Words from the IACDS President: The challenges of hiring within the drilling industry

Published 24/4 at 09:28

When we discuss the issues the drilling and sawing industry is facing, one immediately comes to light: the hiring of new workers. The number of professionals, specifically amongst the younger generations, began declining some time ago, becoming more noticeable ever since.

There are several factors that contribute to this problem: lack of growth and skills, continuous aging of the more experienced workers, and a decrease in productivity. When combined, they become an overarching obstacle for the companies in terms of time and monetary costs.

So, the question arises: what can we do to solve it?

To start, the mentality in how we approach the training and hiring process needs to change in both workers and the companies that hire them. Some fields and some professionals are cut out for colleges or universities. Sometimes, these institutions cannot provide an adequate amount of skill and knowledge, so alternative methods of education are required.

In this regard, the drilling and sawing industry might offer better training when it’s personalised, practical, and comes in a ‘chain’. An older worker taking their time to teach a younger professional usually wields good, long lasting results. While every country has its perks (in the United States, for example, a field labourer can easily achieve a great salary and benefits), this tendency seems to be somewhat common within the industry.

On the other hand, we, as companies, must diversify how we find our potential employees. While vocational schools are the typical source, they are not the only ones. Job fairs, community centres, and other places of encounter provide us with a lot of opportunities to discover industry professionals.

Likewise, understanding and communicating with the younger generation is the key to attracting them to the industry. Payment is not the only thing we value. Principles, teamwork, and appreciation of the work well done are also seen as highly beneficial by future professionals.

For instance, younger workers greatly appreciate the time and money the company invests in them. Thus, they value formal training and becoming better professionals as well as team members. Finding the common ground and compromise between the generations is crucial to make the industry move forward. After all, while every one of us has our interests, it is crucial to remember that we all belong in the same industry. Therefore, collaborative efforts, as well as empathy with both companies and workers, are necessary for it to function properly.

Lastly, the lesson we are all learning is that we need to think outside the box. There is no easy equation to make something work; collective introspection and trial and error are required.

If we want to make a meaningful change, immediate measures are often not enough; well thought out, long term solutions are the way to go.

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