Bambi GrundwergJuly 29, 2022
Topics: Recruiter Experience

Hiring Trends & Challenges in Energy and Utilities

At face value, it may seem like the Energy and Utilities industry — including Oil & Gas, Wind, Solar, and Hydro-powered Energy — are recession-proof when it comes to hiring, since critical jobs need to be filled year round to keep the energy supply chain flowing.

But are there enough skilled candidates to go around, and can energy companies efficiently hire for roles in widely distributed locations?

Let’s break it down.

A Look at the Industry

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that nearly 6 million people are directly employed by the petroleum industry worldwide, and over ten times that number of jobs are indirectly created by the industry. The global oil and gas exploration and production industry is expected to increase by a stunning 27.5% this year due to post-covid increases in travel, over-the-road distribution, and manufacturing.

The ILO and the International Renewable Energy Agency put the number of laborers in the renewable energy sector and its supply chains at 12 million, with a third of them focused on the collection and distribution of solar energy. With close to 72 million workers supporting energy supply chains, the industry is ripe for an ongoing hiring surge, seeking new skills in global locations.

Industry jobs are varied, ranging from highly technical and digital skills to more transactional maintenance and support roles:

  • Locating and extracting energy sources: geologists, surveyors, environmental scientists, engineers, project managers, technicians, and equipment operators
  • Processing and transportation of energy: engineers, technicians, operators, maintenance, and logistics managers
  • Distribution of energy products: drivers, logistics coordinators, and retail operations

But no matter the industry role, two requirements remain consistent:

  1. The potential for remote hiring and remote work
  2. The need for continual upskilling

Related Resource: Introducing Phenom High-Volume Hiring

Understanding how these constants play out in the industry is imperative for employers looking to hire — and retain — skilled workers.

Adopting and Adapting for Remote Work

As in real estate, location is a major factor for employees considering their next career move.

The key to finding a match in the Energy and Utilities industry is to pair available inventory (jobs) with market participants (candidates).

For these jobs, work location can vary from offshore rig, to a mountain-top wind farm, to an arctic pipeline, to a corporate office, and more. Add to this the myriad opportunities that have opened up for professional advancement, lifestyle change, and the ability to work from almost anywhere, and you’ll find that more than 85% of renewable energy workers would consider work relocation.

Wherever remote work takes energy professionals, HR teams, hiring managers, and candidates are no longer likely to meet face to face during the job search and interview process.

So how can employers create a more meaningful engagement and a smooth job search experience during the hiring process?

  1. Ensure your career site has rich AI-capabilities for job search and matching to provide the widest range of positions that meet candidates’ location preferences.
  2. Add AI-based scheduling for hiring managers to coordinate interviews across all time zones.
  3. Utilize video assessments for capturing remote job seekers' skills and interests.

Related Resource: How Recruiters Can Use AI to Rapidly Source, Screen & Hire the Right Candidates

Transforming and Upskilling Employees

Have you heard of a "digital twin"? If you’re hiring technicians for state of the art predictive maintenance, you’ll need that skill, which uses a virtual model to replicate a physical object, system, or process. You may also need blockchain specialists, renewable energy engineers, and other skills that were virtually unheard of ten years ago or less.

These are just a few examples of skill change that has influenced hiring in the industry. So how can companies ensure their workforce is future-looking, considering all the rapidly changing aspects of its roles?

  1. Build and nurture a robust talent marketplace for employees that exposes alternate internal job roles, new locations, and transferable skills. Ensure your talent marketplace is optimized for mobile devices to support deskless, on-the-go, and third shift teams.
  2. Highlight potential career paths for employees and indicate skill requirements for professional growth and development.
  3. Equip your management team with talent analytics and visual dashboards that can provide workforce planning guidance based on skills and location.

If employers hope to retain skilled employees in a workforce that’s prioritizing mobility over stability, they must offer more opportunities for professional development and growth.

Related Resource: Skill Disruption: What is it and What Does it Mean for HR?

No industry — including those within Energy and Utilities — is recession-proof, especially in a market where candidates are evaluating their career paths and not hesitating to make a change to a company that works better for them.

Because of this, TA teams and hiring managers must ensure their technology is efficient, their candidate experience is engaging, and their employee experience is enticing.

How does your company look from a candidate’s point of view?

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