One of the most important assets of any company is Technical Manpower. Under proper environment the technical man can make a significant contributionto his company's success. Conversely, without proper environment he may contribute nothing.
To develop a strong technical force and to create for it the correct environment requires considerable effort and patience on the part of nagement.
From the hiring to the ultimate development of a technical man a company makes an investmentand accepts a responsibility that goes far beyond a mere pay-out and rate of return.
On the other hand when the technical man accepts employment with a company, he inherits definite obligations and responsibilities.
This paper will review the role of the company and the technical man from hiring through training and ultimate development. It will, cover technical scope in operations, engineering andresearch the specialist and the executive; three levels of technical manpower; and the race to keep up with advancing technology.
This paper has been titled, "The Technical Environment in a Producing Oil Company." For the past twenty three years my work has been with the Producing Department of an oil company and has been c1osely associated with technical effort related to drilling, production, construction, gas processing and reservoir.
I cannot speak about technical environment in exploration or refining. However, I believe that exploration and refining people will find common interest, if not agreement, in many of the statements and conclusions contained herein.
This paper is purposely devoid of charts, tables and statistics. Such displays and devices may be useful to project back into the past, butwhen projected into the future, they lose meaning and may lead to doubtful conclusions. With the rapid change and sophistication in technologies and the development and utilization of computers, the adjust merit and deployment of technical manpower must almost be made on a year-to-year basis.
Technical manpower is one of our prime assets. Under proper environment it will generate successful ventures to promote, profit and growth. Without proper environment any success it may have is aptto be more by chance than by management.
I will attempt to follow the technical man from hiring to ultimate development in a somewhat idealistic environment, where he is able to develop fully his talents and abilities to the mutual advantage of himself and his company.
The hiring of technical personnel has become extremely competitive. At one time the technical graduate had only one or two job offers to consider, now he is bemused and confused by many. Therecruiting circuit at the universities takes on the air of a three ring circus. The young graduate is subjected to a rapid succession of interviews, plant visits and then a flood of offers. Fortunate for him that most companies offer opportunity for a good man, some more than others.
It is quite a blow to the ego of the successful recruiter when he asks the new hire what really made him accept the offer, to be advised that his company was one of several good ones interviewed and although salary did not really influence his decision, the offer was five dollars a month more than the nearest competition.