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An oil and gas company finds new ways to attract top talent

At a glance

The oil and gas industry is facing a shortage of skilled technical and seasoned leadership talent, challenging companies to reexamine how they recruit, develop, and retain talent. We helped a mid-cap oil and gas company define its career development philosophy and differentiate its brand

what we did

  • Business case development
  • Career development processes and tools
  • Leadership and employee readiness
  • Change management


Crude oil prices are the lowest they’ve been since 2003. The ripple effect on the oil and gas industry has resulted in reduced investments in drilling, exploration, and production—and in turn, reorgs, layoffs, and increased pressure to do more with less.

While energy companies face the harsh realities of an economic downturn, they’re also facing The Great Crew Change: the retirement of industry leaders that’s leaving major gaps in technical acumen and leadership expertise in the workforce. To survive in this market, companies need to attract the next generation of skilled technical workers while also retaining existing talent and developing new opportunities for career growth and development.

Our client, a mid-cap oil and gas company with operations across North America, was ready to invest in reimagining its career development strategy. Employees wanted to know how to grow in their careers, and many managers weren’t well equipped with answers. And it was impacting the company’s retention.

Our client wanted to create a culture of transparency for its employees and establish consistent, modern career development processes. The company’s goals were to make more informed talent investment decisions, increase talent exposure and mobility across business functions and markets, and lower organizational risk with improved talent planning—all while remaining flexible to changing market and technology demands.

We rolled out those career development processes and tools to a select group of our client’s executives and employees in a pilot project. The suite of tools included:

  • Business case to justify the investment in career development
  • Career maps that outline clear pathways for growth, focusing on in-job development and lateral movement (vs. the traditional up-and-out model)
  • Position profiles identifying responsibilities and required skills, experience, and education and/or certification
  • Development matrix to grow leadership and technical skills through courses (e.g., web-based, formal, and informal training); learning through others (e.g., mentoring, coaching, networking, and communities of practice); and on-the-job experiences
  • Career development discussion processes and tools to help employees and managers prepare for career development conversations and create meaningful, future-focused development plans
  • Manager and employee training materials and job aids to help all understand their respective roles and available resources
  • Career development portal to house all of the information in a one-stop, easy to access central location
  • Alignment opportunities to ensure the approach and tools worked in conjunction with related HR processes (e.g., performance management, talent reviews, mentoring, coaching, metrics, and learning management systems)
  • Change management considerations to help our client roll out the approach in a thoughtful way


Following the pilot, Slalom conducted interviews with the pilot population to collect feedback. The results showed a 41% uptick in employee satisfaction with career development, validating the importance of fostering a culture of transparency and professional growth.

Slalom went on to help the client to roll out the suite of career development tools across its organization.