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Global oil & gas hiring strong yet troubled by skill shortage

The Hays Oil & Gas Job Index for 1Q 2014 has shown an increase in global hiring trends with key areas seeing significant jumps in job numbers. However, as new projects and business investment lead employers to increase headcount, skill shortages are still affecting recruitment plans.
Global oil & gas hiring strong yet troubled by skill shortage

The Hays Oil & Gas Job Index for 1Q 2014 has shown an increase in global hiring trends with key areas seeing significant jumps in job numbers. However, as new projects and business investment lead employers to increase headcount, skill shortages are still affecting recruitment plans.

Global Managing Director of Hays Oil & Gas, John Faraguna, said, “The first quarter of 2014 has been a strong one globally, with Africa, CIS and North America seeing the biggest hikes in job numbers. Investment in businesses and new technologies to support enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is driving new projects. As a result, optimism is high and we expect to see further growth in 2014. However, as companies look to increase their headcount in specialist, niche areas, employers may struggle to find the talent needed and be forced to fight it out with other companies for these sought after profiles”  

Regional Trends

The Hays Oil & Gas Global Job Index also provides a measure of month-to-month jobs posted by region. The figures from January to March 2014 (Q1) reveal:

AUSTRALASIA

Keeping costs low is a priority for many companies in the region, which has led to a demand for cost engineers and candidates who are able to analyse cost trends, as well as reporting. As the competition for these roles intensifies, wages will begin to rise as companies look to offer competitive salaries to attract their desired candidates.

ASIA

Asia is targeted for growth and is outpacing other regions as it expands. By the year 2035 the energy demand from South East Asia is predicted to grow by 80%, moving the main focus of the oil and gas industry to the east. The strongest of these markets, Singapore, South Korea and China, continue to be the global market leaders.

NORTH AMERICA

Canada has experienced a jump in the Q1 2014 in the upstream sector. Businesses are beginning to invest in highly technical personnel to boost production. Meanwhile in the US the forecasts for Q2 and Q3 look very strong, with businesses looking to relocate to larger premises to accommodate extra headcount.

EUROPE

The European region is experiencing its lowest number of recorded vacancies in the same period for three years. This followed a slight spike in vacancies in January succeeding a quiet December. A record number of decommissions are planned in the North Sea, which has signalled the need for experienced candidates with this background. Europe faces a brain drain as employees are attracted to other regions by lucrative salaries and expat packages.

SOUTH AMERICA

The South American region has recently been ranked as the fourth largest region for investment in the oil and gas industry. Planned investments and budget agreements set for 2014 are expected to give the region a major boost of activity after a slow 2013. The number of vacancies is expected to rise as a result, Companies are looking to increase salaries in order to attract the talent they need to the region.

AFRICA

One of the key challenges found in Africa is finding and retaining talent with like-for-like resource experience. There has been a push to source local talent ahead of foreign candidates, however, with a limited amount of local talent to choose from the region still has to rely heavily on European workers to fill those roles. Nationals from the region of Africa often seek rewarding careers elsewhere and may be unwilling to return to the region for employment.

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES (CIS)

As a result of several large projects surrounding pipeline construction the local job market has been given a boost. Demand for various profiles, including Drilling and Pipeline Supervisors, has been driven by the recent pick up in projects. The deal agreed recently between Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporate to supply gas to Chinese markets is expected to lead to further investment in the region.

MIDDLE EAST

Staffing levels are expected to increase in places such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. The Middle East is another region that where bonuses and benefits may need to increase in order to attract and retain talent. The increase in hiring is necessary in order to keep up with the investment and flow of new jobs in the region.

About the Hays Oil & Gas Job Index

The job index, which charts the number of jobs posted on nine oil and gas job portals across the world, rose to a high of 1.65 in the Q1 2014, a substantial increase from the end of last quarters’ index of 1.31 and on par with the year-on-year score of 1.68.

The Index was established in October 2010 when it was set at 1; all subsequent months have been compared to this benchmark. Many of the regions are facing an increase in hiring for 2014 and in order to attract top talent in competitive markets, are increasing salaries and benefit packages. 

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