Oil/Gas companies are hiring from the engineering consultants to satisfy their in-house needs, then say "we don't have enough qualified personnel to satisfy their project requirements". Implosion is around the corner?


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