Strategies to Address the Energy Industry Talent Gap

“We have a very successful graduate program that we actively recruit from,” commented Heim. “Five years ago we made a strategic move to double the number of graduates, and through this program, we bring in 80 to 100 graduates a year. What we’ve done with that is we guarantee them one to two international programs in their two-year grad program. That seems to really energize them, and in turn it benefits us, we have a 97 percent attrition rate with graduates.”

By formalizing communication and promoting a collaborative corporate culture, both through the use of technology-based tools, as well as by creating opportunities for face-to-face conversation and spontaneous partnership, these investments will foster knowledge sharing throughout the workforce, thereby improving workforce potential at all levels and building resiliency to deal with “brain drain”, noted KPMG.

Age Matters

Age is the greatest influence and the most promising solution for addressing the talent gap, the survey noted. Older employees feel the impact of the crisis, and compared to younger employees, they think the impact will be much more severe. Furthermore, the level of pessimism about whether their organization will be successful in navigating the talent crisis steadily increases with age, with younger respondents far less worried about the retiring knowledge base than their more senior colleagues.

The age group most concerned is the 4-55 range – the current and future industry leaders – not the 55+ group that is closest to retirement and are likely less engaged in fixing a problem that will be most prevalent after they exit the workforce, according to the survey.

“The key is identifying which skills will be lost with retiring employees versus those areas that are not dependent upon experience, focusing on capturing the knowledge and transferring the abilities that are in danger of walking out the door. Build knowledge-sharing and training programs that bridge the communication and learning mode gap between generations, taking into account accepted leading practices from the field of organizational psychology,” according to the survey.

The Power of Technology

Technology investment is a strong solution for addressing the talent gap in the upstream, chemicals, utilities and midstream industries, KPMG stated. Respondents in the survey see the power of technology to automate some tasks and reduce the workload on overtaxed employees.

“It can also be a cost-effective and convenient tool for employee recruitment, training and knowledge sharing,” the survey stated.


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