Create a hire purpose

The energy industry is reaching crisis point as the skills shortage continues to drive salaries ever higher. The result is spiralling operating costs and enforced delays to projects.

The March 2013 joint report from and partner Air Energi highlights this ongoing skills shortage as the biggest threat to the oil and gas sector. The Global Oil & Gas Workforce Survey: Expectations for hires and pay rates in the oil and gas industry (H1) 2013, highlights that ensuring the right personnel are on the ground in the right place will present a continuing challenge for the worldwide oil and gas industry.

Mark Guest, Managing Director of, comments, “There is a talent war, both at home and throughout the world, with employers competing with each other for a pool of experienced people that simply isn’t large enough. We have been saying for a long time that we are not bringing enough people into the sector, but our survey also highlights that not enough training resource is out there to develop the people we do have.”

HR and recruitment teams are under continued pressure to provide the right candidates, but is it really an issue for this department alone? Organisations that have addressed their employer brand are faring considerably better in the battle for talent than those who haven’t involved their marketing and communications teams.

Your Employer Brand

Your employer brand should be considered in a similar fashion to the corporate brand. It should be planned with the wider business strategy in mind, there should be SMART objectives in place and channel planning within both internal and external communication plans.

At Fifth Ring, we use the Vision, Culture, Image (VCI) model to consider a brand’s characteristics in terms of the coherence of the management team’s vision, what the employees believe and how they behave, and the expectations of external stakeholders. The greater the cohesion the stronger the brand.

In simple terms, you can consider VCI for your employer brand. Image helps to attract the right candidates, your culture and values are what engages employees in the business and your vision is what inspires employees, offers them a promising future with the organisation, and ultimately creating brand ambassadors.

What does a successful external marketing communications campaign for the employer brand look like?

Key employer brand messaging needs to be developed with the target audiences in mind. For example, are you trying to target those who are in other industries to migrate to energy? Or are you hoping to engage the next round of engineering graduates?

Once the messaging and target audiences have been identified, consider the channels that are best to communicate. For example, public relations and media relations provides industry visibility, CSR shows a caring employer and social media provides a platform for open two-way communication. The right balance of these will depend on the audience, their perceptions and your overall communications strategy.

What does a successful internal marketing communications campaign look like?

Online and offline message delivery – perhaps even disruptive media – will gain attention across a range of platforms allowing you to speak with all employees in the medium of their choice. But this is only part of the story. The key to campaign success is using channels through which you can effectively engage with employees in both informal and formal settings that provide open two-way communications.

For example, workshops and questionnaires are a great way to encourage participation, feedback, and important dialogue. Engaging employees through allowing them to be part of the creation of your brand story and corporate vision creates true brand ambassadors who have a connection and a passion for the brand.