September 15, 2022

Hiring in the Oil and Gas Industry: Key Takeaways

After downturns during the pandemic’s early months, oil and gas company hiring has rebounded. Yet continuing the industry’s cycle of hiring and laying off workers stands to hurt oil and gas companies in the long term.

An Eightfold analysis of hiring and role changes in the oil and gas industry reveals that if these companies continue to stick to traditional hiring methods and expectations, they leave themselves vulnerable to changing consumer demands, regulatory upheavals, and competition from renewable energy competitors.

Here’s what oil and gas companies need to know to build resilience through better hiring practices.

Oil and Gas Company Roles Are Changing

Oil and gas employment in the U.S. will increase 12.5 percent over the coming year — a trend that will likely continue, says Sumit Yadav, an analyst with Rystad Energy.

In the face of growing climate change concerns and renewable energy competition, merely filling these roles isn’t enough. Oil and gas companies will need to plan ahead for upcoming changes and upskill, reskill, and hire for growth potential.

Our analysis of core roles in the oil and gas industry reveal that many roles are stable or declining. Demand for operations supervisors, geologists, and field and project engineers is stable; drilling and research engineer roles are fading. On the business side, administrative assistants and customer service roles are also declining quickly, while many finance and accounting roles remain stable.

The biggest increases in demand are in digital and analytics roles — an area in which the oil and gas industry must quickly reinvent itself in the face of competition from renewable energy companies.

Oil and gas companies seem interested in acquiring new technologies. In a 2020 EY survey, 80 percent of companies said they planned to invest in digital technologies, and 29 percent expected that investment to be significant.

To benefit from digital technologies, oil and gas companies will need to think carefully about their goals, writes EY’s Rachel Everaard. They will also need to rethink hiring, so they have the people they need to optimize their use of technology.

sunlight on a rooftop; hiring in the oil and gas industry concept

As the Industry Changes, Hiring for Skills Matters More Than Ever

Many roles in the oil and gas industry are in flux, and the need for certain positions like drilling engineer or refinery manager will be shrinking. But as the energy sector grows to embrace renewable solutions, those workers’ expertise will still have place in the industry. Roles may not be transferable, but skills are.

For example, renewables research and engineering roles frequently demand skills in engineering management. Logistics management skills can support success throughout energy industry operations.

During this transition, oil and gas companies may not be able to predict which specific roles will be retained and which will become obsolete. Instead, by focusing on the skills required throughout the organization, these companies can hire a workforce that can adapt to change and uncertainty.

AI-enabled software helps provide these insights. By digging deep into multiple relevant datasets, these tools allow oil and gas company hiring teams to understand which skills are essential, identify candidates with these skills, and plot a career path that keeps oil and gas talent in the industry.

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