How To Attract the Best Talent in Oil and Gas

The oil and gas industry is facing hiring challenges, including a shifting perception of fossil fuels and what Deloitte calls an “utmost concern” for the industry: an aging workforce with a median age of 44 and over. Oil and gas companies in Colorado face additional challenges. As the cost of living has increased in Colorado in recent years, employers need to offer competitive salaries to appeal to workers from areas with cheaper living expenses. Additionally, the shift to remote work during the pandemic created new expectations of greater flexibility within many industries, oil and gas included.

Oil and gas companies can appeal to new talent by demonstrating agility in adopting renewables as part of their offerings and by showing potential hires that they care about their needs and interests.

Show Potential Hires a Sustainable Future for the Oil and Gas Industry

An oil and gas industry study by Ernst and Young found that more than two out of three members of Generation Z — people born roughly between 1995 and 2012 — believe that the industry causes more problems than it solves. Those same survey respondents found jobs working with green energy more appealing. As Gen Z enters college and the workforce, their perceptions and desires should be on the radar of companies seeking to hire the best talent.

Companies looking to attract the best oil and gas talent know that they need to set their sights beyond fossil fuels to remain competitive.

For example, Royal Dutch Shell PLC recently appointed Andrew Mackenzie as its new chairman to oversee the oil and gas giant as it navigates the transition to low-carbon energy. BP, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, is working to reinvent itself as an energy company by shrinking its oil and gas business and building out offshore wind power and developing battery storage.

As an oil and gas industry infrastructure company, UEC offers equipment and expertise to companies as they migrate their energy transitions. With the move to alternative energy sources and renewable energy, UEC’s equipment still plays an essential role. Gas compression is necessary in the hydrogen fusion process by compressing the feedstock to the required pressures for reformation. Renewable natural gas recovered from landfills goes through several stages of compression, from collection, to separation and processing prior to being used in power generation, liquid fuel or put into a pipeline as a high BTU natural gas product. 

Today’s Oil and Gas Recruits Want to Work for Companies That Support Their Interests

Making connections and fostering a sense of belonging is vital to people who migrate to a new place. Oil and gas employees who relocate to Colorado want to create a sense of connection to their new community. Knowing that a company supports their interests is an easy way to appeal to people considering relocating for work. 

Hosting volunteer days where an organization teams up to support a local charity is one way of connecting employees to their communities and their workplace. At UEC, our team members volunteer for Friends of Berthoud Pass and local Habitat for Humanity chapters. 

From time to time UEC sponsors opportunities for employees to serve our community and support specific community programs and events. Participants are paid for this time as regular working hours. 

Setting up funds for specific skill-building events such as company-wide CPR training is another way to foster connections within a community. Companies can adopt training allowances like this to appeal to the interests of potential new hires. 

UEC also provides necessary training for job related functions and certifications like PHR, certified welder inspection, and safety training that can be shared with the employees family members. UEC maintains a focus on personal development like Admired Leadership Training and a fast paced environment that allows an individual to learn and grow.

Offer Flexible Benefits and Other Perks to Attract the Best Oil and Gas Talent

As the EY oil and gas perceptions survey indicated, Millennials and younger generations have different expectations than the “30 years and a gold watch” employees that came before them. While comprehensive health insurance and stock options will still appeal to most prospective hires, Millennials expect companies to offer a broader array of benefits more commonly offered at tech firms.

Examples of benefits and perks that oil and gas companies can offer to attract the best talent include:

  • Flexible schedules
  • Remote work options
  • Earned paid sabbaticals

Offering benefits that appeal to younger recruits has the added advantage of being just as likely to appeal to employees of any generation. This can potentially encourage older staff to remain with a company and share their accumulated wisdom with new hires.

Colorado Oil and Gas Companies Have a Distinct Advantage When it Comes to Attracting New Talent

As the real estate adage goes, the Colorado advantage lies in location, location, location. It’s easy to see why people want to live and work in Colorado. With over 300 sunny days per year, stellar mountain views, an array of outdoor recreational pursuits, and abundant economic opportunities, the population increase in recent years makes sense. 

According to a Denver Business Journal report, Denver’s pre-COVID unemployment rate was at 3%, with healthy wage and labor force growth. Boulder, Fort Collins, and Greeley also made the top 10 job markets among smaller cities analyzed. While firms may have to adjust salaries to accommodate the higher cost of living, the appeal of living in Colorado is itself a powerful draw that companies can leverage. For example, UEC has a work-hard, play-hard culture where we take full advantage of all of the outdoor recreation opportunities that Colorado has to offer, from hiking to hunting to backcountry skiing. That company culture appeals to people who are considering relocating here.

Oil and gas companies can position themselves to attract the best talent to their teams. They can do so by demonstrating agility in a shifting energy market, showing employees they care about what’s meaningful to them, and offering benefits and perks that employees want–including the incomparable Colorado lifestyle.

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