Transferable Skills Are A Must in Oil, Gas Industry's Labor Shortages

Article title
As the labor shortages continue in oil and gas, companies are looking at other industries to find the needed skill set.


Rigzone Looks Back: As an aging workforce prepares to leave, oil and gas companies are forced to look at other industries to fill the labor shortage. By increasing the talent pool beyond direct skills, employers are able to increase hiring percentages and meet current recruiting challenges. This article looked at how transferring your current skills into an oil and gas career – with possible additional training – may be the quickest answer to the industry's current hiring challenges.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 54.8 million total job openings within this decade – with 62 percent of those openings related to Baby Boomers leaving the workforce and not enough skilled people to fill them. This impact to the workforce requires employers to implement strategies to attract top performers from all workforce segments, such as luring needed skill sets from other sectors, to meet current and future recruitment and retention challenges.

By 2029, the youngest Baby Boomer will reach the traditional retirement age of 65, giving organizations time to plan for the potential impact to the workforce. A strategy to this impending problem is to look at both direct and transferrable skills and “embrace a more flexible approach to how work gets done to secure the talent they need,” according to a recent white paper “Facing the Skills Shortage”.

“We talk to our students about transferable skills and very often it’s allowing students to reframe what they already know,” said Vita Como, senior director of the engineering career center at the University of Houston, to Rigzone. “Part of that has to do with the fact that we have a nontraditional student body, which includes working students and veterans. We tell them to understand that they have to view their interview process through the eyes of the recruiter.”

How to adequately define transferable skills on a resume by: Raegan Hill, recruiter for Digital Marketing

Due to the energy industry steadily witnessing a decline in the numbers of new recruits entering the sector, with science, engineering and technical (SET) skills particularly affected, the risk of future serious shortages in SET skills has emerged, exacerbated by increasing global demand and a large section of the industry’s workforce rapidly approaching retirement. Such shortages are being felt at all professional levels, from technical specialists and operators to leaders and senior managers, according to a “Skills Needs in the Energy Industry” report by Deloitte.

“Employers invariably look for a track record of having delivered in that type of role already – which is why you must be able to convey how you will do the job properly in a resume,” stated Reagan Hill, recruiter for Onward Search, a national digital marketing recruitment firm, to Rigzone. “You have to be aware of what employers are looking for in any employee, and you have to demonstrate that you are employable as a person, a team member and as a contributing member of the organization.”

Individuals that have developed transferable skills from one industry are very attractive to the oil and gas industry, commented Como. Highly sought-after skills that the industry requires include:

  • Technical ability
  • Experience of managing people
  • Sales and business development negotiation
  • Delivering results as part of project teams
  • Evidence of working safely to tight deadlines

“When applying for jobs in the oil and gas industry, individuals should highlight their transferable skills and explain to the employing organization why they feel they are relevant,” said Hill.


View Full Article


Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.

Jim Dore  |  October 24, 2014
The reality is this, many companies are unwilling to pay for the experience and some (run by younger professionals) simply dont want to have a more experienced/knowledgeable professional essentially telling them what to do (perception). In reality - many are knowledgeable and very experienced personnel and in fact - affordable and want to be coaches and mentors to younger management...this is a tough situation to penetrate -
Byron Angel  |  October 24, 2014
Perhaps hiring those of us with experience and who are looking would help fill this labour shortage? Just an idea.....
Cameron Mitchell  |  October 23, 2014
Temp.agencies are the worst. I have a bachlor degree in Computer Infomation Sytem w over ten years experience in my field as a tester, field technician, installer, and break-fix specialist. I have transferable skills into this industry if given a chance. I have been applying for Oil Rig positions for months and recruiters pass me over. No one is willing to give me an opportunity without prior experience.
mudlogger  |  October 23, 2014
It is not the work force retiring but the companies not hiring the experienced old guys applying, The countries that have mandatory retirement ages of 55-60 need to rethink their policies on this matter. Skill transfers would be greater if they didnt impose these policies
pierre  |  March 26, 2014
Companies should start doing their own hiring again and ditch the temp job placement agencies that have mushroomed and proliferated. Even in-house HR departments are clueless in their hiring and resort to keyword searches. Most European companies in comparison have a technical contact listed for potential employees to contact. Lets be human in the search & well find warm bodies to do the work!
Glenn Ellis  |  March 25, 2014
This article reinforces my belief that the "OLDTIMERS" will still be in demand. Why retire? If your health is good it appears you still have much to contribute. Training the next generation will not be easy.