‘Confidence returning’ to oil and gas recruitment: study

A review of the energy sector jobs market suggests rebounding oil prices will see talent demand pick up again after the past two years’ contraction.

Natural gas rig
Thirty-five organisations from across the major global oil and gas hubs participated in the survey, which was run by recruiters Petroplan to gauge the prospects for recovery and the impact on hiring in the short term.The report follows publication last month that shows the UK oil and gas "getting its head above water" after a torrid two years that saw the UK post negative tax receipts from the sector.

Gig economy on the rigs likely

The Energy Talent Explorer Review found contract staff are likely to be in the vanguard of any recovery. Over two-thirds of respondents expect greater use of contractors, bringing with them the flexibility and cost control critical in the current business environment.The use of Western expat contractors looks set to decline as lower-cost local talent upskill and nationalisation targets take effect.

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Activity is expected to pick up on onshore rigs first (in the US, then Middle East, Asia and Africa), followed by shallow-water projects, says Petroplan.Experienced technical talent, as well as those with a combination of technical and financial skills, are likely to be most in demand in any recovery.Mechanical and chemical engineers, project managers and IT experts were among the shortage roles cited in the survey.

Crisis deepened demographic challenge

If anything, the oil price downturn since mid-2014 has increased the demographic challenge the industry faces, with experienced middle managers laid off and millennials put off entering the industry.Two-thirds of respondents recognise the challenge as a major obstacle to growth. To address this, employers report looking to retraining and upskilling the existing workforce.Rory Ferguson, CEO of Petroplan, said: "After a very challenging couple of years, our review reflects a cautious optimism for the future among energy employers. This is feeding through into hiring strategies that are focused to a greater degree on cost efficiency and flexibility – but not at the expense of quality”.“Something that came across very strongly from the review is that, whilst employers want to fill roles quickly, they also want to find the right candidate in terms of technical and business culture fit. Reconciling these two is where specialist recruiters such as Petroplan play a key role, even more so with the reduction of internal recruitment teams in many organisations.”

Look out for the upcoming spring issue of Relocate magazine, which features the latest on what companies are doing to improve their talent pipelines. Reserve your copy here.

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