The Energy Workforce and Technology Council discusses the workforce of the future

Energy Workforce and Technology Council Chair Molly Determan spoke about the future of workforce talent in the energy sector at the Hart Energy Executive Oil Conference on Wednesday.

The Energy Workforce and Technology Council is a national trade association representing energy service and equipment companies.

Determan said the council has seen a relatively steady growth trajectory in the energy workforce. She also shared statistics and characteristics regarding millennials and Generation “Z” and what they expect from their employer.

According to Determan, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. Generation “Z,” according to Determan, not only values ​​diversity in the workplace, but expects it.

Determan also discussed studies that say millennials and Generation “Z” lack commitment to their workforce, unwilling to make strong emotional commitments to their jobs, and always looking for better opportunities. As millennials and Generation ‘Z’ become a larger part of the workforce, Determan discussed the ways energy companies can identify, hire and retain quality talent.

“Instead of just dismissing the views of these generations as invalid, let’s meet them where they are. Our values ​​align with what they want, we just have to show them that,” she said.

Determan said these younger generations, more than previous generations, are likely to turn down a job offer if the offering company’s values ​​don’t align with their personal values ​​on issues like flexible work policies, climate and transparency.

“Organizations that don’t recognize that they will face an uphill battle when it comes to attracting and retaining talent,” Determan said.

The biggest challenge energy companies face when attracting talent, according to Determan, is an outside perception of the industry and its impact on the environment.

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“We are in a public relations war with not only environmentalists, but the general public’s often misconceived perceptions of the industry,” she said.

Determan offered ways to combat these hiring issues and retain talent going forward, such as comprehensive succession planning. Determan said younger generations now moving into the workforce typically expect a promotion every one or two years.

“It’s not sustainable for our companies to have so many promotions for people, so how do we bridge that gap? Well, what companies do in their deeper succession planning is they try to find ways for employees to grow through horizontal movement or by working on special projects that allow someone to fill out their resume. They also share that process with their employees, that’s what I’m talking about when I talk about transparency,” Determan said.

In addition, many energy companies have started to shift in the direction of competence-based employment. Skills-based hiring emphasizes a candidate’s skills and competencies rather than relying solely on formal qualifications and educational background. This allows a candidate to demonstrate practical knowledge related to a specific job opening, according to Determan.