What does the report include?
This is the story of an industry and its talent in major transition.
Increasing international consensus on climate change and pandemic-driven remote working trends accelerated the technological transformation of the energy industry and demand for
talent. Energy convergence is driving cross-sector skills migration. This is spurring a technical talent shortage and putting professionals in the driving seat.
This year, we have chosen to examine:
• what a radical realignment of the workforce will mean for recruitment
• retention trends and considerations across the energy industry
This report is in many ways a tale of two eras, capturing half a year in lockdown followed by a second half in which the industry rebounded rapidly as the world began to emerge from the pandemic. This has created a mixed picture of the industry’s fortunes and a continuing cloud of uncertainty over its future. Yet, as the dust settles on major turbulence, some clear trends are starting to take shape.
Embracing clean energy, technology, flexible work and talent development are no longer optional but fundamental to securing the future skills base on which the industry rests.
Every individual and sector has experienced change, but the broader themes are:
- Power to professionals – the balance of power has tilted towards professionals. Cross-sector convergence around green energy has created a transient workforce with transferrable skills. Technological transformation and the energy transition has created a gaping technical skills gap. Meanwhile, a post-pandemic recovery has seen salaries rebound rapidly. This perfect storm of circumstances means employees are now freer to transfer across borders and sectors
- Clean energy is spurring a technological revolution – and a technical skills gap. Decarbonization accelerated technological transformation while the post-pandemic legacy of remote working also accelerated digitalization of business operations. Technical skills are now the most transferrable skills for all energy professionals and the most important for future-proofing all energy workforces. This is creating an industry-wide thirst for tech talent
- ESG takes center stage – ESG is now a key career consideration – professionals are increasingly moved by mission over money. Environmental awareness and support for work/life balance increased during the pandemic. Most workers now cite ESG as a 2 factor in whether to remain or resign from their company, while lifestyle and family increasingly influence employee relocations. The evidence points to a belief-driven workforce that values their organization’s ESG performance and work/life balance over financial remuneration
Hiring manager solutions:
Hiring managers can turn these trends to their advantage by considering the following actions:
- Fast-track career progression – with career progression the top driver for departing talent, learning and development is increasingly critical to recruitment and retention as well as retraining. Organizations should offer learning and development programs designed to upskill and fast-track professionals for promotion. With a workforce that prioritizes mobility over stability and increasingly transcends sectoral silos, employers should also offer more support and opportunities for internal and international transfers
- Make ESG a brand differentiator – incorporate green energy innovations into the employer brand. Companies should offer new recruits the chance to drive innovation and decarbonization efforts and offer internal transfers to green energy divisions. Building workplace benefits around health and family could also create a virtuous circle of recruitment – supporting in attracting a more diverse pool of candidates and thereby boosting inclusivity, skills and social performance
- Focus on innovation – innovation is a key driver for career changers and should become a key differentiator for employer brands. Legacy sectors should promote diversification of portfolios and digitalization of operations. New innovations from green ammonia to artificial intelligence (AI) are instrumental to attracting STEM skills from other industries, including technology
Key sector statistics:
Oil and gas:
- 45% of hiring managers report an increase in sector pay over the past year
- 90% of respondents would consider relocating for their job • Energy transition ranks as the most important opportunity for the sector over the next 3 years, cited by 42% of respondents
- Engineering is the top transferrable technical skill desired by hiring managers (58%) and is possessed by 55% of professionals
- 85% of respondents say ESG is a factor in whether they’ll stay or leave an organization
- 54% of those open to switching sectors would be interested in moving to renewables and 25% of respondents would leave oil and gas for technology
- 70% professionals would consider leaving the energy industry over the next three years with technology the most popular choice
- 24% of the workforce joined from another sector and 18 per cent of those came from renewables, indicating the sector is also attracting talent from its competitors 3
- 89% of professionals would relocate abroad for work with Europe – the most popular transfer destination with 25%, followed by the Middle East and Asia
- 74% of hiring managers report an increase in sector pay over the past year
- 77% of respondents would consider relocating for their job
- Energy transition ranks as the most important opportunity facing the sector over the next 3 years, cited by 42% of respondents
- Engineering skills are the top transferrable technical skill desired by hiring managers (57%) and possessed by 72% of professionals
- 80% of respondents say ESG is a factor in whether they’ll stay or leave an organization
- Only 36% have experienced an increase in pay over the past year
- 31% of respondents would leave nuclear for technology
- 54% of professionals expect a pay rise in the coming year with 27 per cent expecting a rise of more than five per cent
- 80% cite ESG as a factor in joining or remaining with a business
- Professionals awarded the sector average scores of 3.44, 3.6 and 3.5 out of five stars for environmental, social and governance issues respectively
- 42% of professionals report a pay rise over the past year
- 86% of respondents would consider relocating for their job but only 25% receive relocation support
- Advances in engineering techniques / technologies ranks as the most important opportunity facing the sector over the next 3 years, cited by 44% of respondents
- Engineering is the top transferrable technical skill desired by hiring managers (62%) and is possessed by 61% of professionals
- 86% of respondents say ESG is a factor in whether they’ll stay or leave an organization
- 55% of those open to switching sectors would be interested in switching to renewables and 38% of respondents would leave power for technology
- Europe remains the most attractive destination for international transfers at 33%, reflecting the region’s world-leading role in the global energy transition
- 62% of hiring managers report an increase in sector pay over the past year
- 88% of respondents would consider relocating for their job
- Advances in engineering techniques / technologies ranks as the most important opportunity for the sector over the next 3 years, cited by 45% of respondents
- Engineering is the top transferrable technical skill desired by hiring managers (62%) and is possessed by 57% of professionals
- 87% of respondents say ESG is a factor in whether they’ll stay or leave an organization 4
- 50% of those open to switching sectors would be interested in moving to oil & gas and 28% of respondents would leave petrochem or technology
- Salaries have rebounded from lockdown, with 39% receiving a pay rise and the proportion receiving pay cuts falling from 24% to 13% in a year
- 54% of hiring managers report an increase in sector pay over the past year
- 86% of respondents would consider relocating for their job
- Energy transition ranks as the most important opportunity for the sector over the next 3 years, cited by 45% of respondents
- Engineering is the top transferrable technical skill desired by hiring managers (57%) and is possessed by 50% of professionals
- 61% of respondents say ESG is a major factor in whether they’ll stay or leave an organization
- 47% of those open to switching sectors would be interested in switching to power and 30% of respondents would leave renewables for technology
- The skills gap has sent salaries soaring with 40 per cent receiving a pay rise compared with 35 per cent the previous year and 60 per cent anticipating a pay increase next year
- The industry is turning to a mix of international talent and contractors with 31% of the workforce composed of expats and more than half of hiring managers reporting that over 20% of their workforce are contractors
- Relevant recent news stories related to GETI 2022
The balance of power has tilted towards professionals.
- The coronavirus pandemic has been noted as a major catalyst which over the last two years has taken the staffing landscape through the looking glass and produced what leading economists have labelled an ‘Alice-in-Wonderland job market’. A circumstance characterized by record open job positions yet periods of elevated levels of unemployment, and a version of musical chairs which has complicated recruiters’ efforts to hire for new positions in an unprecedented fashion. (Source: CNBC)
- According to leading sources in the recruitment industry, despite a subsequent economic rebound which has seen a change in tides yet again – with hiring back on an upswing – there is a clear point of consistency in the new normal. Workers have the most leverage in a generation. Everyone, regardless of seniority, is more valuable than ever before. (Source: Business Insider)
- It is apparent the pendulum has swung in favor of the labor force. Emboldened, workers are now in the driver’s seat of their career and in a position to cherry-pick roles that align with their values, command higher salaries or provide specific ‘work perks’. (Source: iNews)
Clean energy is spurring a technological revolution – and a tech skills gap.
- Internationally, we are in the midst of a revolutionary energy transformation that is uniquely challenging — yet full of opportunities. The move from fossil fuels to clean energy sources is driven by technology, changes in the economic and political landscape, environmental concerns, and demand for greater convenience. (Source: Elsevier)
- The transition requires a significant level of capital investment and industry commitment, but its success is also predicated on the presence of hundreds of thousands of technically skilled workers. (Source: United Nations)
- Many are needed in areas like construction, installation, maintenance and transportation, and to perform site selections and assessments. But demand will primarily center around those with digital and mathematical skills. (Source: Power Engineering)
- Adapting to these will be an ongoing effort, however. Make no mistake – it doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch, as there is already overlap in many areas. For example, a recent assessment found that some 70% of the UK oil and gas workforce have medium skills transferability to other energy industries, principally offshore wind; another 20% have high transferability. (Source: IRENA)
ESG is now a key career consideration.
- Amidst today’s exceptionally tight labor market, offering signing bonuses, upskilling, or even hybrid workplace models simply are not enough to retain the employees you have, let alone recruit new ones. (Source: Mercer)
- Smart companies must think differently. Business leaders need to understand that a primary factor in attracting and securing the best people is setting bold commitments to improve performance against environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters and, more importantly, providing tangible evidence of progress towards meeting those goals. (Source: Inc)
- Particularly for a new generation of the workforce who are inherently purpose-driven and socially conscious, having a clear and visible approach to issues such as sustainability and diversity is now a baseline expectation. In fact, according to a recent industry poll, nearly 86% employees prefer to support or work for companies that care about the same issues as they do. (Source: PwC)
Airswift and Energy Jobline surveyed almost 10,000 energy professionals and hiring managers in 161 countries across five industry sub-sectors: oil and gas, renewables, power, nuclear and petrochemicals.
Energy Jobline is the leading specialist job board for energy globally and currently hosts a database of over 750,000 professionals, advertising over 10,000 of the world’s top energy jobs. Energy Jobline (EJL) offers talented industry professionals exciting opportunities in the Oil & Gas, Renewables, Power, Nuclear and Petrochemicals sectors.
Energy Jobline focuses heavily on industry mobility and enabling its vast network of talented professionals to move between energy sectors where possible, as well as supporting the global mobilizing of energy employers and candidates. This has enabled Energy Jobline to become the go-to job board for jobseekers, with a third choosing us as their exclusive job board partner.
Energy Jobline is a significant value-add to any energy employer or agency, providing the best recruitment opportunities to both professionals and businesses globally.
Whether you are looking for a new role or you are looking to hire the best talent in the energy market, please contact us to discuss in more detail.
Airswift is an international workforce solutions provider within the energy, process and infrastructure industries.
We serve as a strategic partner to our clients, offering a turnkey workforce solution to capture and deliver the top talent needed to complete successful projects. Our expert team of recruitment consultants are also ideally positioned to help candidates find their next role, while our global mobility teams support them every step of the way.
With over 800 employees in 52 offices worldwide, 7,000 contractors and a candidate database of 500,000, our geographical reach and pool of talent available is unmatched in the industry and the level of experience that the organisation has is unparalleled.
Airswift works with 100% of the world’s supermajors and is ideally placed to be the global leader of workforce solutions to our target industries.
Our expertise covers a range of service lines, including talent acquisition, global employment, global mobility, managed solutions and consultancy.