Rigzone Survey: Millennials Want Training and Growth Opportunities

Rigzone Survey: Millennials Want Training and Growth Opportunities
Millennials value solid training programs in their ideal oil and gas employers and the industry is tweaking its recruitment efforts to meet the needs of the millennial generation.

Emily Garza is a 21-year-old student studying mechanical engineering at the University of Houston. She’s in her fourth year of studies and despite the oil and gas industry’s downturn, she’s excited to graduate and make her mark in the field.

Garza also shares the feelings of the majority of millennials across the globe in what attributes she considers most important in her ideal employer.

Rigzone’s recent Ideal Employer Survey found that millennials value “solid training and development programs” and a “commitment to health and safety” the most when considering their ideal employer. The global survey was conducted between July and September and garnered nearly 8,500 respondents in more than 100 countries.

“I’m interested in working in the environmental side of the industry, preferably with a company that is working to improve efficiency with solar energy and/or natural resources,” Garza told Rigzone.

And while salary plays a factor, Garza said it’s not her main concern.

“I want to be able to go to a company where I can grow and be properly trained,” she said. “If I have an opportunity to learn something in my area of study or even other areas, that’s a big deal to me.”

Attracting and Recruiting Millennials

Despite a challenging market environment and the effect it’s had on industry career opportunities, many oil and gas companies are still continuing their graduate recruitment efforts.

One such company is Royal Dutch Shell plc, which ranked as the number one ideal employer for by millennials in Rigzone’s survey.

Jonathan Kohn
Jonathan Kohn, Head of HR for the UK, Ireland, Nordics & South Africa, Shell
Head of HR for the UK, Ireland, Nordics & South Africa, Shell

Referring to graduate recruitment as a cornerstone of its talent management strategy, Jonathan Kohn, Shell’s head of human resources for the UK, Ireland, Nordics and South Africa, told Rigzone that the company typically recruits 800 to 1,100 graduates globally each year. However, this year the number was around 800 and is expected to be the same in 2017.

“When you have a company with the history and the future aspirations of ours, you can’t just look at this in a single point of time and say, ‘oh, dear, that’s it. Stop.’ You have to keep investing for the medium and long term,” he said.  

For millennials, it’s not just about landing a job. They’re looking for a company in which they can be purposeful and impactful.

“When recruiting [the millennial] generation, especially within our industry, we’re not just competing with our industry anymore. With technology and the way things are changing, we’re competing with companies outside the industry,” Leah Carter, global university affairs manager for Halliburton, told Rigzone. “We’re changing the conversation in how we talk about Halliburton and how we talk about the oil and gas industry … talking about energy in a different way and how it touches all aspects of life and enhances human life is something we’re focused on [in our conversations with millennials].”

Halliburton, which ranked fifth among millennials in an ideal employer, through their own study of college students, found that 64 percent said their recruiter had a major impact in making the decision where they wanted to work.

Leah Carter
Leah Carter, Global University Affairs Manager, Halliburton
Global University Affairs Manager, Halliburton

Recognizing the importance of the physical presence of a recruiter on campus as well as advances in technology, Halliburton has built a team of recruiters who can positively impact students and they’ve taken their recruiting strategy mobile, Carter said.

“It’s been a huge enhancement for us on campus … having iPads and being able to capture candidates’ information that way is something they really like and it makes them look at Halliburton as a technologically advanced company,” she said.     

Millennial View: Companies Can Do More

While companies like Shell and Halliburton seem to be paying attention to what’s important to millennials and using that to help shape their recruiting efforts, Rigzone’s survey reveals exactly what millennials desire in oil and gas employers.

Garza said if employers would provide information on particular projects they’re working on or plan to work on in the future, millennials could determine how they can best contribute to such projects.

“This appeals to millennials because they can say, ‘I can actually have an input on this. I can actually make a difference,’” she said.

Paul Adjin-Tettey, a 31-year-old student studying oil and gas management with The Institute of Professional and Executive Development–United Kingdom (IPED-UK) at an accredited center in Ghana, said oil and gas companies are doing “quite well” in attracting millennials through recruitment agencies. Still, he thinks equal opportunities should be given to university graduates and professional graduates.

In 2011, Adjin-Tettey began working as a committee member in two of the Landing Beach Committees (LBC) as part of his duties with Ghana’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Fisheries Commission. His role is connected to the downstream sector of oil and gas. After serving as a committee member for five years, Adjin-Tettey’s interest grew in oil and gas and he enrolled in IPED-UK to improve his skills and abilities.  

“Most oil and gas employers concentrate on university graduates with some level of experience in the oil and gas industry and pay little attention to professional oil and gas graduates,” he told Rigzone. “My ideal oil and gas employer would concentrate more on professional graduates because they have acquired and are equipped with actual knowledge and skills for the development of the petroleum industry.”   


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.

Tommy Hopper  |  December 09, 2016
Millennials in general dont seem to want to do the ground work. They have a tenancy to thank that everything should be in a book, internet and have a desk. You must lean from the bottom up, it’s ok to be a staff Eng. but staff Eng. dont run the job...They have trouble with front line leadership. If you keep them busy watching over a task they do a good job. Doing the task it’s self is a different story. Yes they are young and yes they will learn. Good luck Millennials it’s your oil field now.
Bashir  |  December 09, 2016
Not all of us are millennials graduating out of engineering. Me personally, my number one preference is having a decent boss that I can communicate effectively with. Second is stability and work environment, pay is last on my list. I rejected a job offer based on how we got along and communicated and second I looked at the work environment, and if it was conducive, the pay sealed my decision.
Troy Owen  |  December 05, 2016
Millennials want a lot, but so far they are not impressing me as to what they will give or sacrifice to get what they want. They just seem to expect, particularly educated millennials. There also doesnt appear to be much loyalty so they dont get the nod if I have alternatives.