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Case study: How Hess promotes talent development

Hess Corporation is a leading global independent energy company engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas. Hess takes a strategic and deliberate approach to talent development  Tweet This!, so that its employees have meaningful opportunities and a clear path to grow with the company and become future leaders.

This case study is based on the 2019 Sustainability Report by Hess published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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In 2019, Hess launched a refreshed approach to career development, helping managers to have more effective conversations and support employees in career choices. In order to promote talent development Hess took action to:

  • implement CareerManager
  • foster a culture of continuous learning
  • implement early career programmes

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report Hess identified a range of material issues, such as regulatory assurance, water management, emergency preparedness and response, community engagement, climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Among these, promoting talent development stands out as a key material issue for Hess.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Hess engages with:

Stakeholder Group
Land Users/Landowners: Residents, landowners, commercial land interests, farmers, ranchers
Resources Users/Rights Holders: Mineral rights owners, water rights owners and users, hunters, fishers, gatherers
Governments: Local, regional and national authorities, national militaries, international governing authorities
Parties with Direct Economic Interests: Investment partners, vendors and suppliers, contractors, unions, shareholders
Parties with External Business Interests: Chambers of commerce, industry organisations, local businesses, sustainability initiatives
Special Interest Groups: Nongovernmental organisations, religious groups, cause-oriented nonprofits, community groups
Community Services: Police, fire and emergency medical services, health care services, education, human service agencies
Indigenous Groups: Formally recognised groups, tribal coalitions, government supporting agencies, indigenous advocacy groups

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Hess conducted a survey of a subset of priority external stakeholder groups, along with interviews with a sampling of key external stakeholders.

What actions were taken by Hess to promote talent development?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report Hess reports that it took the following actions for promoting talent development:

  • Implementing CareerManager
  • CareerManager, Hess’s human resources system, provides a common platform and offers a range of tools to manage talent development. In 2019, Hess launched a new tool, CareerManager Talent, that provides senior managers with a standard approach to assess and track the development of future leaders while facilitating real-time conversations with their teams. Additionally, Hess continued its work to establish a distinctive Lean culture across the enterprise. Embedded Lean leaders – employees who are highly trained in Lean – help to make sure Hess puts Lean principles into practice effectively. Hess also encourages employees to participate in training and engage in coaching and mentoring to support their Lean skills development.
  • Fostering a culture of continuous learning
  • Hess is committed to fostering a culture of continuous learning. Its enterprisewide learning management system – CareerManager Learning – houses computer-based training modules and supporting materials for instructor-led courses. It also tracks and records employee training and measures training effectiveness through surveys and evaluations. In 2019, approximately 900 employees participated in various CareerManager trainings, for a total of roughly 9,100 hours.
  • Implementing early career programmes
  • Passport to Hess is an onboarding and orientation programme for new Hess employees designed to facilitate a smooth transition through close interaction with supervisors. The experience begins with access to a pre-hire portal that enables new employees to learn about their work location prior to their first day on the job. After starting at Hess, employees can access a structured, on-demand learning programme that explains its culture and values. In addition, supervisors receive tools and coaching to guide them in helping new hires successfully integrate into their work teams. Early career engineers and geoscientists can take part in Hess’s Foundation Programme, which helps prepare them for their careers through focused training, mentoring and on-the-job assignments. The Foundation Programme, with 63% of its membership comprising women and minorities, reflects Hess’s commitment to diversity. Through the programme, Hess maintains relationships with universities that align with its values, standards and business operations. Hess leaders serve as members of the academic advisory committees of some of these universities. Hess has also continued to support the Job Experience Training (JET) apprenticeship programme in North Dakota. Over the past two years the programme has graduated local, qualified reliability operators who also earn a U.S. Department of Labor credential. Through JET, Hess partners with local high schools and the Transitional Assistance Programme at Minot Air Force Base to source new candidates who are looking for employment opportunities. Since 2017, 26 apprentices have entered the JET program, 14 have completed the apprenticeship and 11 been brought onto Hess as new hires.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs

2) Disclosure 404-3 Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews


Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs corresponds to:

Disclosure 404-3 Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews corresponds to:


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1) This case study is based on published information by Hess, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


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