HUNT­ING FOR TAL­ENT

Qatar Today - - INSIDE THE ISSUE -

Qatar To­day talks to ex­perts on how “crew change” is af­fect­ing the oil and gas in­dus­try.

“Too few com­pa­nies, not just in Qatar, are ad­dress­ing the holis­tic EVP and mak­ing sure it is rel­e­vant for all gen­er­a­tions. One size does not fit all; what works for a baby boomer is not nec­es­sar­ily go­ing to mo­ti­vate

Gen­er­a­tion Y.”

ROBERT BOLTON

Global Head of Tal­ent Man­age­ment, KPMG “Ab­so­lutely, there is a short­age of en­gi­neers and that too in thou­sands. It is par­tic­u­larly very press­ing in the oil and gas in­dus­try as many peo­ple are go­ing to re­tire and they have to be re­placed. In ad­di­tion, there is a need for well-qual­i­fied en­gi­neers to fuel Qatar’s growth in the next ten years.”

DR MARK WEICHOLD Dean and CEO Teaxs A&M Uni­ver­sity Qatar

Re­tire­ment across the sec­tor and peo­ple leav­ing the in­dus­try to move into al­ter­na­tive fields are said to be the main rea­sons for the short­age of ex­pe­ri­enced staff, which in turn could slow down the in­dus­try's growth in the com­ing years.

The Qatari gov­ern­ment is tak­ing steps to tackle the is­sue, in­clud­ing in­creas­ing salaries of Qatari na­tion­als work­ing in the public sec­tor, in or­der to lure more lo­cals to join and stay with state-run busi­nesses. How­ever, salary packages across the in­dus­try are be­com­ing more lu­cra­tive. In­ter­est­ingly, Qatar's oil and gas sec­tor pro­vides the high­est al­lowances to its em­ploy­ees com­pared with sim­i­lar in­dus­tries in the GCC re­gion.

The gov­ern­ment has also been en­cour­ag­ing stu­dents to take up science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics (STEM) cour­ses in schools and col­leges on a large scale, with the aim of them be­com­ing the fu­ture work­force in on­go­ing projects which are likely to be com­pleted in the next few years.

A sur­vey en­ti­tled “2014 global tal­ent cri­sis sur­vey,” un­der­taken by global con­sul­tancy firm KPMG re­vealed that the num­ber one con­cern of the en­ergy in­dus­try world­wide has been the gap be­tween a re­tir­ing work­force and the short­age of ex­pe­ri­enced, qual­i­fied peo­ple within the sec­tor to re­place them. The re­search also showed that only 32% of com­pa­nies had de­tailed strate­gic work­force plans and two out of three did not have suc­ces­sion plans. “By fo­cus­ing on strate­gic re­quire­ments and tak­ing a global view of tal­ent man­age­ment, oil and chem­i­cal com­pa­nies in Qatar can en­sure that they at­tract and re­tain the best tal­ent,” the find­ings said.

In­vest­ing in HR

One of the four pil­lars of Qatar Na­tional Vi­sion 2030 is devel­op­ment of hu­man re­sources. Qatar, which has a high num­ber of ex­pats in the oil and gas work­force, is tak­ing ac­tion by di­ver­si­fy­ing eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity and in­vest­ing in har­ness­ing lo­cal tal­ent to sup­port the na­tion's growth.

“Tal­ent short­age in the oil and gas sec­tor is not unique to Qatar. There is in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion for peo­ple with the same skills from other ge­ogra­phies such as North Amer­ica and the “crew change” is­sue is also af­fect­ing many em­ploy­ers, i.e. peo­ple ap­proach­ing re­tire­ment with­out ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple to fill their roles,” says Bolton.

Ac­cord­ing to him, Qatari com­pa­nies are ad­dress­ing the chal­lenge and mak­ing real progress. How­ever, the dan­ger is that ini­tia­tives can be piece­meal and the real chal­lenge is to re­design the to­tal “Em­ployee Value Propo­si­tion” (EVP) in a holis­tic way, i.e. think­ing about all the things that make up the deal be­tween em­ployee and em­ployer and con­fig­ur­ing them as an in­te­grated propo­si­tion.

HILDA MU­LOCK HOUWER Part­ner and Global Head of Ad­vi­sory, En­ergy and Nat­u­ral Re­sources, KPMG

This is not just about pay and bonuses but also about ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties, ca­reer paths, men­tor­ing and the en­vi­ron­ment at work, among oth­ers. “Too few com­pa­nies, not just in Qatar, are ad­dress­ing the holis­tic EVP and mak­ing sure it is rel­e­vant for all gen­er­a­tions. One size does not fit all: what works for a baby boomer is not nec­es­sar­ily go­ing to mo­ti­vate the gen­er­a­tion Y,” he says. To at­tract more women to the sec­tor, Bolton says that com­pa­nies need to pro­vide a com­bi­na­tion of ed­u­ca­tion and skill-build­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. “Per­haps, set up an Oil and Gas Skills Academy for po­ten­tial woman re­cruits. The em­ployee value propo­si­tion should also be looked at specif­i­cally from a woman's point of view,” Bolton says.

In­creased com­pe­ti­tion

There are a num­ber of driv­ers that are forc­ing the need for change with em­ploy­ers. Busi­nesses are fac­ing in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion and cost pres­sures re­quir­ing greater pro­duc­tiv­ity from their work­force. This linked with an age­ing work­force, a drop in the num­ber of stu­dents choos­ing to study al­ter­na­tive in­dus­tries, in­creased mo­bil­ity and high em­ployee ex­pec­ta­tions, means that em­ploy­ers need to take ac­tion.

Bolton feels that there are sev­eral key ar­eas that com­pa­nies should fo­cus on. Chang­ing the ap­proach to re­cruit­ment is cru­cial and HR teams should look to im­ple­ment global re­cruit­ment strate­gies and ex­am­ine the way that they build and main­tain tal­ent pools.

“HR teams should also fo­cus on align­ing with the busi­ness - en­sur­ing that all peo­ple ac­tiv­i­ties are driven by clear busi­ness needs. Gov­er­nance and in­fra­struc­ture also play a part. Hav­ing the right data on tal­ent and re­quire­ments and op­er­at­ing the right sys­tems will pro­vide valu­able in­put. Es­tab­lish­ing clear roles and struc­ture within the tal­ent man­age­ment team and cre­at­ing the right pro­cesses is es­sen­tial,” he says.

Bolton says that STEM lit­er­acy will def­i­nitely help but there is a lead time in­volved be­fore peo­ple “come on stream” which still needs to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion. And the cour­ses will also high­light other in­dus­tries which stu­dents may be at­tracted to such as tech­nol­ogy, he adds.

KPMG Part­ner and Global Head of Ad­vi­sory, En­ergy and Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Hilda Mu­lock Houwer, says that it is im­por­tant to de­velop a frame­work for man­ag­ing tal­ent.

“Be­fore leap­ing in to re­cruit­ment, or­gan­i­sa­tions should con­sider needs, risks, eval­u­a­tion and in­vest­ment. Once the foun­da­tions are in place, re­cruit­ment meth­ods, tal­ent devel­op­ment and en­gage­ment are the keys to en­sur­ing that qual­i­fied, ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple stay with the com­pany,” she adds

“Be­fore leap­ing into re­cruit­ment, or­gan­i­sa­tions should con­sider needs, risks, eval­u­a­tion and in­vest­ment. Once the foun­da­tions are in place, re­cruit­ment meth­ods, tal­ent devel­op­ment and en­gage­ment are the keys to en­sur­ing that qual­i­fied, ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple stay with the com­pany.”

Qatar To­day talks to ex­perts on how “crew change” is af­fect­ing

Qatar’s oil and gas in­dus­try.

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