Executive Search in Oil and Gas

Executive Search is a co-operative process, with Petroplan and the client working in close collaboration to achieve optimal results. We are conscious that recruitment is a critical client investment and mindful of the importance to get it right – so that time and effort are not wasted, and (ultimately) project efficiencies are not compromised. Petroplan’s recruitment methodology is subject to a rigorous and externally audited Quality Management system that is ISO 9001:2008 compliant. The search assignment is tailored closely to each client’s individual requirements, underpinned always by the following key deliverables:

In-depth Understanding

For us the first step is to understand in depth the client’s need, the requirements of the role and the type of person that would fit with the client’s corporate culture. For business-critical positions it is important that we have a thorough understanding of the requirement – not only in order to find the right person – but also because we will be acting as ambassadors for our client and speaking to a select group of technical leaders. So it is important that we represent the client positively and project messages that are aligned with how they want to be perceived amongst skilled industry professionals.

Market Mapping

In any market conditions, finding the perfect candidate for a high-level, niche role requires a thorough and detailed approach. Our research process is closely aligned with our client’s requirements, where we identify all the potential candidates in the desired market – both passive and active. We source the best available talent to present to our client through rigorous research processes, which continue right up until an offer is made. Until a candidate has accepted a position, given notice and begun the transition process, Petroplan maintains and develops a contingency candidate pipeline.

Identification of Suitable Candidates

Through exhaustive research of the targeted markets, Petroplan puts together a picture of available talent at each target company. This is achieved through web-based research across multiple platforms and sensitive in-person approaches to well-situated individuals. Our exceptional oil and gas technical knowledge strengthens our credibility when approaching high end industry professionals.

Approach and Initial Engagement

We ensure we provide accurate information to candidates about projected recruitment and onboarding timelines. Managing their expectations is critical in providing a superior candidate experience that they will recommend to their peer group. We are well-prepared when we contact a candidate and take all necessary precautions to protect their confidentiality as well as the client’s. We always make a point of positioning our client as an ’employer of choice’.

Rigorous Candidate Screening

Our discipline-specific recruitment teams immerse themselves completely in their areas of specialism. Therefore our Executive Search services are underpinned by an exceptional level of technical knowledge and experience; with our teams able to qualify candidates to a very high technical level. We take very seriously our obligation to warrant the competency and suitability of the personnel we supply to our clients; therefore qualification and accreditation checking is a critical element of our service.

Agency Interviews

We set an appropriate “tone” for an Executive Search interview. A positive atmosphere allows assessment of the candidate’s true persona. This helps us to make an informed assessment of key criteria such as career drivers, personal circumstances and interpersonal skills. Where required, we will set a more formal tone in order to learn how a potential candidate performs under stress. We can also include scenario-based questioning as required.

We will also explore evidence of strategic career planning (or lack thereof). “Opportunity based” moves or entrepreneurial ventures into more uncertain but potentially rewarding situations are all valuable personality indicators. Equally, the candidate’s level of interest in the position indicates their key motivators and helps us to assess their potential success and satisfaction in the client’s organisation.

Delivery of Shortlist

We will provide our client with a thorough and objective recommendation on each candidate’s suitability in the form of an Executive Profile; based on the in depth agency interview.

Client Facing Interviews

We arrange all interviews, travel and accommodation – to ensure a seamless candidate experience that reflects well on our client. We schedule regular client updates with to review the progress of the search and candidate quality. The process remains flexible throughout, to allow for any adjustments to the search that may arise from the interview process.

Offer Management

Managing expectations on both sides is critical in Executive Search. We brief our client with any information that may impact the candidate’s final decision. This may include information about any competitive offers, where the candidate agrees to share these details. We ensure we understand where the client is comfortable pitching an offer and what compensation package the candidate is targeting. We therefore find common ground upon which to recommend the appropriate offer to the client.

Petroplan sensitively manages the relationship with unsuccessful candidates – maintaining contact with candidates who performed well in the interview process. In this way, we continue to build an active candidate ‘hot list’ for an individual client whose requirements we understand.


We support successful candidates throughout the offer process. We prepare them to give notice in as non-confrontational way as possible, and to be ready for a potential counter offer. Petroplan also provides relocation support, as we are experienced in placing international candidates making a life-changing move for their families.

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