Proco Commodities HR Leadership Breakfast Event

Proco Commodities HR Leadership Breakfast Event

Our Chief Commercial Officer, Brad Knox, recently hosted a HR Leadership Breakfast in Houston. The aim was to provide a platform to facilitate the collaboration of ideas amongst HR leaders within the commodity and energy community.

The event gave HR leaders the opportunity to share thoughts around best practice, discuss challenges around implementing and driving HR technologies, navigating a changing market place and attracting and retaining the best talent. Above all, the objective of the breakfast event was to encourage networking of HR leaders with their peer group.

In order to create a more intimate space for discussion, Brad tailored the breakfast to include HR leaders from a select group of merchants and energy companies which included; Vitol, Gunvor, Castleton Commodities, Tricon, BB Energy, PetroChina, Cheniere, Total, and Motiva. With such a diverse group of people from such incredibly renowned companies, it was interesting to discover and understand the challenges that each business faces from a HR perspective.

The common themes shared amongst the HR leaders were; challenges when selecting a fully integrated HRIS, establishing innovations to continue to promote diversity across the industry, as well as competition for top talent and the implementation of graduate recruitment programs. An agenda that Proco Commodities has been pushing for some time is the notion that diversity at a leadership level contributes to, and drives, innovation within businesses.

It was established that this is still a key focus, with the majority of HR leaders looking at different strategies to attract a diverse workforce. As an example, we have seen Graham Capital Management launch Graham Women’s Fellowship, which they are using to promote gender diversity within Financial Services.

Another key topic, which sparked some debate, was the notion of competing for talent from more ‘unlikely’ competitors  (Google, Facebook, Amazon etc.) as the commodities landscape begins to change. Alongside this, there has been a rise in the graduate programs that have been put in place.

Rather than tapping into the same talent pool, we have seen some merchants gravitate towards implementing and driving graduate recruitment. We asked the leaders to discuss the challenges that this provides and how they are employing specific strategies to overcome this.

The main takeaway from the event is that most HR leaders are facing similar challenges with regards to integrating HR systems and processes. There has been a greater focus in recent years on the developing talent from the grass roots. Some businesses are also implementing more of a structured and process-driven approach to overcome challenges that are arising in the HR environment.

The HR & Talent Acquisition teams have been working a lot more on brand recognition as they look to attract Generation Z, many of whom are looking for companies that practice social responsibility. Put simply, the underlying and overarching objective across the board for HR leaders has been to help the business generate revenue. With the amount of indispensable discussion that was conducted, the event was a huge success.

More than anything, it is a great platform and think tank for HR leaders to share ideas and network with each other. The collaboration potential from such events is rife, and therefore there is a lot of scope and hope to hold events like this in the future.

For more information about Graham Capital Management’s fellowship, visit

by Brad Knoxview my profile

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