How Energy Companies Can Attract and Keep the Best Employees in 2021

Did you know that 73% of Energy professionals are looking for new opportunities both in their current sector and across other Energy sectors? 

That’s right: nearly three-fourths of all Energy professionals globally are looking elsewhere for their next step. What are these professionals looking for in a job? And how can Energy companies best respond to this startling statistic?

Brunel’s new 2021 Energy Outlook Report breaks down the three biggest elements Energy professionals are seeking in an ideal job and explains what Energy companies can do to attract and keep talented professionals on their team. 

Brunel CEO Jilko Andringa summarizes the key findings: “The Energy Outlook Report educates us on the importance of investing in people and talent, the importance of Health & Safety and compliance in the industry and the importance of empowering local talent.”


Insights from over 22,000 industry voices

The 2021 Energy Outlook Report was drawn from over 22,000 respondents from 191 countries, working in sectors including Oil and Gas, Renewables, Mining and Power. With insights from industry employees, job seekers, recruiters and companies, the report identifies big changes on the horizon and ways companies are adapting to meet these challenges. 

What can your company do today to attract and keep the best talent? 

Here, we’ll break down the three biggest changes and the opportunities that come with them: 


Change #1: Employees & job seekers are broadening their horizons

This is perhaps the most notable change in the global Energy industry. With 73% of Energy professionals looking for new opportunities both in their current sector and other Energy sectors (compared to 56% in 2019), there’s a clear shift in the mentality of Energy specialists to broaden their horizons and look towards the future.

Rapid innovation within the Energy industry means employers need to not only attract the best specialists but also offer to develop their talent further in order to retain and compete against their peers in the industry.

Other factors contributing to workers seeking new roles is a desire to move towards more sustainable energy roles, driven both by climate change and a fear that conventional energy roles may become redundant. 

While conventional Energy companies will still have the edge when it comes to salaries and the number of open roles available, they may find it will take more to compete for highly skilled people. One important solution is to guarantee high-quality training, strong career development programmes, and dedicated benefits to help enhance careers and bridge the gap.

Change #2: Health & Safety has become increasingly important

The number one reason for candidates to turn down an employment opportunity, cited by 50% of respondents, was a company having a poor reputation for Health & Safety.

Health & Safety has emerged as a key differentiator in the battle for talent, with 61% of specialists stating that strong Health & Safety practices are more imperative than ever when considering a new opportunity. 

And while 32% of employees feel their company needs to invest more in Health & Safety training, the survey results suggest that less than half of all companies (45%) constantly monitor Health & Safety procedures and processes for improvement. So, the degree to which Energy companies prioritize Health & Safety may also be the degree to which they can attract and retain highly-qualified employees. 

Among respondents who are currently in employment (both permanent and contractors), only 57% agree that their companies offer high quality Health & Safety training. 

Change #3: Nationalisation and localisation are a priority

In less than 12 months, recruiters and companies across the Energy industry have almost doubled their goals towards hiring more locals, rising from 10% to 19%. Driven by the challenges of mobility around COVID-19 and (across some Energy sectors) lower budgets, this is a trend that is likely to continue to grow and develop in the future.

Indeed, role location is now a top concern for employees and jobseekers, with a quarter of permanent employees (25%) and a third of contractors (32%) citing location as one of their top three factors when deciding whether to take a job. 

When asked how they would react if other diseases similar to COVID-19 were to emerge, a large proportion of respondents (58%) – including 53% of active jobseekers – said they would change the types of opportunities, employers, and locations they would consider. This shift affects not just day-to-day travel, but also the willingness or ability of workers to permanently relocate or take short-term expat contracts due to closed borders between many states – a trend that will most keenly affect the Oil and Gas and Mining sectors. 

The current limits of global mobility combined with many workers' desires to stay closer to home has resulted in the industry putting a stronger focus on finding and maintaining talent locally.


With change comes exciting new opportunities

These new changes create as much opportunity as they do challenges, as long as companies are willing to adapt to these new trends. 

As Andringa noted, “Today, the Energy industry finds itself in an incredibly exciting position. As we work towards a cleaner and greener future, the industry becomes more innovative, combining traditional fuels and resources with fresh ideas and new technology — changing the landscape of the industry and how we all live our lives. This leads to multiple opportunities for the current workforce and the workforce of future generations.” 

In the Energy industry, change is the only constant. The extent to which companies focus on these three factors may influence the extent to which talented employees seek you out and grow with you over time. 

Want to learn more about the trends transforming the Energy industry in 2021? Download the report below for free and learn key insights from over 22,000 Energy industry professionals.