Workforce Solutions: The Race Against Retirement


The oil and gas industry is booming. Domestic oil production is experiencing such rapid growth some experts predict the United States could replace Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer. 


In 2013, Texas oil production approached one billion barrels, the highest annual oil output in the Lone Star State since the early 80’s. Five years ago North Dakota was producing less than 200,000 barrels of oil per day. This past April the Peace Garden state surpassed the 1 million barrel per day mark.

Right now, business is good for the oil and gas industry. However, the industry’s renaissance is not without its problems. By 2020 the oil and gas industry will have created 1.3 million jobs. These newly created jobs don’t take into consideration that by around 2015, 50% of the industry’s engineers will be eligible for retirement. The demand to fill new position along with the need to backfill soon to be vacated positions is creating a rush to find skilled workers. Without the appropriate staffing levels the projected production levels will fail to be met.


You don’t need to be a hiring manager in the oil industry to know how difficult it is to find highly skilled workers in the oil & gas industry. It is a fact that good people are hard to find, especially when you have to compete for them. Following are two areas your organization can focus on to make your company more desirable to the best candidates:

Pay Rates – Companies are in the habit of setting pay rates based on skill, experience, education, and seniority. When it comes to hiring, companies need to start considering supply and demand. How many people with the skills you want are out there? How many of your competitors are looking for the same skill set? Common sense should tell you if you want to attract high quality talent, you are going to need to pay for it. Good people command good money. Sure, it’s not always about the money, but the money is a big part of it. A recent study by economist Fredrico Finan found that higher wages attract workers who are highly skilled and who hold a true interest in the organization’s cause.

Branding – Companies spend a lot of time worrying about how they are perceived by customers. Your company's brand shouldn’t end at the consumer. The skilled workers you’re trying to attract are going to directly impact the future of your company. You need to position yourself as an organization highly skilled workers want to work for. Being a desirable company doesn’t start and stop with a big paycheck and insurance coverage. The way you treat your employees has as much to do with your brand as whatever your marketing team comes up with. Do you provide your employees with a roadmap to their career goals? Do you communicate with potential employees about opportunities outside of the role they are interviewing for? Do you provide timely, positive and constructive feedback? When was the last time you thanked your staff for the work they do for you? The way you treat your staff will directly impact the type of staff you attract. Remember everybody has options.

Time is not your friend. Resources are growing more scarce and highly skilled and experienced workers are becoming more difficult to find. How are you going to position yourself to stay in front of the pack?


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