What does the report include?
This report surveys an industry on the cusp of a technological revolution. Popular technologies from AI language models to autonomous vehicles are transforming processes from production to inspection.
A tech-savvy, young generation accustomed to tools including AI chatbots has turned access to innovations such as AI into a key driver of talent migration. As global skills shortages increase demands on existing workers, automating repetitive tasks could free up time and boost work/life balance. Amidst flatlining productivity, automation could augment the cognitive capabilities of all workers.
Yet AI also introduces many new risks. As algorithms consume great quantities of corporate data, they create cyber security concerns. With AI innovation happening at a rapid pace, there are risks of misuse or poor adoption. Automation could also come at the expense of human interactions. This year, we examine how this AI revolution will affect everything from job expectations to skills migration for energy workers. Amidst the many risks and opportunities, some key trends have begun to take shape.
- Training must keep pace with AI – Some employees are yet to read their employers’ AI policies, and many fear that lack of training could result in misuse or poor adoption. If workers are not encouraged to develop in-demand AI skills from cyber security to communication, an AI skills gap may emerge in the future. Widespread confusion around which AI tools offer the best fit for each company also indicates a lack of education and knowledge as a barrier to adoption. Meanwhile, a lack of inhouse AI skills could expose energy companies to new risks from data breaches to misuse, while increasing labour costs for in-demand roles such as cyber security.
- AI adoption should be a focus for recruitment and retention – Access to innovations such as AI is now among the top three drivers for relocation in some sectors and thus increasingly key to recruitment and retention. Energy workers are overwhelmingly optimistic about AI. They believe it could free time for soft skills development, strategic tasks and families while boosting job satisfaction, productivity, and career progress. Yet most workers still do not use AI in their jobs. With technology the most popular outside industry for energy workers to join, late adopters of AI risk losing their staff to more technologically innovative competitors.
- AI will increase demand for human skills – Far from replacing human workers, the march of the machines is expected to create new gaps in the market for human skills from cyber security to creativity. The majority expect AI to increase demand for technical skills from data science to software engineering. With machine learning models unable to think outside their training data, employers may put a premium on lateral thinking with projected demand for soft skills such as creativity and critical thinking. This could remould energy industry job specs and bring in new skills from creatives to robotics technicians.
Hiring managers can turn these trends to their advantage, by considering the following actions:
- Align training with AI demands – Employers should harness training to embed best practices across the workforce with AI awareness treated as equivalent to health and safety awareness. In-house skills development and certifications should be aligned with in-demand skills such as cyber security and robotics while completion could be tied to incentives to ensure inhouse skills keep pace with the AI revolution. Companies could democratise digital skills through entry-level, user-friendly AIs such as ChatGPT, rules-based and explainable AIs that explain their workings or open-source AIs, lowering barriers to workforce adoption.
- Roll out AI across the workforce – With access to innovations such as AI now the biggest driver behind relocation among 18–24-year-old energy workers, rolling out AI across the workforce could help retain a new generation who value innovation. This could also help prevent an exodus of skills to popular adjacent industries. With ambitions for career progression one of the main reasons for leaving jobs, employers could also harness AI to free time for higher value-adding work and accelerate promotions. Automation could be used to boost job satisfaction and talent retention by augmenting the cognitive capabilities of all workers or reducing workloads to improve work/life balance.
- Redesign employer brands to recruit from outside industries – With over 90% across all sectors expecting AI to increase demand for human skills, energy companies should consider redesigning recruitment checklists and widen recruitment nets to attract the digital and soft skills needed for AI. Employer brands should emphasise innovation and ESG reinforced with values statements to attract a younger generation. For example, promoting the opportunity to apply AI to environmental challenges such as optimising renewable production could help attract a new wave of young, eco-conscious AI talent from industries such as technology.
Hiring managers can harness AI’s potential by aligning training with AI demands, supporting the integration of AI across the workforce, and redefining employer brands to attract diverse talent. These steps will help energy companies not only keep up with technological advancements but become pioneers, attracting and retaining a skilled workforce ready for the challenges and opportunities of AI.
Airswift and Energy Jobline surveyed almost 12,000 energy professionals and hiring managers of 149 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.