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Rethinking Your Approach to Talent Acquisition? Members Discuss Recruiting Gen Z, Innovations

Is your company rethinking its approach to talent acquisition? Energy Workforce Members heard from PwC in the fourth session of a labor market series, focusing on helping managers rethink how they recruit.

Gen Z

This episode of the series, sponsored by the Human Resources Committee, was moderated by Advisory Board Member and HR Committee Chair Bonnie Houston, CAO, NOV, Energy Workforce COO Molly Determan, and speakers Tiffany Yates, Workforce Transformation Managing Director, and Zach Horowitz, Human Capital Consultant and Digital Accelerator, both with PwC. The session was sponsored by Strategic Partners Chevron and Schlumberger.

Horowitz kicked off the presentation advising that across all industries one of the top concerns of surveyed companies is the availability of key skilled employees. 

“One of the reasons CEOs are kept up at night is that they understand the workforce pool is actually shrinking. One of the top three concerns over the last seven years has always been the concern of availability of key skills.”

Zach Horowitz, PwC


There has been a 20% decline in birth rates since 2007, Horowitz said, which will limit the supply of Gen Z workers in the next 10 years as that generation grows to make up the majority of the workforce. In addition, Gen Z has different concerns about what they are seeking in an employer.

“This is not the same job candidate we were introduced to 20 years ago. What they care about now is purpose, career development and societal goals,” Horowitz said. “They want to understand the career development at your organization, how are you investing in their skillset, and a linkage between what they do on a daily basis and society at large.”

According to the 2022 PwC Global Workforce Hopes & Fears Survey, when it comes to retaining employees, pay is the top factor. Yet money isn’t enough by itself to retain workers. Job fulfillment and the ability to be one’s true self at work were ranked second and third among employees considering a job change.

“We’re being really intentional about things like performance management, rewards and recognition – just the whole employee lifecycle, to ensure we have this talent pipeline,” Yates said.

Gen Z employees are not hesitant to leave their jobs in order to find the ideal employer, according to the survey. More than 25% were extremely or very likely to find a new employer in the next 12 months, compared to 9% of baby boomers.  


Members discussed a wide variety of challenges, including coaching styles and leadership styles. Several participants said that having greater authenticity and transparency within the workplace is ideal.

“Management is evolving, should be evolving to foster those really innovative environments where people feel free to challenge the norms and present ideas. Leaders should create a sandbox to cultivate that kind of culture, as opposed to some of the previous styles of management are where everything has to be very structured.”

Session Participant

Finding great people to join a team is a constant challenge and it’s not getting any easier any time soon, given the tight labor market, shifting employee expectations and a shortage of people with in-demand skills.

The energy industry is also facing challenges as companies try to add to the workforce following a decline in employment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of people have left oil and gas,” one participant noted. “We’re pulling from other industries. What they’re seeing, once they really get into the oilfield, that it’s a different kind of work. So we’re seeing attrition. Having to hire five people for every three positions.”

Key takeaways from the session included three actions that can be taken today by an organization:

  • Keep the process human centered
  • Make savvy tech investments that put the candidate’s experience first
  • Give every candidate the best recruiting experience

Recruiting must do more than make the right hire – they have to give every candidate a great experience.

“Even if you feel like this candidate is not meant for you, have a graceful process that is engaging to them, because you wouldn’t want that social media influencer saying bad things about you or things that could affect your ability to attract new talent,” Yates said. “Be intentional about communication at every step, even if they’re not the right, perfect fit for you.”

Roni Ashley, Director Operations, writes about the Energy Workforce’s membership, workforce development and more. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.



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