Labour availability top issue for 47% of Canada’s leading oil and gas companies: Ernst & Young
(Calgary, 15 December 2011) – Labour availability, market access and cost control issues are weighing heavily on the minds of Canada’s oil and gas executives, while HR professionals struggle to find the skilled workers that will become tomorrow’s leaders, says Ernst & Young.
“With the Alberta government predicting a shortage of at least 77,000 workers within the next decade, companies can’t afford to be idle when it comes to attracting and retaining talent,” says Lance Mortlock, Senior Manager in Ernst & Young’s oil and gas practice. “A perfect demographic storm is already brewing in Canada’s oil and gas sector, as companies face climbing labour costs and the onset of severe worker shortages.”
Forty-seven percent of Canada’s leading oil and gas companies surveyed in a recent Ernst & Young report, Human resources in Canada’s oil and gas sector, cite labour availability as the most important issue facing their company.Survey respondents also agree that strategic recruitment and attracting talent, capability development and managing change are amongst the most important HR challenges to contend with.
Yet, despite increasing concerns about skills and labour shortages, employee turnover and chronically in-demand occupations, the oil and gas sector’s recruitment strategies remain outdated.
“Alberta’s oil and gas companies need to start looking at new ways of operating, including becoming much more creative with their hiring plans and considering attracting and sourcing talent from other countries around the world. Beyond that they must ensure their companies have strong knowledge transfer, training and integration programs in place to bring new employees up to speed on processes as quickly as possible,” says Mortlock.
Many companies have already begun building targeted development programs, using social networking tools, employing search firms and offering attractive signing bonuses to lure and retain skilled workers. But competing on salaries alone won’t be enough to entice talent.
“Promoting innovation and flexibility initiatives will be the key to attracting the best and brightest,” says Mortlock. “Companies need to think outside the box and start considering offshore and co-sourcing arrangements, collaborating with other companies and universities, developing more efficient processes and building long-term multi-year workforce plans.”
By sharing skills, talent and costs through project sequencing, joint ventures and partnerships companies can maximize available resources, respond to talent issues collectively and generate a common labour pool.
“Now is the time for companies to challenge the status quo and consider new and different business operating models that focus on deeper industry collaboration on non-strategic services,” says Mortlock. “Companies that set out to change the game will come out on top this year.”
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