With the focus in the oil and gas markets across the world of becoming more efficient and easier for customers to deal with, many organizations are planning on getting more short-term return on investment from their SAP implementation projects. Many of these may began longer than 18 months ago and some organizations are leveraging this investment with the addition of modules and the growing trend of mobilizing the applications for use in the field.
Petroplan is a specialist global recruitment business in the energy sector and as well as helping organizations hiring engineering specialists, it is heavily involved in attracting and recruiting IT and SAP consultants for this sector. We thought we’d share some of our insights on the challenges and opportunities for both the candidates and employers who are interested in SAP careers today.
Despite a downturn there are still SAP opportunities in oil, gas and energy companies
Josh Lee, a senior recruitment consultant at Petroplan who focuses solely on SAP positions for this market at Petroplan provides here just some of his candidate insights whether applying for business, functional, developer of basis consultant roles.
The same basic job requirements apply in the energy sector
Employers in the energy sector are no different to the 9 out 0f 10 Fortune 500s who need SAP expertise. To achieve the desired remuneration candidates need to demonstrate:
For the hiring managers and recruitment teams finding the best talent in this discipline is still challenging. The practitioners who have remained in-house during the downturn particularly in the Houston oil capital are in-demand. With job insecurity a constant backdrop many professionals have tried the consultancy route.
To entice a smart SAP professional to a new role, especially those with mobile experience, the organization’s reputation both in the discipline and as an employer of choice become really important.
Recruiting experts like Petroplan can ascertain a candidate’s motivations and perceptions as candidates are often more likely to be candid with a third party. Remuneration is important but as with all highly skilled professionals their perception of the nature of the work, its impact on their career growth and the stability of the team and its place in the organization are all decision-forming factors.
To find out more about SAP talent in Houston contact us [email protected] or call +1 832 779 4610
The perception of finding the perfect candidate for employers or the dream role if you are a candidate is that the process should be programmatic to allow for fair evaluation of candidates. However, just like employers spend time and energy on candidate attraction through honing their employer brand and spreading the message through recruitment communications campaigns, candidates don’t have to follow the tried and tested route of submitting a CV or completing an application form.
Petroplan, is a global recruitment business specializing in oil,gas and energy talent. The market in which we operate has been hit hard by the downturn in oil prices over the last 18 months and we have seen candidates increasingly make their personal brand stand out both online but also in other ways.
Our specialist recruiter for Subsea engineering received an intriguing package through the post. It was an application to register with the agency but not a letter or a CV rather a box which contained a mini figure character. The applicant is Brett Clarke, a subsea engineer with 10 years experience and a multidiscipline background. This candidate is available due to the market downturn in Aberdeen where he has been working as a Senior Project Engineer.
This approach shows not only creativity and an appreciation of his personal brand but has inspired us to share his idea to the benefit of other oil and gas professionals who are looking to stand-out in a crowded job seeker market.
So although Brett’s skills are impressive having worked on Inspection, Repair and Maintenance workscopes through to full turnkey projects using procedural documentation to ensure the operation runs smoothly, his direct response mailing illustrates his tenacity to get the job done – this time closing his next career move.
We think he’s a great hire but we haven’t found him the perfect role yet and we’d love to get him back offshore.
Instead of ticking boxes he has made a box himself. C
ontact [email protected] for your Brett box. He is happy to consider staff or contract positions. Brett has gone the extra mile to get himself noticed so we want to go the extra mile to get him his next job.
The oil and gas market is a turbulent place to be and has been since mid-2014. With companies making cutbacks to keep operations profitable on the lower price for a barrel of oil, jobs have had to be cut and workers are understandably nervous.
Global job losses have exceeded the 250,000 mark internationally, with a staggering 65,000 jobs cut from Britain’s oil sector.
At Petroplan, we carried out a study on over 1,500 people working, unemployed or retired from the oil and gas industry to see what matters most to workers in this market now that there is such instability.
Andrew Spears, CEO of Petroplan, commented “there are times when cuts have to be made, but oil and gas organisations have been cutting hard and fast.” As a result, candidates can be reassured that these rash cuts will be undone when the market picks up, at which point workers will be worth much more.
There are jobs out there, but the cuts have made people working in the industry on both a contract and permanent basis, nervous. Reassuringly, our study found that 46% of people felt secure or very secure in their roles, with only 24% concerned about their position.
As a candidate, where you’re located has a significant influence on how secure you feel in your role. 44% of respondents based in the Middle East felt confident in their position, while the figure was less than half this in the UK at just 14%.
Given the state of the oil and gas market, candidates have been facing much more competition as the number of people applying for jobs has increased significantly. Almost 90% of respondents admitted to looking for new roles and this shows the insecurity in the market because 83% of these people were already employed.
Despite market insecurity, candidates’ own confidence is running high because 56% of people would happily change roles if a better opportunity came along. Over 60% of respondents would recommend a position in the oil, gas and energy industry to a friend with 41% feeling very positive about their career.
Reassuringly, of the people who were surveyed, 51% were employed with another 18% working on a contractual basis. The highest proportion of people work in Engineering (18%) and Maintenance and Inspection (9%), but HESQ (9%), Project management (6%) and Commissioning and operations (6%) were also popular fields to specialise in.
94% of respondents have faith that the oil and gas industry is cyclical and will recover. When it does, companies will have to make sure they’re offering the most competitive packages and rewards to attract the high-calibre candidates.
While people are positive and loyal to the oil, gas and energy industry, there is little loyalty to companies themselves. What most people are looking for from their employer is a competitive basic pay rate, an appropriate contract length to offer job security and a reliable health plan, especially when working overseas where private medical insurance is vital.
Training is essential to a career in the oil, gas and energy industry and this was the feeling among respondents too. Almost half of the people under 29 said that training was much more important than the health plan or the length of the contract when it came to choosing a position. If companies are making cutbacks, training is an area that suffers, so when looking for your next role it is worth noting whether they offer this as part of the position.
With 63% of respondents agreeing that there is a skills shortage where they’ve been working, training will undoubtedly become more prominent on oil and gas projects in the future. Fortunately, almost 60% of clients that responded to our survey said that they would be investing more into training schemes.
It is only a matter of time before the industry recovers, which should reassure experts in this market. What is key is to ensure that the position you choose offers the right benefits for you, because at the end of the day, these giant corporations are relying on your talent.
The infographic below displays some of the stats in the ‘Talent Insight Index 2016: An annual barometer for the Oil, Gas and Energy Industry’.
For the full report visit https://www.petroplan.com/about/talent-insight-index-2016/
Petroplan prides itself in being one of the best oil, gas and energy recruitment companies. As a result we run great recruitment marketing campaigns to ensure we keep in touch with candidates around the world.
We’d like to share some of our findings from these campaigns in order to help employers get better results from their candidate attraction investment.
We have tested our results below by running ads targeted to approximately 1 million people using the key advertising networks including but not limited to Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) Google Ads, website placements (per impression), e-mails and more.
It’s simple but remember the people you want to reach with your marketing campaign:
The most important part of advertising is the actual content of the advert itself. The best way to grow your engagement with your ad is, simply, to give the people what they are looking for. Take notice of the types of information, images and messages your audience shares and use this as your starting point to catch their attention.
We ran an online advertising test and analysed a number of Facebook profiles (about 2000) by looking at what people post and developed an ad based on what they were sharing and engaging with the most.
Result: This ad had a viral effect – reaching over 600.000 people organically, as almost every person interacted with it. This caused a lot more reach of the ad as all the people that interacted with the ad had friends who saw their interactions and engaged with the ad as well.
Finding out what people want, especially all over the world, gives you a better chance of successfully running your advertising campaigns. There is still room to be creative when attracting applications from candidates across the world but with the backdrop of a short attention opportunity, different levels of language fluency and the cultural implications of images, less is more!
Finally, be clear of the key characteristics of your audience to avoid wastage. If you really only want to attract people from a certain part of the world, with particular experience beware of the temptation to reach a broader target audience even though more eyes may see your brand’s advert. Serving irrelevant ads will likely damage your brand appeal and cost you unnecessary budget.
Petroplan prides itself in its use of social media to build trust and interact with job seekers in order to improve the candidate experience. Employers also benefit from this approach as applicants are positively predisposed to finding out about roles that Petroplan represents due to their commitment to keeping in touch with candidates early in the process to ensure a good fit. Even though taking the decision to move positions is more involved for professionals in the oil, gas and energy industry due to factors such as location, time away from families and work requirements (visas, work permits etc), social media has proven itself to be a great communication platform to be constantly available for contact, support and questions for the curious candidate.
This article covers not only the role of social media in paving the way for useful contact with recruiters by candidates but also the continuing importance of conversation beyond initial social media contact for applicants. Read on to see how we see the roles for social media and conversation in placing the right candidates with the most appropriate positions.
The evolution of social media has opened up the opportunity for two-way engagement between recruiters and candidates. From a recruiter perspective, social media provides us with another platform to directly engage with individuals who may be passive candidates. It also enables us to gather a more well-rounded initial understanding of a candidate, beyond simply reviewing a CV.
Social media not only increases candidates’ ability to be found by prospective employers, it also provides them with an instant outlet to express their opinions and engage directly about their experiences with recruiters. We believe recruiters should welcome this as feedback; this is a way the industry can sense-check that it is meeting candidate needs and that communication via social media is received in the way it was intended.
However, social media engagement between candidates and recruiters should be regarded as an early step in the candidate journey. Qualifying beyond the initial information shared online still needs a conversation, especially with regards to the specialist roles we recruit for in the oil, gas and energy industry.
The nature of social media as a form of instant communication means recruitment agencies need to be nimble in how they respond to often public requests. In line with this, recruitment agencies have a responsibility to ensure that their own employees have a thorough understanding of how to use social media appropriately when addressing both candidates and clients.
Many recruiters use the tools from LinkedIn to engage with prospective candidates, which has a professional and structured feel. However, recruiters should use more caution and adapt their approach accordingly when engaging via less formal platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Social media can be a fantastic tool for accessing the passive candidate pool, and this seems to be the preferred method for proactive recruiters. However LinkedIn, for example, in some sectors, is becoming overcrowded with recruiters and as a results top-level talent is beginning to find ways of hiding itself in order to avoid being constantly bombarded with Inmails.
We firmly believe that candidates value access to recruiters who understand their situation and welcome an in-depth discussion around the specifics of a given role. In our experience, human-to-human contact is what reassures candidates that we understand what is involved in a placement which, due to the nature of the energy industry, is often in unfamiliar or remote locations.
Whether these conversations take place via phone, video conference or in person, this human-to-human interaction gives both parties verbal and non-verbal cues that build trust and understanding.
Social media is a valuable platform for engaging with candidates and often acts to reinforce their impression of the value of the recruiter. For recruitment professionals, it can be an effective tool for communicating with new and existing talent in an efficient way.
However, due to social media’s need for brevity it is never a substitute for the personal touch that face-to-face or conversations allow. The oil, gas and energy industry is a sector that is particularly reliant on personal skills such as team-building and leadership. Therefore it’s crucial that we, as recruiters, have an understanding of the personalities of candidates, which cannot be established through social media alone.
Meeting candidates in person requires a significant investment of time from both candidates and recruiters. But this is a worthwhile investment because of the relationship and trust it enables both parties to develop. Face-to-face meetings also provide a further opportunity to balance the insight already gained through earlier stage recruitment methods, to ascertain a candidate’s likely fit with an organisation. In the latter stages of the application process, most employers still require a formal job interview to not only further investigate candidates’ skills, behaviour and values in a real social situation, but also to build their employer brand in the eyes of the applicant.
We believe successful recruitment should use a combination of tools and channels during the course of the candidate journey and that the chosen communication methods relate to the depth of information required by a candidate. Social media is relevant throughout the process, particularly in early engagement and keeping in touch. However, when a candidate is engaged with a recruiter and focused on an opportunity – it’s good to talk.
The recruiters are the first people that will review your CV, and we have a large professional team at Petroplan, who go through this process everyday.
We have asked them to put together their Top 5 Tips for formatting CV’s to improve the job seeker’s chance of becoming noticed amongst the hundreds of applications most recruiters see everyday.
We have included an example CV below that you can use for formatting your future CVs.
You can read the article and download the template here:
In today’s struggle between short-term plans and long-term strategies, decommissioning understandably slides down the corporate agenda. But, as Kenny Dooley, Regional Director of Petroplan argues here, preparing now can bring huge dividends later, and elevate decommissioning from cost centre to centre of excellence.
Decommissioning oil and gas assets is an activity that is particularly sensitive to price signals. Current signals are telling operators to prioritise investment into efficient production and extending the lifecycle of existing infrastructure, in order to maximise reserves prior to decommissioning assets.
But decommissioning is not a subject that can be held off for very much longer. Decom North Sea suggests that there are approximately 450 rigs and wells in the North Sea due to come out of service between now and 2030 – with an associated cost of £30 billion.
In fact, the region has already seen some small-scale but nonetheless significant decommissioning projects successfully completed – when the oil price was more favourable. More recently, Royal Dutch Shell announced it was to begin consulting on plans to take the first of its Brent platforms out of service. Fairfield has also stated its plans to decommission the Dunlin Alpha platform, while BP and ConocoPhillips have embarked on a major project to remove a number of Southern North Sea assets by early 2020.
With the oil price hovering around $60 a barrel, decommissioning in the North Sea has certainly lost some of its initial momentum. But this is an area that promises significant dividends if that momentum can be maintained: not only for individual operators, but for the North Sea industry as a whole. The UK has the potential to become a global centre of excellence in decommissioning, which could provide a substantial source of revenue for some time to come.
One of the factors that distinguishes this downturn from previous slumps is the recognition that long-term planning does not suddenly stop in the face of immediate crisis. The current market situation will not last forever, and ensuring a business can take advantage of an upturn in price is a fundamental aspect of surviving a downturn.
So, when the price ticks up again, we can expect decommissioning to move back up the corporate agenda. However, forward-thinking operators already recognise that decommissioning in the North Sea brings with it a unique set of challenges, and that early preparation is essential if those challenges are to be met.
The most obvious of these is that decommissioning in the harsh environment of the North Sea is something of a blank slate. Projects already completed were on a much smaller scale than will be required in the future. It has already been demonstrated that there is currently no large body of experience and no ready cohort of decommissioning experts waiting for a phone call.
Even engineers who have experience of decommissioning platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and other shallow waters, may not have skills that are directly transferable for a North Sea project. That’s before the decommissioning agenda smashes up against another universal truth of an oil price downturn: the permanent reduction in available headcount for the UK North Sea. When margins are under pressure and production is squeezed, there will always be a risk that a percentage of the workforce relocates overseas or leaves the industry for good.
The UK’s decommissioning projects might be a low priority right now, but finding the talent to carry them out isn’t. It requires an extensive network of candidates who have experience in a wide variety of roles and situations in order to build the right kind of skill base.
In these circumstances, securing the right people necessary to complete a safe and compliant decommissioning project places significant pressure on HR departments. It requires time and resourcefulness, both to understand and develop the attributes, experience and knowledge required by the recruiter, and the real experience on offer from potential contractors. It requires a creative approach to aligning expertise, experience and personal attributes with the requirements of the new roles – the right skills are available, but they may not be in the most obvious of places.
There will inevitably be some cross-over from similar roles in other areas of the industry, and with time it will be possible to get the right fit between people and projects. For example, it is likely that project managers, project engineers, supervisors, NDT technicians and planning engineers will all be needed in newly formed decommissioning teams.
Another possibility is to work with engineers who have decommissioning experience in other areas, such as renewables. This is obviously a much bigger step to take, and raises questions around qualification and certification, and how far these can or should be transferable. These discussions are not yet being had by operators or even industry bodies – but when the conversation turns back to decommissioning, operators who have the richest sources of potential contractors will be the ones to benefit.
For many, the decommissioning debate has come at just the wrong time. The combination of aging assets, the high cost associated with exploration activity, and a spectacular drop in price is just the triple whammy that everyone wanted to avoid.
But there is a positive side. This could pave the way for creating a centre of excellence in the UK for decommissioning practice. In fact, this is the real prize on offer: the reward for forward-thinking, strategic planning and smart recruiting. Graduates entering the industry now could spend their entire career in decommissioning.
The North Sea may be the first harsh environment requiring extensive decommissioning, but it won’t be the last. The short-term goal is to decommission 450 rigs by 2030. The long-term vision goes far beyond that. The blank slate that is causing recruitment problems now can be the foundation on which a whole new industry sector is built. That’s good for the workforce, it’s good for operators, and it’s good for UK plc.
We take a look at this common view here, and determine whether employers really approach recruitment in this way.
Today’s potential and employed candidates don’t have one eye on the job market, they are getting on with their lives and often need their current position to become dissatisfactory before they start actively job hunting. The most appropriate candidates are therefore most likely to be, as we call it in the recruitment world, ‘passive’. Many jobseekers who have tried looking for work actively in the past, may have also come to some conclusions about how employers recruit that may work against how recruiters source talent. Read our thoughts on the impact of these common perceptions.
It is assumed that the ‘Employers of Choice’ don’t need to advertise positions as through the amount of prospective applications received they have a large talent pool to call on, or they tend to head hunt people who are already working in other organisations deemed to have a great reputation. This perception has impacted both the behaviour of potential candidates and employers. Ambitious workers have therefore taken to building their personal brand online in order to get noticed when recruiters are looking to source new talent. However, most people only pay attention to their online profiles in places such as Linked In or their registrations on job boards when they take the decision to seek out a new role.
With employers’ continued investment in direct recruiting, which to a large extent can involve searching for profiles online, many brilliant incumbent professionals do not come to the attention of recruiters. So good companies do find great people, but may miss those who are less findable online.
While looking for a job, a candidate will review and consider a number of job positions, based solely on the information he or she finds published on the job.
Much job hunting occurs on job boards and in professional communities such as LinkedIn. Many of these display the number of applications already received for the job advert on their website. High numbers of applications against a job advert can put off good candidates from applying.
Seeing 250+ applications on a job, will not motivate a candidate to apply for a job as this reduces the chances of the application even being read. So this kind of job advertising can be counter-productive for certain roles.
However, organisations do see the value of advertising not only to build their brand in the eyes of an appropriate target audience, but also to attract enough applications from candidates outside their current employment market to allow them to reach a large enough number of candidates to meet their recruitment requirement. It is always worth applying for a role, as even if there are many applications, recruiters use sophisticated tools to identify the most relevant CVs with the use of key word searching. Take note then that your application should include the best description of your skills and experience.
The fact that an active candidate is around 52% satisfied with his position, and a passive one is around 80% satisfied, should make them less desirable, however this is not the case. Their satisfaction is likely to be the result of feeling valued and receiving positive feedback and reward for their contribution in their current organisation. Although advertising is a valuable source of branding for the hiring organisation, recruiters of more senior and professional roles are looking to efficiently reach the best candidates rather than sifting through many CVs whose content can vary in quality and relevance.
There is another “hidden” reason for looking mainly for passive candidates – companies really like to impact their competition – but often this means an industry suffers from talent fatique, where the same individuals work around that market meaning talent with additional experience and skills are often overlooked or just not visible when recruiters are undertaking their searches.
When you consider this last point, great recruiters will search more broadly to ensure an organisation’s talent acquisition is refreshed so their client can move forward by employing people who will give them a competitive advantage bringing knowledge and practices from other markets.
So is the perception that those who are not looking to find a new role are likely to add more value to an organisation true?
Not looking for a new position does not guarantee that an employee is necessarily more talented than a person who takes an active role in their own career development, as in all things there is a balance. If you are reading this article and are not currently looking for a job, it is worth making yourself more findable just in case your job is good but not great!
Our last recommendation is that you are not passive about your career and make sure you can be found even if you are busy doing a great job!
Social Recruiting in 2015 is something that happened without anyone meaning it to.
The current trends in the recruitment industry are pointing more and more towards the use of social media in recruitment for candidates to find jobs as well as recruiters looking for candidates.
A recent survey by the Jobvite recruitment company shows that 73% of hiring managers are investing more and more in their organisation’s social media presence. This is pointing towards a coming of age of this recruitment trend and defines what seems to be a shift in what social recruiting is in 2015.
We thought we’d wade into the debate on social recruiting in 2015 to share our knowledge on how candidates and recruiters can be more successful utilising the power of building and connecting with the right communities across the plethora of social media channels.
The current trends in digital recruitment marketing reinforce the idea that candidates have to be on major social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This is, however, a trend that might not last long. Looking for jobs or candidates on what are considered alternative social media networks might yield better results.
There is really high competition for finding your company or you as a candidate on major social media networks as everyone is there. Especially for tech-savvy or specialist roles in your industry, going to specific networks is a better plan.
For example, XING allows job postings – so candidates can look for jobs as well as apply for jobs through this channel. Using this approach comes with less competition for jobs – this is beneficial for candidates as well as less hassle for recruiters.
At the moment, a large proportion of job postings for professional roles and applications happen on LinkedIn. However, although this is a great channel to engage with organisations and candidates; it isn’t the only route for the future.
Increasingly, job searches by candidates on Facebook and Twitter are happening. The survey referenced here for example found that:
Engagement in these channels illustrates that it is not only passive job seekers that you reach but active recruitment activity is seen as acceptable by the communities using these normally very personal networks.
If you are a candidate, we recommend you follow the companies’ pages. Often jobs appear on these sites more quickly than on job boards. So if you have an employer in mind, you’ll not only get a sense of their employer brand and culture but also find a way to apply quickly, often reaching the hiring manager directly.
However, due to the advertising strategies behind Facebook and Twitter, not all posts are seen by all users that are following a user or have liked a page. So be sure to actually visit the pages you follow regularly to check for updates.
According to an annual social media recruitment survey conducted by CareerBuilder in 2015, the percentage of companies that depends on social networking sites to review job applicants’ profile has grown up to 52% compared to the previous year’s 43%. With figures like these you can be sure that social media has had a major influence in the 2015 recruiting process, and will continue to grow in 2016.
The Holy Grail for recruiters is, of course, better applications from fewer candidates reducing the time-to-hire and increasing the quality of those applicants being assessed. This de-clutters their application process and keeps them focused on quickly adding value to their business. So although you might think that adding the number of places where candidates can access job adverts would increase the workload of recruiters – it doesn’t. As many forward thinking organisations have automated filtering systems at the point of application.
Social recruiting opens up the ability to click on a link not to upload your CV somewhere but perhaps complete an initial online screening test building both the candidate’s experience of the brand and allowing a fairer comparison of an applicant’s suitability.
Most jobs will have requirement beyond the job specification, such as coming up with ideas that require “outside of the box thinking”– this is not just in the remit of design engineers – applying for a job through channels outside job boards and professional networks such as LinkedIn due to reduced competition will give your profile a better chance of being seen.
However, once you are found, recruiters will likely refer to the usual places to review your profile so make sure these are also up-to-date. Employers, even where technical skills or those which require compliance to standards, will still look to see ‘what you are like’ so being mindful and proactive on perfecting your online profile is really important.
Although many recruiters will use job posting automation which may include social sites, reviewing specialist community sites and advertising roles in these places can be fruitful to find passive as well as the active candidates that job sites and professional networks yield.
Receiving applications on these additional channels can give a deeper understanding of the candidate beyond their skill set, such as their wish to become a subject matter expert or opinion leader, all skills employers prize.
Social recruiting in 2015 is coming of age for recruitment due to a demand from both candidates and recruiters.
Candidates are expecting an ever-improving digital candidate experience from employers and recruitment agencies, plus these potential job-seekers are ever more welcoming of engagement from recruiters in their communities.
For recruiters, benefiting from these accessible potential jobseekers is becoming easier to manage and measure due to their access to improved recruiting platforms, reporting tools and applications – neither candidates nor recruiters can ignore the importance of their online brand and social channels as a mainstream route to a new career.
Social recruiting in 2016 will bring a major change – possibly even integrating social media directly with CV’s and profiles all in one place in many more online places.
Social Media is still social but just make sure you remove the job position of “CEO of Batman” from your Facebook profile and replace it with your actual job if you want to get a better one. We are looking!
Narcis ‘Nachos’ Radoi has worked in online/digital marketing and promotion for over 9 years and is one of the Klout top 100 experts talking about Marketing and Digital Marketing, HootSuite Certified Social Media Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certified and Google PPC / Bing Search Certified. He is currently the Global Digital Marketing Executive for Petroplan – a global recruitment company with almost 40 years of experience, specialising in the oil, gas and energy fields.