That’s not to say HR departments are jumping at the chance, though.
In the oil and gas industry as elsewhere, many HR professionals have a strained relationship with third-party recruiters. Much as outsourced workforce solutions can help ease the burden on HR, there’s a common perception among HR departments that recruiters are expensive, time-consuming to work with, and more focused on volume – that is, getting as many candidates to interview as possible – than finding the right candidate with the right skills and culture fit for the job.
Nonetheless, the current climate in the oil and gas industry means that working with third-party recruiters is becoming an absolute necessity. As demand outstrips supply and oil and gas companies face a complex global geopolitical climate, working with recruiters to solve their staffing challenges is no longer optional – it’s the only way for HR to build a recruitment strategy that rises to these challenges in a resource-effective way.
By all accounts, the oil and gas industry faces a major skills gap in 2019 onwards. In fact, according to the Global Energy Index Talent (GETI) report for 2019, an astonishing 40% of workers in the industry believe that a talent crisis is already here.
Nearly half, meanwhile, say they are “quite” or “very” worried about a talent crisis, with 28% adding they expect this to take hold within the next five years. This puts busy HR directors between a rock and a hard place – how do they build a pipeline of engineering talent while still managing current candidate suitability and quality?
However, much as many HR departments have a low view of the recruitment industry as a whole – and much as that view may, in some cases, be justified – it’s still true that working with the right recruitment company is one of the best ways they can address their short and long-term staffing challenges.
For oil and gas companies, having a strategic recruitment partner offers many benefits. The right recruiter will understand the unique challenges not only facing the industry, but also the specific project. They will have the kind of skills and expertise that HR wants to see the most, which allows HR to do the following:
Partnering with a specialist oil and gas recruiter can save HR directors time and lower their resource spend on recruitment. They won’t have to use department resources to sign up to job boards, purchase subscriptions and licences for software, and more. Their recruitment partner will already have these tools in place so they can start providing workforce solutions right away.
This holds true for other essential recruitment resources, such as market intelligence, too. It’s impossible to make informed recruitment decisions without some level of insight into market dynamics, average salaries, skills availability and so on, and not all this information is in the public domain. A strategic recruitment partner will have this intelligence and more at hand, helping to build effective and accessible talent pipelines for your company.
One of the key staffing challenges for oil and gas companies is to ensure that any recruitment decisions they make are compliant with local labour laws and other regulatory requirements in the different territories their projects take place. Failing this could result in fines and penalties, as well as potential reputational damage that could harm their ability to hire in a particular location for a long time to come.
Working with a specialist recruitment company with previous experience in a particular country or territory – and potentially a local presence, too – is therefore one of the best and most resource-effective ways to ensure any hiring decisions are fully compliant.
So, what workforce solutions can a specialist oil and gas recruiter offer to a company? Some of the most common solutions include:
Direct hire describes the use of a recruitment partner to fill permanent, rather than contract or temporary, roles. Recruiters have different processes when it comes to direct hire, as well as varying fee structures.
For the best quality talent, we recommend the engaged search model. Engaged search differs from traditional contingent search in that customers will pay a small percentage of the overall fee upfront, which secures them a dedicated discipline-specific recruitment team that has the resource to immerse itself in the company culture and find the best available talent rather than flood HR with candidates that may or may not be suitable.
The project-based nature of much of the work undertaken in the oil and gas industry means many companies rely heavily on contractors rather than permanent members of staff. A specialist oil and gas recruiter should have a well-established network and pre-existing relationships with contract personnel, which makes the process of getting them into roles as smooth as possible.
One of the challenges that comes with working on multiple projects around the world is that you don’t just have to recruit local and expat labour – you also need to mobilise them. A specialist oil and gas recruiter should be able to support HR with outsourced immigration and relocation services for both contract and permanent talent.
A specialist oil and gas recruiter can be an essential source of labour market intelligence, with first-hand access to salary data, insight on skills availability and other important talent analytics. For some HR departments, it may be worth appointing a recruitment company on a consultancy basis, resulting in improved decision-making for workforce planning and sourcing.
We can answer all those questions and more with confidence at Airswift.
Our experience and success rates truly set us apart from other recruiters providing workforce solutions in the oil and gas industry. We’re not a “bottom of the barrel” recruiter – we have a 93% fill rate on all roles because our team prides itself on service and delivery, helping you to navigate any staffing issues as seamlessly and effectively as possible.
Our specialist recruitment professionals are experts at easing the pressure on HR directors in the oil and gas industry, and we have a truly international presence with access to the best engineering talent worldwide. We also have a proven track record in helping companies gain footholds in new and emerging markets.
Our workforce solutions, industry insight and leading market intelligence help oil and gas companies navigate the legal, political and cultural nuances of any new regions they may be entering, helping you be compliant while recruiting the very best in regional talent.