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Do I need a flexible oil and gas workforce?


​Almost no other industry has undergone as much change in the past seven years or so as oil and gas. Yet following the price crash in 2014 and the disruption of COVID-19, optimism is returning to one of the world’s biggest industries.

There’s a lot to be optimistic about: with prices going up and running costs coming down, the future looks bright, and employment is on the rise. What’s more, we have seen massive changes in the wider workforce

Growing demand for flexible working and the influence of digitisation has resulted in changes to how the oil and gas industry hires staff – and a rise in the popularity of contract workers instead of permanent employees.

As the oil and gas workforce grows again, are you prepared for these changes?

If you want to continue attracting the top workers in the future, here are the factors you need to consider.

The impact of 2020 events on employment trends in the oil and gas industry

According to the recent Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) report, unsurprisingly, disconcerted professionals are concerned for the future of their sector and their career progression. But it isn’t all doom and gloom.

Some key statistics to come out of the report:

  • 78% percent of oil and gas employees feel less secure in their jobs than they did a year ago
  • Yet 64% expect the sector to grow over the next three years
  • 42% of professionals believe the oil and gas sector has contracted over the past 12 months
  • But 57% believe their employer is resilient to both recent and future change
  • And two-thirds expect advances in engineering to open up important opportunities in the next three years
  • 89% of professionals would consider relocating to another region for their job
  • Career progression opportunities is the number one factor attracting talent to a region
  • Renewables (50%) and petrochemicals (25%) remain the biggest sources of competition for those open to switching sectors, respectively

The fluctuating market

The fluctuating market has had a huge impact on the oil and gas industry.

For comparison, the slump of 2014 reduced the cost of oil by 60% by the end of the year, affecting the North Sea industry and UK-based manufacturers. With the resulting lack of work, many permanent positions were dropped from the workforce.

However, the upswing in the market resulted in a renewed interest in contracting, and businesses worldwide would do well to pay attention.

Balancing resources is a tricky and expensive business, requiring organisations to weigh up the fluctuating market with the number of staff they can afford to take on.

For many, it is simply not economical to take on permanent staff in a sector that could take a downturn at any time. This is where the possibilities of a more flexible way of hiring, which come hand in hand with contracting, could benefit your business.

The digital revolution

Thanks to the digital revolution, we are working smarter today than we ever have before. When everyone was forced to start working from home, it escalated everyone’s timeline for digital change.

Indeed, multiple companies have already indicated just how important it is that the oil and gas industry embraces new forms of technology.

Data scientists, machine learning specialists and software engineers all have their part to play in operating the oilfields of the future. Due to ever-evolving technology and changing market capability, the way oil and gas employees work in five years will likely be tough to predict.

To adapt, employers need to keep an eye on the future to better anticipate changing demands and hire accordingly. After all, the industry is ever-changing – so your workforce should be, too.

Technology brings us closer to each other regardless of where we are. We can access the Internet at the touch of a button, and new opportunities have opened up to shape the future of work.

Not only is technology paving the way for a more flexible style of working, but it’s also creating an environment that favours the quick and easy hiring of contractors over the uncertainty of permanent employees.

The way oil and gas businesses need to adapt

As we start to turn a corner in the oil and gas industry, the companies working within it have the chance to take charge of how they’re going to adapt to tomorrow’s workforce.

Employees are taking advantage of developing technology and adapting to a new flexible style of working. Whether that’s by investing in contractors or laying the groundwork for a more flexible workforce, the future lies in companies keeping an open mind and adapting to a modern style of hiring and managing employees.

After all, whether you’re taking on staff or securing short-term projects, it will likely be much easier, faster and more cost-efficient to hire contractors than secure staff positions.

Are you prepared for the future of a flexible oil and gas workforce?

Look ahead with Energy Resourcing

At Energy Resourcing, we keep our finger on the pulse of the changing market, allowing us to fill your open roles with the best talent in oil and gas.

Want to know how the market is changing? Connect with one of our regional teams to discuss how we help you build a flexible workforce and save money on every new hire.

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