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Talent Management Digital Transformation in Oil & Gas Companies

Blog: End to End BPM

Technology adoption is pushing the workforce to re-skill

Oil & Gas companies like utilities, mining and other natural resources industries, were challenged with barrier of ageing workforce. This actually have an impact. Project overruns, lower asset availability and low production targets. But during this last 5 years, what become some experiments around IoT projects, big analytics about operational performance and most recently, real time collaboration on seismic data studies and reservoir simulation, increased relying on technology – shifting from operational technology to information technology.

Oil & Gas companies need more and more personal with computer science background to keep operations going . Therefore, there is a rise in demand of data scientists, statisticians, individuals that know how to use Artificial Intelligence technologies. This requires a different breed of human talent.

Companies need to deliver to a multi-generational / cultural workforce that demands more flexible work options. And that means it is necessary to be agile in adapting human resource practices to meet the needs of the business and the workforce.  Practically speaking, HR’s role is expanding beyond its traditional focus.

From the organizational side, a new approach to education, and especially up-skilling and re-skilling, is necessary to support digitally enabled workforce and the evolution of new business operations that require with latest technology developments. For example, today it is possible to automate pipeline inspection using drones and combining edge computing solutions [1]. As such, this presents a huge growth area of new jobs opportunities that candidates could apply for or existing workers could take new training go gain role readiness.

From the labor market side, there is the ambition of have much more flexibility in the terms work is performed, mimic the work pattern habits, like in personal life – utilization of social media style tools for internal communications and bring your own device. And a part of that, new generational workforce like the Millennials believe oil & gas companies is lacking innovation, agility and creativity, as well as, opportunities to engage in meaningful work. Strategically “employee value proposition” and pull-factors will attract the most talented. Improving brand awareness captivating candidates to apply for a job opening. Attracting the next wave of the workforce can also include using new approaches like “Recruitainment” – gamification in talent management, that includes among others, recreating a real work environment and understand how well the candidate fits into role execution [2]; [3].

Creating the workforce of the future involves to consider the combination of the following dimensions:

Contrary to the power shift that occurred towards the customer related with consumer industries, in labor market – unless there is talent shortage – the bargaining power is still much on the recruiter side. However, HR workforce, is aware that it is needed to be investing more in recruiting and retaining the best talent, due to the fact that oil & gas companies are becoming IT companies with a necessity of becoming, fast, a data driven company. For example, in scenarios related with  optimizing drilling, by using historical drilling data, it is feasible to quantitatively identify best and worst practices that impact the target. Advanced analytical methodologies would ultimately develop a model that would provide early warning of deviations from best practices, lessons learned or other events that will adversely impact drilling time or costs. Hence, on one hand there is technological dimension related with what IT solutions are best fit to build the models and make the analysis.

New set of technologies for the evolution of Talent Management

On evolving HR function from hire to retire, increasing hiring quality, contributing to knowledge diffusion and retain talent, HR professionals should consider to invest in these new set of technologies taking in to consideration their priorities.


Identifying digital enablers for improved talent management

The set of technologies uniquely referred above are supported enhanced by a foundational layer composed of:

Evolving the HR mission and processes by the adoption of Artificial Intelligence, Big data, analytics, and gamification in the hiring process is picking traction, nevertheless, HR professionals also consider the employee experience if talent must be retained and keep low the propensity of leaving the organization.



[1] – Gartner defines edge computing solutions as: “facilitate data processing at or near the source of data generation and serve as a decentralized extension of cloud, data center or campus networks. Typical sources of data generation in the context of industrial Internet of Things (IoT) include sensors and control devices such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and distributed control systems (DCSs)” – Market Guide for Edge Computing Solutions for Industrial IoT – Gartner 2018. Microsoft’s Azure – IoT Edge is such kind of solution.

[2] – This is not a new trend only in Oil & Gas companies. Marriott hotels, who created a virtual reality Sims-like game in which players have to juggle all the responsibilities of a hotel kitchen manager, was one of the first to try a gamification approach.

[3] – Building the Next Generation of Petrotechnical Professionals through Gamification – Paul Ugoji (Total Automation Concepts Ltd) | Akii Ibhadode (Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun, Delta State) | Anslem Amadi (Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun, Delta State).



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