How to retain talent in the energy industry

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Eleven Team Gas, Power and LNG, Oil Trading, Shipping and Supply, For employers...

Held on October 16th 2019 in London, the day-long Energy Risk Europe event brought together more than 120 senior practitioners and industry experts, each providing intelligence about emerging trends, risk and opportunities within the energy sector.

With a full, editorially curated agenda of seminars focusing on crucial challenges currently facing the industry, the event played host to discussions surrounding the implementation of ML and AI, renewables in a non-tariff world and the imminent impact of IMO 2020 on markets, pricing and hedging.

One pressing issue that was of particular interest to Eleven Recruitment, who was sponsoring the event was the talent in energy panel, exploring the topic of attracting and retaining the best for your team in today’s industry.

Alongside the moderator Philip Harding from Risk.net, the panel included:

  • Michele Governatori, Head of Public and Regulatory Affairs at Axpo Italia
  • Fiona Jackson, Managing Director and Founder of Fiona Jackson Consulting
  • Anthony Baron, Director at Eleven Recruitment

Drawing on their shared experience and expertise of working within the industry, the open debate drew many insightful conclusions on industry-wide concerns over skill shortages and why retaining valued employees has never been more essential.

Why retaining talent is valuable

The panel briefly took to discussing reasons why retaining talent is valuable:

  1. The energy industry loses skills and knowledge through retiring employees
  2. There is a negative stigma around the industry, especially with the increasing focus on the environment and the energy industry’s contribution to climate change
  3. There is increasing demand for employees with STEM backgrounds – so many industries require STEM skills, and the perception of the energy industry is putting off potential employees. 

Once these factors were outlined the panel turned to discussing how talent can be retained.

How can talent be retained?

Fiona Jackson emphasised the importance of creating a culture of inclusion and diversity in order to retain talent, an observation that is reminiscent of the successful recruitment and retention efforts at EDF Energy.  

Fiona continued to state that employees who are part of an inclusive team most often feel that their voices are heard and therefore feel more valued within a company. Feeling valued is one of the most popular reasons to stay within a company.

An article in Forbes on employee engagement found that employees who feel that their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best work, and companies with greater gender and ethnic diversity consistently outperform the competition, leading to a greater sense of achievement and helping employees to feel happy in their current employment.

In addition to creating a culture of inclusion, Anthony Baron highlighted a key area that could be affecting the retention of talent in the energy industry; the increasing reliance on technology.

With a rise in technological advancements, investment in appropriate training sessions should be conducted to ensure that existing employees feel that they are not being replaced by technology, or more recent recruits who are experienced users.

The view that technology plays a big part in not only the retention of talent, but also in recruiting new talent was one that was shared by Michele Governatori and the audience, who voted ‘technology’ as the top influence on recruitment in the industry.

Whilst each panel member had clear views on the challenges of retaining talent in the energy industry, the fact that the industry was entering exciting times at the end of 2019, and the effect of this helping to sustain current talent, was unanimous.

With IMO 2020 regulations very much ‘full steam ahead’, we look forward to this year’s Energy Risk Europe event, will you be attending?