Oil and gas majors compete to recruit talent in shift to greener future

Five days before the start of the COP26 Climate Conference, the Faculty of Geography at Oxford University forwarded an email to students inviting them to a career talk by energy company Royal Dutch Shell. The oil and gas major staff will answer student questions and Net zero emissions Business, the message said.

There was nothing unusual about the language adopted, but within 10 hours the university received a letter of complaint signed by 71 students.

By sharing the invitation, the Faculty of Geography approved shell According to a letter from the Financial Times, “the best place to work” despite allegations surrounding the historical link between continued investment in hydrocarbons and related abuse. Students demanded that fossil fuel companies be banned from such “advertising.” The Faculty of Geography told FT that it did not necessarily approve the content by circulating the invitation and transferring the information at the request of a former student.

It wasn’t just the oil and gas sector that faced opposition on the university campus, and the signatories of the letters did not represent the views of the entire student. Nonetheless, this incident highlights a lasting challenge for supermajors as they compete to recruit the talent they need to pivot. A more eco-friendly future..

All European oil majors have set out strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including fuel burned by customers, to zero by 2050. For example, BP aims to acquire or build a renewable power capacity of 20GW by 2025 and 50GW by 2030. ..

Bernard Looney, CEO of BP, has more than 125,000 followers on LinkedIn and interacts regularly with commenters © Charlie Bibby / FT

However, achieving these goals requires recruitment and retraining on an unprecedented scale in the industry, at the moment when many potential employers continue to conflict over their roles. Oil and gas The company wants to play.

“The oil and gas industry cannot be the leading industry in the energy transition … because it’s not just a transition,” he said, leaving Oxford last year and now working for the student campaign network People & Planet. I’m Fergus Green, a graduate of Physics and Philosophy. Initiative Stop hiring the industry from the college career department.

BP has approximately 63,000 employees worldwide and Shell has more than 80,000. In both cases, the majority are still engaged in fossil fuel-related work. For companies to reach their goals, this balance needs to change rapidly over the next decade.

“The biggest challenge in energy conversion is not financial capital, but human capital,” says an industry veteran who recently quit the European oil major more than 20 years later.

Last year, BP, which outlined plans to overhaul the most ambitious companies in the sector, said transformation is already underway. Since launching the new strategy, BP has hired more than 12 external candidates for senior positions involved in the transition. Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, Former Chief Executive Officer of RWE Renewables, will oversee the gas and low carbon business from March 2022.

“Our Net Zero ambitions are attracting more people to BP than ever before,” says Mikel Jauregi, Senior Vice President of People and Culture at BP. This year, Jauregi promoted 200 roles across BP’s new hydrogen and offshore wind business and received over 10,000 external applications. He added that equivalent recruitment activities in the oil and gas sector 10 years ago could have received a “tenth” of that level of interest.

BP, like its peers, is a social media platform, especially Instagram, and specialized sites such as LinkedIn, where CEO Bernard Looney has more than 125,000 followers and regularly interacts with commenters. I’m working hard to change my image.

“Although we don’t bother with a company with a 112-year history overnight … We do everything a company like us needs to be part of a solution. “We are doing this,” Rooney said in a recent television interview quoted on the LinkedIn timeline.

Five or six years after it became difficult to hire graduates, BP believes that new messages are being conveyed to students, even if resistance remains. A BP spokesperson said graduate job, apprenticeship and student placement applications increased by 75% between 2019 and 2020.

One employee who attended as a graduate in the last decade said that BP’s continued reliance on oil and gas profits was a “psychological barrier” that new employees had to be willing to accept, but at a pace. He states that he saw a real opportunity to influence. Of the energy transition.

“From the beginning, I considered it an energy company, not a major oil and gas company,” she said, asking her not to be identified. “”[For me] It was about its global presence, servicing its customers and being at the forefront of developing energy solutions. “

Shell, which recently completed an 18-month reorganization known internally as Project Reshape, told FT that it plans to hire 1,400 people in its major energy transition business in 2021. He added that 18 million people visit the career section of the company’s website each year.

However, the need to overhaul the world’s energy system means that there has never been such an interesting moment to join this sector, but the transition has also intensified competition. Oil majors, utilities, renewable energy groups and private equity houses are all competing for the lack of green skills.

“There is clearly a talent-seeking war in the field of renewable energy,” said Dotzenrath, the next BP executive, emphasizing the particular need for niche expertise in areas such as wind turbines and blade design. .. “There will be a few people around the world who really understand that.”

The competition pushed up salaries and forced old oil and gas companies to rethink.

“This is a highly competitive and dynamic market. Competitive packages alone are not enough to attract the best talent. How can people make a difference by developing a credible and meaningful strategy? “We need to show,” said Ronan Cassidy, Chief Human Resources Officer at Shell. And executive officers.

In February, BP launched a new stock plan, awarding shares in the company to all employees, from South African pump clerk to Azerbaijani drilling technician. Current and former BP employees have told FT that the move is welcome, but other industry observers say super-majors are culturally agile and can choose opportunities in a fast-growing green economy. I am wondering if there is enough enterprising temperament to keep the staff.

“We regularly lost young staff to a more entrepreneurial type of business,” says an industry veteran who was in one of the super-major low-carbon divisions before he left. “It was almost 1 in and 1 out.”

Last year, several clean energy executives left Shell shortly before the company announced a new strategy. One person at a time told FT that the “culture” of the company needed to change.

Filled with cash from this year’s record oil and gas prices, Shell, BP, TotalEnergies in France, Eni in Italy and others have the financial resources to lead the energy transition with shareholder support. I am. The bigger question is whether they can attract and retain the staff they need to carry out their plans.

“Our strategy is moving in the direction we need it,” says BP employees. “But people in the early stages of their careers want to see concrete results right away and tend to be impatient.”

Oil and gas majors compete to recruit talent in shift to greener future Source link Oil and gas majors compete to recruit talent in shift to greener future

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