Focusing on Gen Y May Reverse Talent Shortages

Focusing on Gen Y May Reverse Talent Shortages

The talent paradox that is prevalent in the oil and gas industry will be ongoing for the next decade or so, a recruiting specialist told attendees at the People in Energy Summit conference Monday in Houston.

“The industry is witnessing unprecedented shortages of talent at a time of persistent unemployment,” stated Lesley Hoare, vice president human capital management business transformation, Oracle, during a session discussing how the industry needs to focus on talent alternatives to fill the vacant positions.

Currently, more than 52 percent of employers cannot fill open jobs and the shortages are most prevalent in Science, Math, Technology and Engineering (STEM) roles. This percentage is expected to widen as 10,000 people per day retire each day - an average of one baby boomer every eight seconds, Hoare remarked.

The industry can address this trend by changing their human resources strategy, she pointed out. To do so, recruiters need to focus on developing future leaders; attracting the right talent; and when these two objectives are met, it will ensure a greater return on investment and create an efficient workforce planning guide.

By developing future leaders, the industry needs to focus on the current upcoming workforce – Generation Y. Or, the “ultimate future of your workforce,” stated Hoare. By 2025, Gen Y will comprise? 75 percent of the workforce. “Set aside your opinion of this generation and start to focus on them,” she added. “Learn their methods in order to train these future leaders.”

“Gen Y, being the most technically savviest generation, are doing their research and have their goals pinpointed and know their company’s limitations,” she added. “They will not hesitate in switching employers if their objectives are not being met.”

Hoare pointed out several key factors that attract or entice this generation when searching for the right employer. For instance, this generation is engaged in self-directed learning and are willing to stay in a role if the position expands their skills and capabilities, she pointed out. The difference between this generation and its predecessors is the demand for different experiences.

“They need more on the job learning coupled with flexible schedules, challenging and changing environments and are willing to take a 15 percent pay cut in exchange for any of these opportunities,” she remarked.

“What does this mean? We need to switch from traditional to agile management to implement strategies that will foster the goal of attracting and retaining talent.” 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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Steve | Oct. 29, 2013
This is good information, but still doesnt hit the mark on solutions to staffing. There are many Boomers still in the workforce looking for new jobs and new challenges. They are still trying to support their families, but are not being considered for any of these positions. These Boomers, like myself have similar needs for knowledge and new experiences. We seek upward mobility and want another 10 to 15 years in a new career. We have some education, alot of experience and have weathered some drastic economic changes. These people are the answer to your staffing problems, dont discount their resumes because they have 40 years of work experience!

Old time geologist | Oct. 29, 2013
If you are a geologist, and over the age of 50, with more than 15 years experience, you are going to have real tough going because the HR departments of majors and med/large independents are now under orders not to hire you because they think you are too expensive or not retrainable to their system. They are looking for someone between 30-45, with 5-15 years experience, of which they are not many because no one was graduating with a degree in Geology at that time because there were no jobs available. Some companies have had the same job req out for 2 years and will not budge on this requirement even though there are plenty of older geologists who could do the job (probably better than the 30-45 group) looking for work.. I have also talked to many recruiters and college grads who cant find a job because they have no experience and companies are not willing to pay for any training.


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