Companies must also develop retention strategies. These include helping workers develop specialized skill sets and focusing on the work–life balance. Such planning requires that leaders ask themselves and their colleagues the right questions to get a sense of organizational advantages and shortcomings. Are line managers and team leaders encouraged to actively develop staff? Do human resources and technical and operations teams work together effectively? Are we seen by potential workers as the employer of choice? Each of these questions needs to be addressed within the organization. These talent-retention questions have the potential to reshape the market and even drive consolidation if companies can’t find the skills to embark on critical projects.
Although it may be difficult to get there, the goal is simple: find a better way to manage the industry’s most valuable asset — its talent. If companies can continue to build partnerships with universities, invest in new recruits via company-funded training programs, and overhaul current human resources practices, it will be possible to avert another labor crisis before it begins. Although it may take time, abandoning the reactionary labor practices of years past and focusing instead on realistic hiring goals for the next decade could eventually correct the current labor shortage and strengthen the industry for years to come.
Peter Parry ([email protected]) is a vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton in London. He specializes in global energy and has 25 years experience in corporate strategy development, technology management, and commercial negotiations. He has worked extensively with governments, national and international oil companies, and independent oil and service companies.
Varya Davidson ([email protected]) is a principal with Booz Allen Hamilton in London, where she specializes in the energy industry. She advises clients on strategic transformation and organizational capability, with a focus on the upstream oil and gas sector.
Andrew Clark ([email protected]) is a senior associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, based in London. Andrew has worked on a range of assignments, from supply chain improvement strategies to organizational design and restructure.