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Oil and Gas Recruiting to Rise in Coming Months

Oil & Gas Recruiting to Rise in Coming Months

By  Valerie Jones | Rigzone Staff | Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Oil and gas recruiters across the world are expecting to recruit more in coming months, according to a recent survey by Rigzone.

Rigzone’s global survey targeting oil and gas recruiters and hiring managers —administered Sept. 25 to Oct. 16— yielded 77 completed responses from those actively working as recruiters in the industry.

Of the respondents, 83% said they recruit for upstream; 49% recruit for midstream and 32% recruit for downstream. 70% of respondents indicated that they expected to recruit more in the next six months.

This comes after years of recruiting activity that was muted due to the industry’s downturn. During that time, companies were focused on staying afloat while slashing capital expenditures – which often included headcount.

65% of respondents said they recruited more in first half of 2018 than in second half of 2017. Another 21% said they recruited about the same in both halves.

Now Hiring: Engineers and Technicians

With recruiting on the rise, the next logical question is which positions are in highest demand. Overall, respondents said they were seeing the most hiring demand for the following positions:

  • Safety Engineer (28.57%)

  • Procurement and Construction: Supply Chain (22.08%)

  • Electrical Technician (22.08%)

  • Mechanical Technician (20.78%)

  • Mechanical Engineer (19.48%)

  • Production Operator (19.48%)

  • Petroleum Engineer (18.18%)

  • Wellsite Supervisor (16.88%)

  • Electrical Engineer (16.88%)

However, most recruiters aren’t looking for entry-level workers. Nor are they looking to hire veteran workers.

According to our survey, 42% of respondents are hiring for workers with 5-10 years of experience. 29% are looking at candidates who have 10-20 years of experience. 27% of recruiters are looking for entry-level candidates (0-5 years of experience) while just 3% are recruiting for candidates with more than 20 years of experience.

Recruiting Challenges

Oil and gas has—and always will be—a boom-bust industry. Recruiting will always follow suit.

In early 2017, recruiters expressed to Rigzone that hiring had begun to pick up, but there was concern around talent that had left the industry during the downturn.

According to respondents, that’s still a real challenge today.

When asked what the biggest challenge facing oil and gas recruiters today, some clear themes emerged. Namely, the challenges were around skills shortages/lack of experienced candidates; companies unable to meet workers’ salary expectations and slow hiring processes.

Below are excerpts from some respondents:

  • Matching candidate salary expectations

  • The time it takes for a company to hire … companies suggest they’re in a hurry to fill the roles, but after the interview process may take several weeks before an offer is made

  • Ageing workforce + reduction of graduate/apprentice schemes during the downturn

  • Finding candidates with operational experience and below 60 years of age

  • Because projects have slowed down significantly, it can be challenging to recruit someone who is used to making a certain amount of money

  • Folks who have been out of the market are not up-to-date on certifications required for industry

  • The salary expectation – candidates are seeking what they think they should earn vs. what the available resources are and budget

  • Processing large numbers of applications for roles to get to a sensible shortlist (3-4 candidates)

Despite challenges recruiters are facing in the industry today, many are still optimistic. And they understand the ‘ebb and flow’ nature of the business.

According to the survey, more than one-third (36%) of respondents described the current state of industry recruiting as “variable.” Another 31% described it as “steady.”

About 16% were a bit more optimistic, using “thriving” to describe recruiting in the industry. Conversely, 12% and 5% said “stagnant” and “nonexistent” respectively.


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