The U.S. Department of Labor has issued the employment number for the U.S. for February 2014 and while the numbers are statistically practically even over January 2014 the increase in a 12 month view remains very impressive. The industry as a whole has added 17,000 jobs in a 12 month period. There were 194,800 employees in February 2013 compared to 211,800 one year later.
Companies who are competing for the talent are experiencing the strong market on a daily basis while they are trying to find experienced professionals to hire for their permanent staff. It is not easy and it requires enormous diligence and flexibility to do it. Sometimes organizations are still stuck in doing it the old established way. Here are some of our thoughts why that might not be such a good idea.
The individual professional has many options when choosing the next career step. The decision made could be the difference between a simply financially lucrative career and a deeply rewarding professional life. Here are some of our ideas to help distinguish between the two different approaches in planning your career.
Foot Loose and Fancy Free Organizations Succeed on the Talent Front
The answer to these questions is probably "no," as long as they are not in the way of your enjoyment of the product or performance, right?
The shortage of talent in our industry and its reasons have been discussed and analyzed. Many organizations are now struggling to attract and retain the much-needed talent to get the job done and to grow. The number of qualified college graduates is increasing, but the shortage in the 8 to 15 years of experience range is dramatic. There are now many anecdotes of incredible salaries that hiring companies are willing to pay and that still does not guarantee that a hire can be made. The competition is that strong! What is to be done?
The first thing we advise our clients is to lose the attitude of "we have never done this here." In this market, to attract, hire, and retain the talent requires a dogma-free "whatever it takes" approach - hence the title of this commentary. Now, we are not advocating a reckless approach without some prudence, but if your company has not followed some of the suggestions from the list below, then now may be a good time to be more open minded. Instead of doing the same thing without much success, organizations should structure themselves and evolve in a way that embraces the current market, rather than following the same axiom in the same way as hundreds of other employers, wasting precious time and resources.
Here are our suggestions. You will find a general theme that it may be very worthwhile to train somebody or allow time for a prospective employee to freshen up on older skills.1. Good candidate, but not the right system skills
This is one of the most common reasons to deny perfectly good candidates the chance to show what they could do for you. If a candidate knows software "A" very well, but your firm works with software "B", then a closer look might reveal that an experienced and motivated professional may be able to transition within a few weeks. It is still amazing how many good candidates get passed over because of this.
It is not possible or feasible for even highly educated outsiders to the industry to become oil and gas experts in a short amount of time. But there may be opportunities for candidates with excellent technical skills to start in your organization in a lower capacity and grow over time to become an excellent provider of value! Not too long ago we placed an experienced project support individual who came from the aviation industry with an E&P company in a technical support role. This person is now a very loyal employee with the same company in a managerial role doing fantastic work!
This one is easy: If an employee wants to return to your company and unless the individual left for cause, then by all means rehire the individual. Amazingly enough, too many companies still have outdated they-never-come-back rules in place.
Most companies are open-minded to hiring consultants as contract staff for a while, but not all of them. If your organization is resolute about not hiring consultants then getting the job done has just become unnecessarily harder. Why not engage retired experts or an individual who chooses to remain free to grow by accepting different assignments? Note that this method is still a proven way to find a permanent employee as individuals have a chance to get to know each other before a permanent commitment is made.
Plenty of material is available discussing the concept of work / life balance. And many companies of all sizes have taken the plunge and now provide flexible work schedules where it is possible much to the relief of their employees. If this is another one of your sacred cows then maybe it is finally time to take Elsie out to pasture. Over and over again it comes back to us that salaries and benefits being equal and comparable to market work flexibility is a key factor in individuals choosing who will be their new employer.
As an organization you have nothing to fear and much to win when opening up the door for prospective new employees.
The following biographies are just a small sampling of the kind of talent
available in our talent pool of over 21,000 experts. Please call our placement managers if you are interested in learning more about these professionals, or check out our website for more candidates.
Mechanical Engineer with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology and more than 30 years of experience in the offshore and onshore oil and gas industry. Expert in LNG facilities, offshore platform and subsea pipeline design, and petrochemical operations. Experienced with project management holding senior level positions, static equipment and piping analysis, and full life cycle facilities engineering and construction from FEED through mechanical completion and client acceptance. Geographic areas worked include the Gulf of Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, Algeria, Korea, Indonesia, and Japan. Ask for F1722.
Subsea Engineer with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and more than 20 years of domestic and international experience working with engineering firms and operating companies. Experienced in design and construction including HPHT, subsea pipeline and rigid riser design in water depths from zero to 10,000 feet, subsea manifolds, subsea isolation valves, and subsea high-integrity pressure protection system structure and piping design. Additionally experienced in floating production system interfaces, flexible risers and pipe, rigid reeled pipe-in-pipe and towed pipeline bundles. Software proficiency in Primavera, MathCAD, LUSAS, ANSYS, FS2000, and AutoPIPE. Ask for F527.
Structural Engineer with a PhD in ocean engineering and over 25 years of experience working for large EPC and engineering firms. Expert in design and conversion of subsea and offshore floating production systems. Additionally experienced in the design of drilling modules, HSE support, semi-submersible platforms, pipeline installations, and diverse subsea equipment installation projects. Licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Texas. Served as expert advisor to the US Secretary of Energy and chaired for the API Committee on wind load specifications. Geographic areas of experience include the Gulf of Mexico and Asia. Software proficiency in ANSYS, SACS, MORA, FLEXCOM, and AQUA. Ask for MD52.
Project and Construction Manager with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and over 35 years of experience working for major E&P, EPC, and engineering firms. Expert in onshore and offshore productions facilities design, planning and execution of oil and gas projects. Experienced in onshore and offshore pipeline design and construction projects, LNG and oil sand facilities projects, construction project schedules, and contractor evaluations, improvement and safety programs. Geographic areas worked include Europe, the Middle East and the US. Ask for PM415. Procurement Professional with a master's degree in marketing with more than 30 years of experience working for mid-sized to large service companies. Expert in negotiations, international supply chain operations and distribution center management, warehouse operations, and cost efficient logistics management, shipping, and receiving. Also experienced in procurement management for maritime, offshore, oilfield supplies, industrial, fuel, and specialty items sourcing and distribution. Geographic area of experience is the Gulf of Mexico. Software proficiency in SAP. Language proficiency in English, French, and Spanish. Ask for PU803.
Procurement Professional with a master's degree in marketing with more than 30 years of experience working for mid-sized to large service companies. Expert in negotiations, international supply chain operations and distribution center management, warehouse operations, and cost efficient logistics management, shipping, and receiving. Also experienced in procurement management for maritime, offshore, oilfield supplies, industrial, fuel, and specialty items sourcing and distribution. Geographic area of experience is the Gulf of Mexico. Software proficiency in SAP. Language proficiency in English, French, and Spanish. Ask for PU803.
Geophysicist with a bachelor's degree in geology and 42 years of experience working for operators, service companies, and as a consultant. Expert in seismic interpretation. Experienced in field studies, prospect evaluation, sequence stratigraphy, acquisition and processing design for 2-D and 3-D seismic surveys, reprocessing of 2-D and 3-D data, training, and mentoring. Geographic areas worked include the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, Texas, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Trinidad, Namibia, Angola, Nigeria, Turkey, and China. Software proficiency in Landmark Suite and SMT. Ask for GP1082.
Geologist with a doctorate and 38 years of experience with a national oil company, service companies, and in academia. Experienced in geophysical interpretation, integration and modeling of geophysical, well log, petrophysical, and geological data for prospect generation and reservoir characterization; AVO analysis, reservoir modeling and fluid substitution, sequence stratigraphy, core-to-log and log-to-seismic calibration, team supervision, project management, and budgeting and cost control. Geographic areas worked include the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, Latin America, and west Africa. Computer skills include Landmark Z-MAP, GeoQuest, Hampson-Russell, Freelance, and dBase. Ask for GP192.
Geologist with a bachelor's degree in geology and 36 years of experience working for a major E&P company, a small independent, and as a consultant. Experienced in geoscience interpretation, development, exploration prospecting, geologic risk analysis, and integrated field studies. Geographic areas worked include North Dakota, Texas, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico. Software proficiency in SMT, Landmark, Petrel, GeoQuest, and Geographix. Licensed Professional Geologist in the State of Texas. Ask for GG494.
Geologist with a bachelor's degree in geology and 30 years of experience working for service companies and government agencies. Expert in well site and logging geology. Experienced in supervision of data acquisition, log preparation, MWD, LWD, diagnostic flow testing of gas equipment, determination of lithologic and mineralogic characteristics of rock cuttings, correlation of offset well data, and the interpretation of electric wire line logs for open- and cased-hole well evaluation. Geographic areas worked include Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, the Gulf of Mexico, and Alaska. Software proficiency in RigWatch, MYWELLS, Digital Well File, Digital Mud Logging, LogPlot, and GEOPLOT. Certifications include North Slope Survival Training, Radiation Safety for Logging Supervisors, Hazardous Waste Supervisor Certification, and 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Certification. Licensed Professional Geologist in Arkansas, Alaska, Indiana, and Tennessee. Ask for G829.
Geoscientist with a bachelor's degree in geology and over 30 years of experience working for small independents and as a consultant. Expertise in the geophysical and geological evaluation of the U.S. onshore Gulf coast and shallow coastline of the Gulf of Mexico salt domes. Experienced in sequence stratigraphy , 2-D and 3-D seismic interpretation, AVO analysis, log correlation techniques, and subsurface mapping. Additionally experienced in detailed development and re-development of integrated field and reservoir studies. Geographic areas worked include south Louisiana, south Texas, east Texas, and the Gulf of Mexico shelf. Software proficiency in SMT, Landmark, and GeoQuest. Ask for G2199.
Reservoir Engineer with a Ph.D in petroleum engineering over 25 years of oil and gas industry experience working for a major oil and gas company. Experienced in reservoir surveillance, field studies, reservoir simulation, new field development, production forecasting, economic evaluation, reserves evaluation/estimation, and well work-over evaluation/recommendation. Geographic areas worked include Nigeria deepwater and shelf. Software proficiency in EMPOWER and familiarity with GAP, Prosper, MBAL, OFM, Saphir, and WEM. Licensed Professional Engineer in Nigeria. Ask for R1108.
Reservoir Engineer Advisor with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering and 38 years of experience working for an operator, engineering consulting firms, and as an independent consultant. Experienced in reserve evaluation, reservoir studies, unitization, arbitration and legal disputes, completions, recompletions, acquisition analysis, and workovers. Geographic areas worked include Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Ask for R1095.
Reservoir Engineer with a doctorate in civil and environmental engineering and 11 years of experience working for a service company and in research institutions. Experienced in reservoir simulation, CO2 floods, petrophysics, geomechanics, unconventional reservoir recovery, hydraulic fracturing, scanning electron microscopy, fluid migration, sequestration, and energy dispersive spectroscopy. Software proficiency in GALBS and CMG simulators. Geographic areas worked include Texas, North Dakota, and China. Ask for R1109.
Reservoir Engineer with a master's degree in business management and a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering with over 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry working for majors, large independents, service companies, and as an independent consultant. Experienced in business strategy and planning, upstream oil and gas asset appraisal, oil and gas reserves reviews, reservoir performance management, and LNG gas supply due diligence. Geographic areas worked include shale gas plays in North America, West Africa offshore, Middle East, Asia, and South America. Ask for R1107.
Reservoir Engineer with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering and over 35 years of oil and gas industry experience working for consulting companies and small to mid-sized E&P companies. Experienced in evaluating acquisitions and divestitures, property evaluation, negotiations, operations management, exploitation planning, and corporate reserves. Geographic areas worked include the Gulf of Mexico onshore, the Texas Gulf coast, the North Sea, Central and South America, Southeast Asia offshore, and the Adriatic Sea. Software proficiency in PHDWin and familiarity with ARIES. Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. Ask for R1104.
It's Your Decision: Popular or Your Own Best Career
Mind you, the title of this piece is misleading as it is quite possible for a professional in the oil and gas industry to do outstanding work in a very popular area. However, when we talk to individuals about the choices they have made, all too often the conversation revolves around "what's hot" right now.
Some self-test questions:
Most likely the answer will be negative and rightfully so. For somebody or something to achieve a "top ten best" status they have to be seasoned and have to stand the test of time.
Your career works in similar ways. Yes, it is possible to hold a very lucrative position in a high-profile area of our industry and be rewarded very handsomely. This may be very satisfying now and for the near term. The proof is not there whether it does constitute your best possible career. A professional's life-long career will be evaluated in hindsight by how well their talent and expertise matched the depth and value of the results in a given area. This is not something that can be assessed taking a snap shot and looking at the momentary needs and business cycles in our industry.
Below are some questions that will allow you to take personal stock of the career you are pursuing:
And last and very important since it is the measure of all things:
None of the above means that you do not keep up with the trends and tools that are required in your area of expertise. The idea is to utilize all that is required of you for long-term benefits, not short term gains.
Regardless of whether your field is on the commercial, managerial, or technical side - you can probably think of areas that come up less in conversations over lunch, but could, precisely for that reason, create a fantastic opportunity for you to make a difference. These could be:
Winners here will be outstanding performers for a long time in fields that don't make the front page. Good luck finding your own very personal success story.
the Industry's Experts...
Guiding Careers to the Next Level...
Career Management applies
its deep understanding of the career paths of technical professionals in
the E&P and EPC communities to help companies and professionals build
successful organizations and careers. We leverage Collarini's unique
combination of industry knowledge and technical expertise to guide
companies and individuals during transition, training existing employees
for high performance, and designing customized technical training plans
for companies and individuals.
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