Shell has publicly stated a production target of 4 mboe/day by 2018. This will require the recruitment and development of a large number of technical staff both recent graduates as well as experienced professionals. Shortening time to autonomy and time to integration respectively is critical to success. Structured programs are industry proven vehicles to achieve this and to provide the assurance that staff are truly competent to do what they are required to do. In addition, competence driven development programs offer a clear performance and competence bar. This paper describes Royal Dutch Shell’s approach to developing this critical pipeline of technical professionals by outlining the necessary and sufficient conditions for success of the Shell Graduate Programme, the Advanced Technical Programme and our approach to integrating Experienced Hires. The Shell Graduate Programme is an integrated approach that combines formal learning, with on the job tasks, active involvement of technical coaches and line managers and standardized methods of competence assurance. Not only does this follow the 70/20/10 methodology of learning but also results in the expected “time to autonomy” for graduate joiners being reduced by 1 to 2 yrs as compared to other less comprehensive approaches. In addition to closing critical capability gaps in the business, this is also a clear component of the Employee Value Proposition as Generation Y graduates today look for faster and more structured progression when selecting their employer of choice. The Advanced Technical Programme which is aimed at staff exiting the Shell Graduate Programme as well as experienced hires with only a few years relevant business experience, builds on the Graduate Programme and uses the same structures and principles. It focuses on developing technical professionals to make non standard, original technical decisions autonomously (and similarly follows the principles of blended learning combined with active involvement of Leaders. Finally shortening time to integration for Experienced Hires is critical to enable them to deliver for the business and a clear retention lever. The development of a single, comprehensive onboarding programme maximizes the impact experienced professionals have by accelerating the time to integration into Shell and enabling experienced hires to blend their past experience with the ‘Shell Way’.


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