Moving with the company to better fill its needs

 Issue

Sasol is an international integrated chemicals and energy company that leverages technologies and the expertise of over 30, 300 people working in 33 countries. It develops and commercialises technologies, and builds and operates world-scale facilities to produce a range of high-value product streams, including liquid fuels, chemicals and low-carbon electricity.

Sasol’s upstream business has licences to drill  gas wells in Mozambique, and was looking for support in sourcing candidates to fill specific roles (both in the field and back-office) in its gas exploration operations. These included support roles (e.g. legal, finance and HR), geoscientists, engineers, project control specialists, and site construction managers, as well as roles in supply chain and logistics.

Those working in the field in Mozambique face environmental hardships such as heat and mosquitos, and the country has also experienced political unrest in recent years, which adds to the challenge of recruitment in the oil and gas sector.

Furthermore, the South African government is keen for local workers to be recruited ahead of expatriates in industrial sectors such as oil and gas. Sasol was working within this nationalisation drive, but faced challenges recruiting into the downstream side of its business thanks to national skills shortages.

Sasol began working with Petroplan’s UK office in late 2008

Insight

Petroplan leverages its lengthy experience and comprehensive expertise in filling niche energy roles, and its extensive global network of candidates, in order to add value to Sasol’s recruitment.

In order to ensure it was as close as possible to both candidates and the market, Petroplan also established an office in Cape Town in early 2011 and a second office in Maputo in 2016. By moving with Sasol, Petroplan has been better able to support the company.

Petroplan takes care of all aspects of mobilisation for Sasol, including verification of certificates (vital in the safety-centred oil and gas industry), checking work history and following up references. When sourcing talent from outside of the sub-Saharan Africa region, Petroplan also deals with visa applications and flights.

By making itself available and working quickly to source suitable candidates, Petroplan has maintained the highest level of service delivery to both Sasol and contractors for almost a decade.

One real-life example was when Petroplan filled a drilling fluids specialist role for Sasol. The successful candidate was contacted, interviewed the next day via Skype interview, accepted the following day and the medical was signed off in the following 2 days. From end to end, mobilisation took place within two weeks.

Impact

Since 2008, Petroplan has made over 200 placements at Sasol, at the company’s offices in the UK, as well as at its offices and other sites in Johannesburg and Mozambique.

These placements are often for roles that are challenging to recruit for in the region, and have included candidates from around the world, not just sub-Saharan Africa, selected as the best in their particular professional discipline.

This success has also come latterly against the backdrop of a significant and on-going fall in global oil prices and very challenging business context for the upstream oil and gas sector.


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