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Is digitization in oil and gas wasting the workforce?

20 July 2018 to 17: 27
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Is digitization in oil and gas wasting the workforce? In the current modern time it is impossible not to be digital.

Digitization is the buzzword on everyone's lips in the oil and gas industry (the digitization in oil and gas). It is seen as the remedy to all the industry's problems of operational efficiency, security and lack of visibility. But it is also being heralded as a solution to the industry's constant struggle to recruit the young and tech-savvy workers they need. It promises to radically transform how the oil and gas workforce operates. But most companies are still confused about how to separate reality from hype (hype).

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Is flexible working the next big recruiting tool? Can companies go digital without having to contend with Silicon Valley talent? And what is this about robots running job interviews? Earlier this month, I participated in a roundtable held shortly after the 2018 Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) report, which discussed exactly this topic. In attendance were Peter Searle – CEO, Airswift, Hannah Peet – Executive Director, Energy Jobline, Stephanie Rogers, Managing Director, Accenture Resources, and Tony Salemme, VP of Labor Risk Assessment Group, Industrial Info Resources.

The lure of digitization

The 2018 GETI report found that the oil and gas industry is quite excited about the prospects of digitalization and Peet was quick to agree with that. “I think digitization can be a strong selling point for workers when the benefits are made clear,” she said. “As the GETI report showed, greater remote and flexible work opportunities are highly sought after, with four in ten respondents citing it as key to attracting new talent to the sector. Companies that offer flexible working have a huge advantage in attracting talent.”

Searle agreed, adding that the last thing anyone wants is to be in a stagnant job. “Digitalization offers a lot of room for growth,” he said. “For starters, data analysis and machine learning will transform monotonous processes into more agile and dynamic activities. People can be empowered for new roles, where they will be intellectually stimulated and have more room for advancement. ”

It involves a few things. To start, companies can look for people who are especially interested in using new skills. It's also important for companies to show employees how these technologies support multiple career paths and ultimately keep their skill sets relevant as roles change.

Finally, a clear understanding of how these technologies can achieve desired business outcomes and enterprise-wide impact will be essential. “It's also worth noting that while new opportunities are important, compensation is still one of the key selling points for workers,” added Peet. “The benefits of digitization will complement the power of payment, not replace it.”

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flexible work

There is clearly still a divide between the potential of digitization and what is achievable. With that in mind, the conversation turned to what is realistic to expect from more flexible work opportunities. Salemme expressed the view that there is a strong business case for this. “The push for economies of scale and onshore development for offshore projects fits very well with flexible and remote working,” he said.

“We recently saw this in action with a large project in Papua New Guinea, where much of the initial development was done by teams in Singapore and Houston. Instead of just working on the PNG project, these teams were able to service multiple projects remotely. The company was able to delay uploading full teams to the PNG website until closer to launch. Not only did this reduce the onsite workload, it also provided more efficient use of these remote teams.

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Opportunities to improve

When it comes to discussing other ways in which digitalization can help increase worker satisfaction and improve retention rates, the fact that workers are more eager to perfect themselves in the new roles created by digitalization than many realize was brought up by Rogers. “We conducted research that shows that workers are very interested in developing new skills to be more digitally capable,” she explained.

“Where companies are not offering training opportunities, workers are taking the initiative to go out and find the education themselves.”

This point ties in with what the GETI report revealed, where training and development opportunities were cited as one of the biggest drivers of satisfaction. People will want to stick with companies that invest in their futures. “Along these lines, learning and local development schemes will be essential,” said Salemme. “As powerful as multitasking is, nothing beats having strong local talent.”

 

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