Oil professionals rate supermajors as best employers

Louise Smyth

The first major study of oil and gas workforce perceptions since the start of the global downturn has revealed which operators and service companies are rated highest by oil and gas professionals based on key issues including values, performance and pay rates.

Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP and Halliburton make up the top five in the wide-ranging Ideal Employer Survey 2016, undertaken by Rigzone, which attracted responses from 8,400 people in more than 100 countries.

More than 3,000 oil and gas industry companies were named in the survey, published today, and despite the challenges faced by the sector through the depression in the oil price, no companies from other industries were ranked in the top 30.

The research, the first of its kind in the sector, was carried out between July and September this year, ranking companies based on 19 questions focussed on their qualities and rating their ideal employers.

Commitment to health and safety is the single most important attribute (securing 90%) for people in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors worldwide. Competitive salary, interesting and challenging work, and corporate integrity (all 88%) were equal second, with workplace culture, and training and development programs (87%) joint third.

Respondents in APAC ranked Shell number one, with Chevron second, ExxonMobil third, with PETRONAS further down the list at number eight.

James Bennett, Rigzone managing director said: “The results are revealing as this is the first major survey to be conducted with the global workforce, and against a background of continuing challenging economic circumstances for the sector.

“That the largest companies in the sector complete the top 30, the majority having undergone significant change due to the effects of the downturn in the past 18 months, will give them confidence that the workforce remain committed to the sector.”

On coming first in the survey, Jonathan Kohn, Shell HR VP for the UK, Ireland, Nordics and South Africa said: “Shell people are our strongest ambassadors and we are proud of the quality of the people that we've got. I think it's pretty clear and central to the group's strategy that having that access to quality people really is part of how we compete to win.”

The supermajor continues to invest in the development of the industry’s future workforce, and reiterated its desire to continue to bring new blood to the sector through graduate recruitment.

Kohn added: "We have made a strong commitment to try to maintain our graduate recruitment through the whole cycle. We typically recruit in the range of 800 to 1,100 graduates per year around the world. We are at the bottom end of that range at the moment… But that is still a very substantial commitment.”

James Bennett, said, “It is no surprise that health and safety is the overwhelming priority across the majority of respondents, but no-less reassuring for an industry which continues to put people first in all aspects of E&P and downstream activity.

“Across the industry, new challenges continue to emerge - companies that can best adapt to the current environment and take advantage of new technology will be most attractive to professionals looking for interesting and rewarding work.

“Ensuring that the working environment, from the perspective of corporate culture and integrity, remains attractive and continues to garner respect is an area where organisations will need to ensure they do not become complacent after these positive results.”

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