Schlumberger – Human Resource Policies Essay

Schlumberger is the leading oilfield services provider, trusted to deliver superior results and improved E&P performance for oil and gas companies around the world.

Schlumberger Limited (NYSE: SLB) is the world’s largest oilfield services company. Schlumberger employs over 113,000 people of more than 140 nationalities working in approximately 85 countries. Its principal offices are in Houston, Paris, Schlumberger was founded in 1926 by French brothers Conrad and Marcel Schlumberger. Today Schlumberger supplies the petroleum industry with drilling services and well testing. The company is also involved in the groundwater extraction.

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Thee new company sold electrical-measurement mapping services and recorded the first-ever electrical resistivity well log, in France in 1927. The company quickly expanded, logging its first well in the U.S. in 1929, in California .

In 1935, the Schlumberger Well Surveying Corporation was founded in Houston, later evolving into Schlumberger Well Services, and finally Schlumberger Wireline & Testing. Schlumberger invested heavily in research, inaugurating the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center in 1948, contributing to the development of a number of new logging tools.

In 1956 Schlumberger Limited was incorporated as a holding company for all Schlumberger businesses, which by now included American testing and production company Johnston Testers. Over the years, Schlumberger continued to expand its operations and acquisitions. In 1960, Dowell Schlumberger (50% Schlumberger, 50% Dow Chemical), which specialized in pumping services for the oil industry was formed.

In 1962, Schlumberger Limited was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

After various acquisitions and mergers, the recent one was in2010, the acquisition of Smith International in an all-stock deal valued at $11.3 billion was announced.

The deal was the biggest acquisition in Schlumberger history. The merger was completed on August 27, 2010.

Also announced in 2010 were Schlumberger plans to acquire Geoservices, a French-based company specializing in energy services, in a deal valued at $1.1 billion, including debt.

Through our well site operations and in our research and engineering facilities, we are working to develop products, services and solutions that optimize customer performance in a safe and environmentally sound manner.


Through their well site operations and research and engineering facilities, they are working to develop products, services and solutions that optimize customer performance in a safe and environmentally sound manner.


Making the most of our unique assets, Schlumberger is committed to providing services that enhance and optimize our customers’ performance. Three well-established company Values that focus on people, technology and profit underpins our work. People thrive on the challenge to excel in any environment and their dedication to safety and customer service worldwide is our greatest strength. Commitment to technology and quality is the basis for our competitive advantage. Their determination to produce superior profits is the cornerstone for the future independence of action and growth.

Their commitment to customers Schlumberger is committed to excellence in everything we seek to do. We aim to do business in a consistent and transparent way with all our clients and do not hold equity stakes in our customers’ assets. Customers place a great deal of trust in us, particularly when it comes to handling sensitive and confidential information. Our reputation for integrity and fair dealing is vitally important in winning and retaining this trust. Schlumberger strives to maintain the trust and confidence of our customers and shareholders, as well as all others affected by our operations. When we are clearly seen to behave in an ethical manner we enhance our reputation for integrity, which in turn helps us attract and retain both customers and employees.

Code of Ethics

The Schlumberger Code of Ethics and Schlumberger policies apply to all Schlumberger directors, officers, and employees of the company. They are designed to help each employee handle business situations professionally and fairly.

HR Perspective

HR is a critical function in an organization, not only for its internal activities but also for its growth and expansion. It plays a defining role in ensuring that motivation levels stay high at work, which is essential for an organization to grow. As these aspects are very closely tied to the nature of work, HR function faces challenges that are very different depending on the industry. A case in point is the oil extraction and refining industry. In this article, we present the different HR policies of Schlumberger and examine their role in keeping up employee motivation in a difficult and often dangerous work environment.

We find that some credit is due to the employee centric policies and organizational culture for the success of the firm. Schlumberger Limited is the world’s largest oilfield services corporation with operations in approximately 80 countries. The company features in the Fortune’s Best 500 companies to work for, mainly due to its employee focus, and HR practices. Some of the best HR practices of the firm are in the areas of gender diversity, an equal opportunity employer, and engagements with the best schools in the world, family and work life balance support and no ‘Glass Ceiling’. From an HR and OB perspective, the opportunities and challenges of each role are as follows:

HR Practices at Schlumberger:All the HR practices followed by Schlumberger worldwide are tuned towards promoting and ensuring a few beliefs and principles such as promotion of diversity, meritocracy, employee safety and the right attitude within an employee. This is illustrated here by describing some of the HR practices of the company.

Recruitment:Schlumberger has identified campus recruitments as the most important part of the field recruitment process. Recruiting from campus and developing employees creates loyal employees according to the HR. Maintaining the sex ratio is another challenge that oil and petroleum sector companies face. A brief overview of the process shows the effectiveness with which this philosophy of choosing the most suited has been implemented. In the interview process, interviewees are grilled to test their psychological resilience through stress interviews, their physical stamina, reflexes, reaction time are tested using very unconventional methods. A group interview followed by a panel interview followed by a personal interview all of which are non directive is conducted. According to the HR, the company employs specialized training personnel to train the new recruits and they only look for mental and physical resilience in the candidates.

Appraisals & Reward Systems

Schlumberger practices a mix of Management by Objectives (MBO) and results based appraisal. The Field Engineer can discuss with his Field Service Manager to set goals for himself. It is the responsibility of the Field Service Manager to organize relevant trainings for the FE. At the appraisal time, the engineer has a meeting with the manager on the objectives (both personal and organizational) that were achieved and those that weren’t. The deliverables are measured in the form of how the engineer performed at the rigs, deadlines met at the oil rig and working in a team. The manager gives the feedback and suggestions for improvement to the employee.


Diversity is one area where we found zero difference in the opinions of HR department and the organization in general. The HR Department’s policy of maintaining diversity at rigs has helped strengthen bonds amongst employees. This diversity in a way acts like a soft skill training and prepares them to interact with any client in later part of their career. Schlumberger has done a remarkable job at the diversity front. The kind of acceptance it gets in every nation it operates in is primarily because of its diverse workforce. The company is very flexible in acclimatizing itself to local customs.


According to a HR manager in SLB-India, “There is a learning curve for both graduates and experienced staff, with as much as seven to ten years training to get to the same proficiency level as the people in the industry now. “Schlumberger has training centers located all over the world, offering both theoretical and practical training, executive development programs, ongoing marketing and integrated enterprise learning, external courses and classroom based programmes with hands on exercises.

A training centre, located in Abu Dhabi was designed to accommodate all segments of the oil and gas industry. There is a dummy, tailor-made rig to replicate the real-life working atmosphere.

A number of designated high-level executives from Schlumberger are sent as company “ambassadors” to 44 engineering programs around the world including universities such as MIT. This program promotes recruitment and talent identification.

HR also invests heavily in safety training. Recruits are given training modules in swimming, safety precautions in case of oil gas leaks, parachuting, high diving and speed driving.

Most of the employees surveyed or interviewed by us had immense appreciation of the HR’s training initiatives. According to a FE, SLB-China, “The company does not put an employee on the line until he is completely ready… they do not expect us to know everything.”

The employees also believe that this extensive training opens up career choices for them. Anyone who quits from Schlumberger is immediately flooded with offers. It is widely recognized that SLB employees have had the best training.


Field Engineer

Field engineers stay in the oil rig, which is in isolated, sometimes hostile locations for extended periods of time. They would also work in night shifts and would have to put up with the poor social life. Other difficulties include adverse terrain, seasickness especially in the case of offshore facilities, bad food, problems with equipments and the inherent risky nature of the job.

A field engineer in SLM-China says “It is a tough job, in the sense that sometimes we have to get down to our knees and dirty ourselves to get something working at the well site. At times I am called back from a holiday when the going is tough.”


Field Engineers are adequately rewarded with fantastic pay packages. After every onsite stint, all FEs are offered one month of vacation with family, completely paid by the company. At work, the employees enjoy flexible working hours. Also, there is a rotation policy to give the Field engineers (FEs) hands on experience on different modules. International exposure and training in all modules across technical details, across geographies, across segments succeed in making each personnel a generalist and a specialist at the same time.

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