Schlumberger’s 2011 human resources survey

Retirement, turnover make for serious experience gap in NOCs and majors. HR policy key to growth.

Schlumberger’s Business Consulting (SBC) unit has released the 8th edition of its oil and gas human resources benchmark survey. SBC surveyed 37 upstream companies accounting for approximately 37% of global oil and gas production. The survey found an ‘outflow’ (retirement) of some 22,000 senior petrotechnical professionals (PTP) by 2015, a net loss of 5,500. While recruitment of new graduates will compensate for the loss, it ‘will not fill the experience gap*, ... threatening the timely completion of projects.’ 70% of NOCs and 60% of majors acknowledged project delays due to staffing difficulties.

Companies reported a 60% hike in recruitment targets for 2011 but an imbalance in supply and demand has resulted in increased ‘attrition rates’ (poaching) with turnover ranges of up to 7% for PEs. Regulatory-backed ‘nationalization’ of talent is a challenge in many countries where there may be a lack of experienced local talent. SBC reports that PTP ‘intensity’ has a measurable impact on production growth. High growth companies tend to have a higher ratio of PTPs per unit of operated production than lower-growth companies. High-growth companies also tend to foster diversity in the workforce with more women in their talent pool. Training and ‘time to autonomy’ is another key indicator. SBC believes HR policy, in terms of PTP Intensity and talent management practices is a driver of long-term production growth.

* It may not fill the experience gap, but the new grads will be welcomed by those desperate for Gen-X ‘digital natives.’

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