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HR Practices At Shell Pakistan Limited

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Commerce
Wordcount: 4070 words Published: 18th Apr 2017

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Pakistan’s first oil field was discovered in the late 1952 in Baluchistan near a giant Sui gas field. It covers 122.67 square kilometers (47.36 sq mi). Pakistan Petroleum and Pakistan Oilfields explored and began drilling from Toot area is one of the oldest oil producing regions in Pakistan with the first oil well was drilled in 1964 when President Ayub Khan encourages a mineral development policy. The commercial production started in 1967. There are about 60 million barrels of oil in place with 12%-15% of which is recoverable. At its peak during 1986, the field was producing approximately 2,400 barrel of oil per day. Oil production was entirely confined to the Potwar Plateau till 1981, when Union Texas Pakistan discovered its first oil-field in Lower Sindh. By 1998-1999, the Lower Sindh gas-fields were producing more oil than the Potwar Plateau. Since then, new deposits have also been found here.

In 2005, the Vancouver-based International Sovereign Energy signed a memorandum of understanding with the “Oil and Gas Development Company Limited”, Pakistan’s national oil company, to develop the Toot field. 

Pakistan has not experienced many new oil fields coming online. As a result, oil production has remained fairly flat, at around 60,000 barrels per day (bbl/d). Due to Pakistan’s modest oil production, the country is dependent on oil imports to satisfy domestic oil demand. As of November 2006, Pakistan had consumed approximately 350 thousand barrels of oil and various petroleum products, of which, more than 80 percent was imported. The majority of oil imports come from the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia as the lead importer. In Pakistan transport sector in the biggest user of the petroleum products use 48%, energy sector uses about 36%, and industrial sector which has a share of 12 % while remaining 4% is shared by the residential sector.

There are almost four major national oil companies currently involved in the sector, namely Oil and Gas development corporation limited (OGDCL), Pakistan petroleum limited (PPL), and Pakistan state oil company limited and Pakistan oilfields limited (POL).


Introduction of Shell Pakistan Limited

The documented history of Royal Dutch Shell plc (commonly known as Shell) in Pakistan dates back to 1903 when partnership was struck between The Shell Transport & Trading Company and the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company to supply petroleum to Asia. In 1928 when Royal Dutch Shell plc and the Burmah Oil Company Limited (was a leading British oil business) in India were merged and Burmah Shell Oil Storage & Distribution Company of India was born.

After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the name was changed to the Burmah Shell Oil Distribution Company of Pakistan. In 1970, when 51% of the shareholding was transferred to Pakistani investors, the name of changed to Pakistan Burmah Shell (PBS) Limited.

The Shell and the Burmah Groups, retained the remaining 49% in equal proportions. In February of 1993, as economic liberalization began to take root and the Burmah divested from PBS, Shell Petroleum stepped into raise its stake to 51%. The years 2001-2 have seen the Shell Petroleum Company successively increasing its share, with the Group now having a 76% stake in Shell Pakistan Ltd (SPL) an expression of confidence

The second largest oil company in the country, Shell Pakistan has successfully positioned itself as the preferred oil and Gas Company in Pakistan, leading the field in its commitment to customer service, quality of products, safety and environmental protection.

Currently shell has been operating for over more than 90 countries and territories and has been providing its products and services. Shell Pakistan is divided into 8 functional areas i.e. Retail, Lubricants, Aviation, Operations, Finance, Corporate, Human Resource and Commercial Fuels. It has played a leading role in energy demand of Pakistan. It represented in all aspects of the upstream and downstream oil business in Pakistan, in exploration both onshore and offshore, in refining, as well as a 26% share holding in the white oil pipeline( an oil pipeline from Port Qasim to the Pak-Arab Refinery (PARCO) at Mehmood Kot, Multan District, Punjab,). As Shell has a rich legacy and long association with Pakistan, it operates over 800 retail stations, it has the leading market share among foreign petroleum retail businesses in Pakistan.

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A business needs people to achieve its goals. In every organization the business activities are performed by different people working in different departments like marketing, finance, IT, and others, but HR is the one whose functions are not only associated with performing its own department activities but also to look over the activities of other departments. In two words, it is charged with the overall responsibility for deciding upon and implementing strategies and policies aligned with organization’s goals and getting the things done from people and then with the management of individuals and departments. Shell’s HR activities are not dependent on a respective country level but they are categorized into three different levels.

HR Business (Global)

Shell’s HR Business has been operating at the global level and evolved in designing the replica of various businesses like Retail, supply and distribution, commercial, global functions, manufacturing, chemicals, finance/controllers, etc.

Centre of Excellence (Regional)

The people working in centers of excellence are on the regional level and are responsible in making overall policies, setting remuneration, expatriation, and making policies for competence development.

HR Country (Respective country)

At the country level they are the people like HR managers so where ever shell has been operating the respective country includes HRM. The policies aligned to the business and functions are implemented here and the managers are responsible in conveying what needs to be done. Shell Pakistan is dealing at this country level so our further discussion will be based on the activities of HR country Pakistan.

HR Department’s Structure at Country Level

The responsibilities for HR department at country level are not divided into different sub-departments rather; there are the job positions in the hierarchy which are responsible in having certain duties to be performed and to hold certain responsibilities. The benchmarks are as follows:

Employee Relations/Industrial Relations

Employee and Industrial Relations at shell are maintained by the HR account managers who focus on the morale and motivation of employees and how they feel about working for Shell, as well as building strong relationships with employee representatives. A lot of Hr manager’s time is spent in communicating and consulting with Shell staff and representative bodies to ensure they’re aware of decisions at all levels, that they feel involved in the decision-making process.

Learning and development

Learning & development is another seat for the account manager at the table within HR, the HR account manager helps in achieving of business strategies and operational plans. It helps in providing and developing key capabilities to meet the demands and challenges of the business. Working on the design and delivery of learning programs covering Leadership Development, Technical/Professional Development, and the Personal and Business Skills portfolio are the basic responsibilities for manager.


Country level HRAM provides a recruitment process that brings the best of the world’s talent to Shell and goes for top graduates and experienced professionals whose skills will secure long-term competitive advantage for the company.


The next HRAM is responsible in implementing policies that comes into shell’s basic business principles which includes core values, honesty, integrity, respect for people and the promotion of trust, openness, teamwork and professionalism, and pride in what they do. HRM enforces employees to follow up with these policies.


The process gets started with the planning of HR needs. The first basic need f HR is to make sure that the right number and right people are there at the right time. By performing job analysis it comes to know that the right people are there, by knowing surplus and shortage situations it can work on right quantity and time. Job analysis is done at the global level so Shell at country level is responsible in taking the actions on the situations of surplus and shortage.

Surplus of Employees

It is in the company’s policy not to hire more than 500 employees. During surplus the employees are given the opportunity to apply for other jobs within country at shell and clear the selection process or other then that the HR management refers the excessive employees to other big organizations.

Shortage of Employees

In case of shortage the company satisfies the term “fill in the vacancy” in which it gives first priority to its internal employees to apply for the proceeding vacancy and then it goes for external recruitment to fill the place which has been left over by the promoted employee.


Those individuals who want to see their future at shell decides upon the way in which they want to proceed with it. There have been different recruitment methods that HR department has been considering:

Methods of Recruitment

Head hunter firm

Shell outsources the responsibility for recruitment when it seeks to recruit a top level professional with defining the requirement grounds of maturity and competence. The organization is in a favor of equal opportunity employer where men and women both are preferred. The outsourcing is done so that the higher position does not become the victim of nepotism or corrupt system.

Global Recruitment

Shell appreciates the best fit employees for the above positions for which the HRAM put efforts in bringing global talent to Pakistan and it is normally done for the senior position. As Leon GM of Shell says,

“Global recruitment is done for global talent”

Internal Recruitment

This method receives the primary concern at shell in which the internal employees are more preferred to apply and get selected for the positions on a fair basis as they also have to go through the overall selection process. As internal employees are more familiar with the culture, work unit, rules and regulations so it benefits the organization as well in cost saving. Moreover, there are no promotion opportunities for employees so the internal recruitment has turned out to be an alternate motivational factor to work unit. The employees can apply by visiting the company’s intranet.


Advertisement opens another way for the job seekers. The advertisement is based on job specification in which all the requirements are mentioned which perhaps reduces the possibility of untalented individuals to apply. As the Gm said that going into job description is a lengthy process.

The blind box strategy has been proved not that helpful for the HR managers at shell because they applied this strategy for twice but no adequate response was received.

Employee Referrals

When the company posts the job offers on the notice board or on its intranet for the internal employees then it also runs the possibility that employees will get their referrals along.

Job search (cyberspace)

Cyberspace is categorized for professionals, internees, and graduates. There are application forms which need to be filled with an attached resumes.


Initial Screening


The individual’s curriculum vitae (CV) and resumes are taken into consideration when making selection decision. Shell’s HR management primarily focuses on the format of the resume of the candidate in other words they short list these resumes on format and pattern bases.

Application Form

Those candidates who apply on the internet have to register themselves for filling up an application form given on the website of shell. Here it encourages those candidates who are eligible on the criteria as decided by the company. Those candidates are short listed who meets the required criteria and they also enclose their resumes along here. The internal candidates are already registered who just need to log in while applying for the new job.



Those candidates whose application forms are short listed are invited for an interview. Here an individual’s culturally fit requirement is given a close consideration and two interviews are conducted. The first interview is taken by the manager of HR department and then short listed from here are sent for the second interview which is taken by the department managers along with the senior managers. Candidate’s behavior is also of a keen interest to an interviewer and he is assessed against capacity, achievement, relationship skills and technical skills.

Background Investigation

There is no specific need of background investigation because the documents that an employee carries along on the interview day become a clear evidence of employee’s profile. For some positions the degree and experience background is important but mostly an employee can be from any background but must be eligible for the position.

Medical Requirement

Minimum fitness to work is required as it is set by the Centre of excellence. The country level Hr manager while considering the main factors can reject who does not fit to the minimum requirement.


Internally selected candidates

Employees who are internally selected are given no orientation as they have already been through it and are familiar with the norms, values and culture of the organization. The work introduction is made by the line manager and the employee gradually learns about new work.

New Employees

The new employees when join the company they are given a set of documents in which they can make themselves aware of the framework in which policies are set so that it makes an organization a good place to work. The documents can contain the following lessons:

Code of conduct and ethics

Anti-corruption and bribery

Anti-trust in which whistle blowing is considered as unethical

Policies around harassment and gender

A new employee is introduced with the work unit but it’s his/her responsibility as well to go, shake hand and introduce him or her to others. Moreover there are communications meetings which makes them socialize and they are also given the organization tour.

Curriculum activities performed by employees

The employees are also offered to attend a day in which there are number of ground activities they need to perform including group discussion, presentations, exercises, real case studies, team building activities and others, to analyze how individual can grapple with different business scenarios. It is done at the global level.


Shell believes that the best way to learn is by doing. The emphasis is being on shadowing people and then if the lacking is found during performance evaluation then the employees are trained by on-the-job methods. The new employees are shadowed by which they are assigned to the line managers and observe how the work is to be carried out, what are the daily responsibilities and a lot more. They keep on learning about their work so they develop overtime. The employees are not rotated on the jobs as the promotions are restricted but it can be done by a communication or negotiation with line managers. For suppose, If an employee wants to learn about the new work or job then he can ask of it from the line manager and by the mutual discussion between them he can learn farther. There are specific indicators which analyze the need for training and are computed on the yearly based performances.

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Analyzing Training needs

Accept Error

The Hr department keeps the record of employees to evaluate their performances and to see whether they are set into the environment. It looks that the person must be culturally fit, behavior is good, does the work by own, performance is good, and don’t tries to dominate over others. Many times the employees are imaged as a perfect candidate for the position during an interview process but the time when the reality appears and if it is opposite then the HR manager does consider it as an accept error. It indicates that an employee needs more of the training. The person is given a period of six months in which he or she is trained to fit into the specific requirements and evaluation also goes a long time to time.

Competence profile

There are competence profiles for each job and people are supposed to be assessed together on profiles. For instance, firstly the people are shadowed and then if somebody needs to acquire leadership skills, negotiation or interpersonal skills or any other skill then for that there are programs like on-the-job training such as;

Work Assignments

Team tasks


Shadowing people

Links to websites with different universities

Management articles and research publications


There are international programs for employee development and training. The pure development is been made through foreign courses which are considered as a part of off-the-job training and the training which helps a little in development of an employee are virtual courses.

Foreign Courses

Foreign courses are considered as the development of an employee as the HR director stated,

“There are public and foreign courses which is a part of the overall development, we look at the individual’s job performance and potential so everybody doesn’t go for that and everybody may think that unless are gone for a course they can’t be able to learn, but learning and development are two different things. You should need to be learning all the time and as development is the costly process so we limits off the candidates.”

Virtual courses (Shell Open University)

These are the online courses by which an employee can learn by browsing the shell’s official website where one can get the access to shell Open University’s web page and learn all the relevant things.


Performance appraisal is done by two way process:

Goal Performance Appraisal

Shell set targets for improvement and measures, appraises and then reports performance. There is a competency profile for each job according to which an employee is assigned to the different work-related goals that need to be achieved. GPA is given on the evaluation whether the goals have been achieved.


Ranking is a process alike on which the individuals are compared within their departments and the best ranker receives the reward. There is a structured budget so only one person will be receiving the reward.

As the HR manager stated,

“Everybody can’t be man of the match in every match.”


The employees are benefited and rewarded on many different grounds. Some of them are as follows:

Internal recruitment

The internal employees are given the first priority to apply for the next positions. This has been made as an alternate for promotions.

Competitive Salary

The competitive salary is based on market conditions so the experienced and the one with high skills is probably the one who is paid high.

Performance-related pay and bonuses

When the employee accomplishes goal-performance appraisal then he/she is rewarded with bonuses or sometimes it gets the increase in salary.

Club memberships

The employees are given different club memberships and are also offered to participate into its activities in which they are awarded as well by the clubs.


The employees are given cars and pick and drop facilities. The top managers are also benefited with fuels.

Annual paid leaves

The employees are given annual paid leaves for which there salary is not deducted.

Flexible working practices

The environment of the work place is made so flexible and interesting that the employees feel secure and remain concentrated while being at the work place. The timings are also flexible so that employees cannot think about taking out time for some of his/her off the job related work during job.

Long Service Awards

Shell recently held a long service awards distribution ceremony in 2010 at Karachi in which the eligible staff who had completed 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 years of experience in the company were awarded.

Champions trophy

The champion’s trophy-east was launched in 2009 to recognize and reward account managers and sales managers for the commercial fuel teams in east. It was aimed to energize the sales professionals and appreciate the outstanding performances .From Pakistan Ehtesham saleem, AM for a Pakistan commercial fuel was awarded.

Traveling vouchers

In 2009 shell evaluated its top 3 sales performers in east and they were given travel vouchers valued at 3,000pounds, 2,500 pounds, and 2,000 pounds for the first, second and third winner respectively in which the account managers from Pakistan were also included.

Other benefits and rewards include:

Maternity/paternity leave and possible sabbaticals

Mobile bills

Shell fuel cards

Pension/ retirement plans

Healthcare coverage


Shell is one of the biggest organizations globally, but as it has all the policies designed at global level so it costs high at regional level. The demands of culture and needs of employees vary from country to country. So for every region the policies should be well designed and structured according to the needs of the employees. It is very time consuming because the HR department working in Pakistan has to gather all the information regarding performance appraisals, promotions etc and then all of this information is sent at a global level, it can create a communication gap without the HR department working at a global and a regional level. Policies should not only be implemented but should also be created according to the employees, because the supervisor or the manager to whom the employee reports directly only knows about his/her performance.


HR department in every organization plays a vital role in managing all the activities which are related to profitability and management of employees which are main assets of an organization. Shell is a multi-national organization which is working at a global and regional level. All the policies are made for the benefit of the employees, they consider everyone equally none is favored or prioritized unless he/she is capable and prove themselves by fulfilling the tasks assigned. They motivate their employees by providing them the opportunity to apply for a vacant position which shows that how much they are valued. Team work is valued because they consider that an employee is no good to the organization if he/she cannot cope up with the team, everyone can work for themselves but a true dedicated individual is that who matches his desired needs with the organization demands.


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