Current exploration efforts, and successes, will determine what actions Chevron will take regarding workforce development in Alaska, says Patty Rodriguez. The company’s human resources business partner for Alaska, Rodriguez recently talked to Petroleum News about potential problems and how Chevron plans to deal with them.
Assuming everything goes ahead as planned, “we may have the need for a significant increase in personnel over the next several years. Additionally, we have a large percentage of our workforce that is nearing retirement age, and we must plan for these departures,” Rodriguez said.
In the immediate future Chevron will be offering positions for offshore projects, as well as health, environment, safety, law and permitting-related posts and a number of varied technical jobs.
And Chevron, like many companies in Alaska, is careful to cover all its bases when searching for new employees. Rodriguez said the company implements traditional recruiting techniques to fill slots, including using Chevron’s external Web site, newspaper advertisements, recruitment agencies and college recruiting.
The company also relies on in-house employee referrals. This means the right kind of people are recommending more of the right kind of people. Chevron has learned that in a competitive marketplace for talent, employee referrals “are proving to be not only cost effective, but are internal morale builders,” Rodriguez said.
Referrals are a win-win“Everyone wins with referrals. Employees are rewarded for finding talented candidates and the company sees applicants that it knows in advance may be a strong fit,” she said.
Rodriguez also said “employees hired through referrals tend to have a lower turnover rate.” She explained that referral applicants have usually been given a realistic description of not only the job, but also the work environment, and they join the company already knowing someone, so the social support is there.
“We look for people with superior capabilities and commitment. They must share the company’s values of integrity, trust, diversity, ingenuity, partnership, protection of people and the environment, and a commitment to high performance,” Rodriguez said.
She also made it clear that the company values what each individual brings to the job. “We understand the strength of a diverse workforce. And we try to learn from the communities in which Chevron operates.” The company is also committed to making its intentions clear, developing something called The Chevron Way for employees, clients and customers. “It outlines the vision, values and strategies the company adheres to,” Rodriguez said.
But even with such high standards, “Chevron always welcomes interest from those who are willing to work, can bring something to the job, and do it safely and efficiently.”
Summer work programsTo get younger people involved Chevron offers summer work programs for high school and university students for field-and office-based internships. The program for the upcoming summer so far includes students from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Texas A&M, University of Texas at Austin, Purdue and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Education seems to be the key, and Chevron needs employees at every level. “There are jobs for high school graduates and those we hire through college recruitment programs,” Rodriguez said. “What we look for are people who have put a lot of time and energy into their education. Chevron will gladly give them a chance to translate that education into a meaningful career.”
Education should continueRodriguez emphasized the company’s focus on the individual, and what each individual can do as part of its global mission. Chevron doesn’t want an employee’s education to stop after he or she signs on, she said.
She also stressed the high demand for trade school graduates. “Many of these individuals possess fundamental technical skills and knowledge that may take a few years to develop in the work place if they hadn’t been through the summer work program. We certainly look for this type of educational background when recruiting for our field-based personnel.”
More than just a place to workSo what makes Chevron stand out, and what does it offer Alaskans?
“More than just a place to work, Chevron represents a world of opportunity, challenge and fulfillment,” Rodriguez said.
She believes employees will, and do, find a stimulating environment where they’re continually challenged to go further. “We believe in cultivating skills and talents, fostering continual learning and helping people explore new pursuits and uncover opportunities within the organization.”
Rodriguez thinks Chevron’s approach to pay and benefits is a reflection of its commitment to employees’ personal lives as well as their work. “We offer a comprehensive program designed to meet the needs of our global workforce including a salary that’s competitive with other major employers in the marketplace seeking high-caliber talent, and incentive awards when Chevron meets established goals,” she said.
Opportunities are also available on a global scale since the company is currently operating and developing projects in more than 180 countries. “For those who like to travel, our industry has work locations all around the globe that are open to those interested in international work assignments.”
But Chevron like other companies in Alaska is faced with “an aging workforce, lack of entry-level personnel, in addition to the increase in activity.” Rodriguez said these things have “put a challenge ahead of us for recruitment of talent.”
She admitted the lack of entry-level personnel has been a building challenge over the past 20 years. “We must increase our focus on developing longer-range recruitment programs to build organizational capacity for the future.”
But despite challenges ahead, Rodriguez still seemed optimistic. “There is tremendous opportunity for our youth entering into our industry today whether it’s a field or office-based position.”
Challenging, exciting work and competitive salaries and benefits should be major draws, she said. “We highly encourage young people to do the research and consider an opportunity in the petroleum industry”. For more information about Chevron and the types of positions currently available visit www.chevron.com.