Oil and Gas Job Recruitment – The Talent Gap

Hiring cycles in the oil and gas industry follow industry cycles of oil price. Downturns in 1986, 1998, 2008, and 2014 mean that there have been periods in the industry where oil and gas job recruitment was non-existent, and people left the industry in their thousands.

We are therefore looking at massive talent gaps of certain ages, with the workforce now consisting of:

  • Lots of managers (who will all retire in next 5 years)
  • A talent gap below to fill the grey haired retirees
  • Lots of “principal engineers” who are used to overseeing technical work, but who seem unable to actually do the work themselves. They also only get out of bed for $1000 a day.
  • A chronic lack of “doers”, 6 to 10 years’ experience and able to crunch the numbers that are needed to make a difference
  • No graduates available to step up

Companies have completely neglected the talent gaps when considering their hiring practices during every downturn we have had, and this chronic mismanagement of the engineering specialistworkforce shows an incredible lack of foresight by industry leaders who have taken the short term option yet again. This hasn’t always been their fault, as companies were generally under pressure from investors and staring at big losses. Culling oil and gas recruitment was the easy short term option, so they took it.

But this will come back and bite them when the industry picks up. For engineering specialists and oil and gas consultants who know their stuff, and can deliver on projects, the companies are going to come calling and the rates are going to start rising. Not bad news considering the hammering we have all taken over the last 3 years, but companies will start to notice project costs rising faster than the $/bbl, and profits suffering as a result.

Source: TalEngPro

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