Opinion

4 Key HR Challenges in the Oil and Gas Industry


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The energy sector is evolving and accepting best practices from other industries with an overall focus on efficiency and continuous improvements. The Human Resources Department plays a critical role in driving these internal activities as well as the growth and expansion of an organization.

Despite the intrinsic volatile nature of this industry, HR function has a deep implication to steer the overall productivity of the business. Overcoming the various challenges, ensuring sound HR practices and strategies can thus develop strong talent culture and a more resilient organization.

Recruitment: Attracting and retaining Talents in a unique sector

The energy industry is unlike any other. It is primarily a field-based industry, and it requires a mental attitude that cannot be compared to the practice of a regular desk job. The jobs demand a combination of mental skills and physical resilience that would sustain the employees even in most difficult working environments. In spite of fantastic financial incentives, the hostile work environment and the inherent risks of the job might prove to be the key roadblock for the HR team to promote job satisfaction.

One of the trickiest challenges for HR executives would be retaining their top talents and finding suitable replacements in case of attrition. The company makes a considerable investment to train and groom the recruits to become subject matter experts in due course of time. Thus the HR  team needs a long-term and sustainable approach towards managing the work-life balance of these employees, provide timely rewards & recognitions, and bring in the sense of empowerment by upskilling them.

Dynamic Industry Requirements

The energy industry is highly competitive and its working depends on many extraneous factors. Therefore, the industry has a dynamic approach inbuilt into its management practices.

The HR executives usually find it difficult to evolve a long-term framework because of the changes being effected in the management strategies of the industry. This not only greatly affects the delivery but also makes them apprehensive about following long-time HR policies.

Information technology has now become an integral part of the industry and has opened up many new job profiles, such as data analysts, automation engineers, software engineers etc. The HR strategy should dynamically change to support the technological advancement in each business groups and develop leaders who can translate business needs into digital solutions.

Diversity: Maintaining gender balance and multi-cultural workforce

Professionals from different corners of the world come to work in foreign countries, sometimes in remote and isolated locations. Working in these locations and away from family for long periods of time has an effect on the motivation levels. Adapting local culture, climate and food sometimes pose a challenge for these employees. Mid-career retirement is not a new thing for employees of both genders.

The HR has to drive interactive sessions, motivational work groups, and discussion forums to enable early detection of demotivation and prompt resolution.

Capacity building at new sites:

Any new oil and gas project is a huge commitment of capital and resources. Human resources managers are under huge pressure to make a project fully operational as the talent search for a new project is even more difficult than the established ones.

Apart from identifying suitable employees, the HR managers are also responsible for creating a suitable work environment for every employee recruited for the new project. This is an absolutely critical factor for the long-term growth and success of the new site.

The HR function is key to helping organizations in the dynamic oil and gas sector survive and even thrive amidst downturns. More importantly, they must ensure that the organizations are well positioned for the turnaround.

While the harsh on-site terrains of oil and gas industry set a huge challenge for the HR executives to keep the employee motivation level high, there are several rewarding experiences for an employee to be lured into this industry.



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Human Resource ChallengesHR ChallengesOil And Gas HR Challenges

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