The world’s oil and gas industry is in the midst of a talent crisis.

To address this problem, the Mercer Global Oil and Gas Talent Outlook and Workforce Practices Survey shows that approximately two-thirds of oil and gas companies intend to fill the void by hiring talent from outside their organizations, and nearly 50% of these same employers intend to use poaching from competitors as their predominant source for new talent.

“The widely embraced strategy in the oil and gas industry of ‘poaching from the competition’ is simply not viable or sustainable,” says Graham Dodd, Mercer’s energy and natural resources sector leader. “A more strategic approach to both talent acquisition and workforce management that focuses on innovation and execution is required for those oil and gas industry members who hope to become leaders and separate themselves from the competition.”

While the looming retirement wave is of primary concern to oil and gas industry employers, the survey also reveals other critical talent issues faced by oil and gas employers throughout the world, such as the following:

  • 81% of Canadian organizations surveyed cited ”technical skills gap” as a critical problem, but leadership, management and supervisor skills were also noted as being in short supply;
  • the oil and gas industry will add more than 530,000 positions in core professional and technical jobs over the next five years and more than 1.1 million over the next 10 years, yet more than half of the world’s largest oil and gas producing countries will not have an adequate supply of talent to meet this demand; and
  • among the 56% of companies that say they have a workforce-planning process that identifies gaps, only 27% say that process also provides solutions to close gaps.

In its efforts to enable oil and gas industry clients to successfully address these talent and workforce challenges, Mercer advocates a talent sourcing and development strategy that aims to build an adequate supply of required talent, enhance the skills and capabilities of the company’s existing workforce, engage staff, and foster commitment and loyalty.

The survey collected input from more than 120 companies representing more than one million employees across 50 countries.

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Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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