Global Energy Talent Index 2020: petrochemicals professionals prioritise progression

Global Energy Talent Index 2020: petrochemicals professionals prioritise progression
Published: 29 January 2020 - 5 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
The fourth annual Global Energy Talent Index (GETI), the world’s largest energy recruitment and employment trends report, is released, showing that petrochemicals businesses are reaping the rewards of a considered approach to culture.

The report by Airswift, the global workforce solutions provider for the energy, process and infrastructure sectors, and Energy Jobline, the world’s leading jobsite for the energy and engineering industries, reveals that nine-in-ten petrochemicals professionals are engaged with their working lives, with the majority describing themselves as ‘very engaged’.

The factor most important to professionals’ engagement is the ability of their team to work well together. Fortunately, 71% of respondents are satisfied with their company’s performance on that measure.

However, the sector cannot afford to be complacent. The second most cited factor of professionals’ engagement is opportunities for career progression, yet only 43% are happy with the opportunities on offer and 26% are dissatisfied – a potential cause for concern.

Janette Marx, CEO at Airswift, says: “The petrochemicals sector is in a very strong position. Salaries are high and rising and the workforce is very engaged with the important work it is involved in."

“But it is vital that firms do not take their strength for granted. The talent market continues to get more competitive and petrochemicals professionals are not shy about switching sectors to progress their careers. Companies must make sure they provide – and publicise – exciting opportunities that can keep employees engaged over the long term.”

In addition to providing much-needed insights into professionals’ satisfaction with training and a number of wider cultural issues, GETI is also the industry’s most comprehensive salary and mobility study. Key findings within petrochemicals include: (i) Remuneration continues to rise. Fifty-four per cent of professionals have seen an increase in pay over the past year, and a quarter report raises in excess of five per cent. (ii) The sector expects this trend to continue. Seventy per cent of both hiring managers and non-hiring professionals foresee raises in 2020, with 39% of hiring managers anticipating increases of more than five per cent. (iii) Eighty-nine per cent of professionals would consider relocating to another region for their job. Europe is the most popular destination, with 24% of responses, closely followed by the Middle East (21%) and Asia (19%). (iv) Oil and gas is by far the biggest source of competition for talent, winning the votes of 58% of respondents. Renewables ranks second on 27%.

Hannah Peet, managing director at Energy Jobline, says: “The energy workforce is ever more mobile – happy to move not only from one region to another but even to switch sectors in pursuit of the best opportunities.”

Petrochemicals firms should be optimistic around their prospects for the battles ahead. But they must ensure that their cultural offer is robust as, in a competitive market, pay alone may not prove enough of an anchor to keep professionals from drifting away. Clearly communicated opportunities for training and development and wider career progression may prove crucial to fending off the threat from oil and gas.”

Airswift and Energy Jobline surveyed 21,000 energy professionals and hiring managers in 169 countries across five industry sub-sectors: oil and gas, renewables, power, nuclear and petrochemicals.

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