Rigzone's Employer Survey Reveals the Best Oil, Gas Company to Work For

Rigzone's Employer Survey Reveals the Best Oil, Gas Company to Work For
Find out which company ranked as the number one oil and gas company to work for.

When it comes to identifying an employer of choice, Royal Dutch Shell plc ranked No. 1 amongst oil and gas professionals around the globe, according to Rigzone’s 2018 Ideal Employer survey. It’s the second year in a row that responses placed the multinational oil and gas company in the top spot on the Global Top 30 list.

The most recent Ideal Employer survey garnered 6,621 responses from over 100 countries, with a total mention of 2,990 different companies. The firms were ranked based on questions that focused on various attributes and employer ratings.

Shell had the most mentions from respondents who were asked to name the employers they would most like to work for. Halliburton, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. followed in the second, third and fourth position, respectively.

When Rigzone asked why the company may have ranked so highly in several of the survey categories, Jeroen de Weerd, Shell's vice president for recruitment, said he believed it was partly due to the improved performance across many of the company’s businesses and projects.

Additional insights around the company’s win and workforce retention initiatives follow.

Rigzone: For the inaugural survey, Shell indicated the move to acquire BG (when few mergers and acquisitions were happening in oil and gas) sent a positive signal to the sector's workers. Why do you think Shell has done so well in Rigzone's Ideal Employer Survey for two years in a row?

Jeroen de Weerd: I was delighted to see our continued strength as a preferred employer in this year’s survey. It tells me that there is confidence in Shell as a company and that our reputation as an employer is strong. Our ambition to thrive in the Energy Transition means that we are on a transformational journey. Seeing Shell ranked #1 is a positive signal that our efforts are being recognized. The successful acquisition of BG was a great start and enabled us to realize some of our accelerated growth ambitions faster. Shell is now the largest producer, marketer and independent trader of LNG, but there is much for us to do before our ambitions are fully realized across all our portfolios and to live up to our transformation promises.

Last year we declared our aspiration to reduce the net carbon footprint of our energy products in step with societies’ drive to align with the Paris agreement and recently we published our Energy Transition and Sky Scenarios reports – both of which clearly outline what it is we in Shell, and the world, need to do to ensure more energy can be provided to meet the needs of growing populations while reducing impact on the planet. We certainly don’t have all the answers and it won’t be easy to deliver on these promises, but the more we discuss it and search for ways to address the issues in dialogue with society, the more people are saying – “yes, I want to be a part of that, I want to truly make a difference”.  

When I talk to our people around the world, whether they have been here for many years or as a new graduate, I can see and feel a newly energized pride in what Shell stands for and a real sense of urgency to take action. No matter what role, which department or where they are in the world, everyone has a part to play to ensure we really do make a difference for both today’s and future generations. 

Rigzone: In addition to ranking No. 1 globally, Shell also topped the survey charts in other categories covering regions such as Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, subsectors including upstream, and industry focus areas such as health and safety. What else do you think made respondents think of Shell in so many instances?

Jeroen de Weerd: Seeing this vote of confidence from industry professionals—across generations and gender—helps me believe that the areas we are focusing on to build upon Shell’s reputation as a great place to work are being heard and felt. We don’t have all the answers, so listening to what it is that makes us an attractive employer is very important and we are constantly looking for opportunities to improve, especially in this dynamic, fast paced changing world.

For me, it is so important that people see Shell as a place that provides challenging work and opportunities to innovate because this makes the work they do meaningful and exciting. When purposeful work is married with a culture of caring for people it helps people to perform at their best. When it comes to health and safety, I hardly think of it as a focus ‘activity’ anymore, it is deeply ingrained in our culture because we really care about people. It is not just a tick box or a project. I find we talk about the safety in our homes as much as we do at work which translates into our daily activities and operations.

Rigzone: How has the downturn impacted employment at Shell during recent years and what is the company doing to remain attractive to current and future hires?

Jeroen de Weerd: The industry has been impacted by the changing world we live in which means we are consistently making strategic choices on where we operate, how we run our business and what we focus on. There are ever-changing capabilities and skills needed to deliver in a world that is more digitized and where new technologies have even greater importance on our ambition to make a better future. I think we have demonstrated real resilience during the downturn and while oil and gas will remain a critical part of what we do for the medium term, we are tasked with finding ways to deliver a better energy future in a very competitive and changing environment.


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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.

Gerhard Gaule  |  August 06, 2018
The big petrochemical companies business is 99% fuel and only 1% lubricants. During the last 15-20 years the number of petrochemical companies in Europe reduced from 10 to 3 and in the same time business of specific lubricants was sold out to middle sized companies. These middle sized companies carry more and more responsibility for industrial process lubricants to help our industries to conserve energie by reducing friction, wear and corrosion. Today the technical complex industrial lubricant industrie is mostly in the hands of middle sized lubricant companies. If we speak about petrochemical industrie or oil industrie nobody think about this transfer of lubricant business from the big petrochemical companies to the middle sized lubricant companies. But nevertheless I can tell you that in such middlesized lubricant companies the satisfaction level of the employees is often much higher than in big companies. Due to the much complexer chemical, technical problems and sales objectives than for fuels which are mostly driven by volumes. Experts are needed which are not considered as numbers. A study about employees in the oil industrie should not ignore the middle sized lubricant industrie which was 20 years ago integrated in the big petrol companies but nowadays standing on own feet.
Usat  |  June 29, 2018
Shell was my first and last company i worked with. So i dont know about the situation of other giants companies or competitors. Spent 35 yrs with Shell. It may not be perfect to say Shell is good. As a company level maybe good. I was retrenced and forced to signed off with some packages on a side note that i cant get reemployment with the company in future. Thats a sad packages. Now remained unemployed for 3 yrs. To get back to the glory is not promising at all. So much experienced regarded as gold not being traded....
Robert  |  June 14, 2018
Well, I've worked for Shell, Total and ExxonMobil on that list, and contracted at Shell and BP on that list. I agree Shell is a good company and I see why ConocoPhillips didn't make the list (who I also worked for): massive layoffs and not delivering on promises (like cutting the dividend and selling the entire San Juan Basin acreage), but I would never work for ExxonMobil again and don't understand why people voted for them, unless they are inexperienced like someone else here indicated. ExxonMobil is a glorified sweatshop and the bottom line is the majors treat you like a number: the more experienced you are, the more money you make, then your Supervisor can't believe you are doing better than him, and you know what follows after that if you don't shine (and spit-shine their shoes too).
Rob  |  May 18, 2018
How is it possible that there are ZERO small companies on this list? Many smaller companies are often better to work for than the big multi-nationals.
Randy Verret  |  May 18, 2018
As a Shell retiree (20 years) I agree with some of the observations expressed. My reference point is somewhat unique as I worked for Shell the first 17-1/2 years of my career, worked for 4 independents the next 16-1/2 years and (then) was rehired & finished the last 2-1/2 years with Shell before taking a severance and retiring. Although I will be eternally grateful for getting a chance to come back, the organization has (fundamentally) changed. A lot of that is just the nature of the industry the past 30 years. However, I believe it was a better run company in the domestic U.S in the 80's & 90's before Royal Dutch bought out the remaining shares. It is a lot more rigid, bureaucratic and financially obsessed than the American organization of my first "go round." It is (still) a solid major, but not as much FUN to work for as it was in the past. One man's opinion...
Jim  |  May 11, 2018
It is obvious you picked people right out of college or still in school with no experience to survey. A serious word of warning if you are a young person whose career is not yet set in stone. Shell forces ranks and has layoffs every 8 - 10 years whether they need to or not. The further along you get in your career the more likely you are to make the layoff list. The economics for this are simple; you are making more money and have accumulated more in the pension fund in which you are not vested so they can make money by laying you off and make the books look better keeping up stock prices and the CEO's stock options, especially in oil price down turns. These economic factors tend to maximize mid career when you are in your late 30's to late 40's. It doesn't matter that you are a good employee with excellent past reviews. I can almost guarantee if you go to work for Shell you will be laid off at a time in your career when you can least afford it (mortgage, kids, college to save for, car payments, etc.) You will have no income, except your spouses and if you are a man she will quickly tire of supporting the family because the layoff will last around 2 years, exhausting even a frugal family's savings. You will end up taking a lessor position, starting over careerwise because Oil Industry upper management are sheep and what one does they all do and other oil companies' HR departments are hesitant to hire a previously laid off employee and maybe possible collusion in hiring. Is that really what you are working your tail off and accumulating college debt for? Better think twice about taking that offer.
Mike Beling  |  May 11, 2018
Would like to see the full list
GG  |  May 11, 2018
I have been in the drilling game for nearly 40 years post uni and a consultant for nearly 30 years supervising drilling of wells for over 30 Operators. Shell were pretty shocking: stand with your back against a wall as someone was always trying to backstab you. Golden handcuffs was a phrase used as everyone wanted to leave but were waiting on their pension. However BP were a lot worse: full of public school boy buffoons who you would not send to the store to get your groceries: Macondo no surprise to many. Chevron are / were pretty good. As a non American I like American companies because if you make a mistake you know all about it but then it's forgotten, a UK company says nothing but it is held against you forever. An American boss will stand by his team till the death, right or wrong, from external criticism, whereby a UK company will sell you down the river.
Kendall  |  May 11, 2018
Shell is good to work for only if you're good at politics with leadership. You can be very good at your job, knowledgeable and experienced but at the drop of oil prices they are so quick to cut the people that make Shell who they are today with no regards. Then as soon as oil prices get back to a price their share holders are good with they hire again to replace the ones they cut. Only again to go through the process all over again. They have for all of my 43 year career I have run into many ex Shell employees that had been laid off. It is a shame a company considers their employees as a number and just because they aren't making the big money to fatten all the shareholders pockets plus leadership's big bonus they cut their people that made them that money. As the company has never been in the RED.
Ed D V  |  May 11, 2018
I am surprised that a company that has had some huge ethical lapses as far back as the eye can see--including outright cheating to shareholders regarding its crude reserves -- could be considered the No.1 company to work for. Either the Shell employees are a bunch young recruits that have no knowledge of the history of the company's ethical past, or knowing how Shell operates, they found a way to make sure that they influenced the survey by "coaching" employees to respond favorably.
L.McGill  |  May 11, 2018
I was part of the down sizing. A few people were forced out. Many of us chose a very generous severance package. I was given several months to find another position in Shell, I chose not to, many others did also. I do think that some of our offshore assets were dropped to unsafe levels of staffing. Shell is a premier company that provides a very good wage and a very desirable benefits package.
Dennis K  |  May 10, 2018
You’re right Robbie!! Shell cleaned house in the recent downturn in prices. Forcing older more experienced and higher paid employees into retirement, without consideration of the individual. I could go on and on but that about sums it up.......at least in the Americas.
Robbie  |  May 10, 2018
Yes, with comments from numerous countries, I can believe this. However, Shell is a European company that makes every effort to get rid of employees before they turn 60 years of age, as is legal in Europe. When compared to companies, only in the USA, who operate like American companies, how do they rate?