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Oil and Gas 4.0: How To Attract The Digital Talent of Tomorrow

An aerial shot of an oil and gas facility

The digital revolution has now reached the shores of the Oil and Gas sector, the knock-on effect being that 94% of Oil and Gas companies now see the digital transformation of the supply chain as a top strategic objective, according to the Deloitte white paper, The Industry 4.0 Paradox

This mission-critical strategic shift requires a massive HR digital transformation too, as Oil and Gas talent managers must pivot and start negotiating, utilizing and drawing skills from the digital talent ecosystem. 

As a result, the Oil and Gas sector has plunged itself into the global talent war for digitally focussed STEM talent, which means the Oil and Gas sector must now compete with the technology sector for top digital talent. 

Of course, the race for top digital talent is well under way, and the Oil and Gas sector has some ground to make up on the competition, according to this this ADNOC Global Work Force of the Future Survey. Their survey results show that STEM millennial/Gen Z graduates are currently more interested in pursuing a technology career (77%), than a career in Oil and Gas, (44%). 

It’s no surprise then to hear that the Oil and Gas survey respondents indicated that digital talent acquisition, retention and development was their top organizational and cultural challenge.  

So, what strategies can Oil and Gas organizations adopt to make a successful HR digital transformation and attract the digital talent of tomorrow.

Pitch The Industry 4.0 Narrative

Since research shows that STEM Millennials and Gen Z’s are interested in industries that they think will be majorly impacted by technology, the Oil and Gas sector must pitch it’s exciting HR digital transformation story. It must challenge the damaging misconception amongst STEM millennials that the Oil and Gas sector is digitally phobic. This can be done by telling the story of how the industry 4.0 digital transformation is sweeping through the sector. This means highlighting how STEM protagonists in the Oil and Gas sector will be pioneers at the frontiers of change, leading to the ground-up digital transformation of the entire oil and gas supply chain, making full use of artificial intelligence, cloud architecture, and robotics to help create a more efficient and agile supply chain. Wow! 

Pitch the Oil and Gas 4.0 narrative and win the digital talent acquisition war.

Play to Your Strengths

The Oil and Gas sector should be careful not to lose sight of it’s core strengths during the HR digital transformation.  It’s OK to buy into the modern culture of flexible working, sustainability and cool offices to attract digital talent,  but the Oil and Gas sector is still fondly regarded by graduates for it’s historically high salaries and sense of job security. Some things never change. So, ensure these features remain at the centre of any new razzmatazz employee value proposition.

Modernize the brand

Research shows that STEM graduates hold some outdated and inaccurate perceptions of the Oil and Gas sector. For example, the typical oil and gas imagery depicts a primarily blue collar work industry and as a result STEM talent associate the sector with mainly unattractive blue collar work, even though there exists a massive white collar digital jobs ecosystem. If you can exhibit the vast array of exciting digital jobs that are available within the Oil and Gas sector, you’ll make your brand more attractive to digital talent.

Make it relevant to the future

Opinion is split within the STEM talent pool as to whether oil and gas is an industry of the now OR the future. There is a belief amongst STEM millennials that as oil and gas reserves are used up, and pressure increases to move to renewable sources, that the traditional Oil and Gas sector will die a slow death. For reasons of perceived future jobs availability and environmental ethics, STEM digital talent will be drawn more towards the Oil and Gas sector if the sector can make sustainability and renewable energy sources a core part of it’s commercial narrative. 

Arguably, the digital talent segment of the already squeezed STEM talent niche is perhaps one of the most competitive areas of recruitment in the commercial world. This is because top digital talent is usually highly paid,  often happy in post, nearly always has multiple job offers and is usually being counter-offered by their existing employer.  Don’t be surprised if for some of the most challenging appointments you’ll need to enlist the services of an external Talent Acquisition Specialist.

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