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Where is your workforce?

Three strategies to manage the energy workforce of the future


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Hiring contractors has been a long time energy industry practice. It’s understandable given the difficulty of attracting skilled workers to areas that have challenging staffing needs. This practice though can come at a high cost for companies and brings increased operational risk.

A fresh approach to the energy workforce of the future uses three strategies: Getting a 360º view into the extended labor force; adopting a zero-based approach to workforce planning; and using digital technologies to intelligently automate work and augment workers.

The outcome? Opportunities to achieve greater productivity and cost savings.

Only 36% of executives strongly agree that they maintain the benefits from their cost reduction programs

Key findings

A startling truth: The typical energy workforce is composed of up to 80 percent third-party contractors, according to Accenture analysis. The current approach to contractor management makes it difficult to contain costs and improve business outcomes.

  • Lack of visibility into the contractor workforce makes it challenging for the business to understand, and proactively plan for, its true extended workforce needs.

  • At many energy companies contractor management is run largely through the procurement organization. Current budget-driven planning reinforces the status quo.

  • Advanced technologies have gone from futuristic to ubiquitous with organizations making significantly more investments in artificial intelligence-related technologies compared to two years ago.

AI-related technologies has increased in the last two years—78 percent more in machine learning and 77 percent more in deep learning

A fresh approach


80% of executives are automating plant worker and field force worker tasks to a moderate or great extent

To revitalize their talent strategy, energy companies should:

  • Get a 360º view of the workforce—Expand the workforce planning process to include contractors—to gain better visibility into what they’re doing and where they’re located.

  • Shake up the status quo—Take a zero-based approach to planning every year. This bottom-up process determines what work is essential to maintain core operations and what can be eliminated.

  • Leverage digital technologies—Put digital technologies to work—wearables, drones and augmented reality—to automate tasks and drive productivity.


Who we are

David helps organizations around the world transform their strategies and their organizations to achieve new levels of industry performance. In working with Accenture’s largest clients for more than two decades, he applies his deep experience in the Energy industry and blends pragmatic approaches with innovative ideas to support large-scale change and deliver successful outcomes. David is based in San Francisco.


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Curtis works with companies in the Energy industry on organization design, oil sands operations excellence, post-merger integration, strategic planning, operating model design, downstream optimization valuation, and enterprise-wide IT strategy development. He is based in Calgary.

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Elena works closely with corporate executives to develop strategies aimed at transforming the Human Resources function and boosting organizational effectiveness. With extensive cross-industry experience, Elena now focuses primarily on the Energy and Metals & Mining sectors. She specializes in human capital strategy and transformation, organization design, back-office transformation, and culture integration. Elena is based in Moscow.

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