Petroplan Insights

How to build a successful career in the energy sector

How to build a successful career in the energy sector

23 Apr 2021

The oil, gas and energy sector presents unique opportunities for professionals at every stage of their career. It’s a rewarding industry with huge growth potential and with the rise of renewable energy, there’s a range of devising ways to succeed in this exciting industry. Petroleum engineers, for example, are high in demand and oil and gas companies are always searching for new contractors. However, preparing for the interview and securing the role are just the first steps. Throughout your career, you need to keep honing your skills and continue to prove that you’re an indispensable employee. But what sets the best professionals apart? A strong desire to perform and a positive mindset are what enables people to excel. With the right attitude and expertise, there’s no reason why you can’t climb the ladder. Read on to learn more about how you can enjoy a successful career in the energy sector.


Improve your soft skills

The oil, gas and energy sector has faced many challenges in recent years. When it comes to professional development and growth in this industry, learning ‘hard skills’ such as forecasting and project management, are often the main focus. However, to have a successful career in the long term, professionals must build on their soft skills. The oil downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated trends in the market, such as digital transformation, which means it’s all the more important that energy professionals develop their soft skills to enable them to embrace change and handle new challenges. 


For example, as technology has begun to dominate the industry, there is a greater need for professionals with critical thinking and problem-solving skills. With many companies trying to capitalise on the rise of electric power and new technologies, it’s become all the more important that energy professionals have a global mindset and understand the importance of clean energy transitions. Soft skills will always be highly regarded because of how diverse the workplace can be – so they should be a priority for every professional.


Learn to specialise

Becoming a specialist or a generalist in your career is an age-old debate, present in every industry. In the energy sector, however, it’s important to become an expert in a particular area, but have a well-rounded point of view. This means understanding the “big picture”, how the processes flow and connect to your role. For example, the main responsibility of a geologist is to investigate the Earth’s natural resources, collect data and advise on site selection – but they need to understand the engineering process to ensure their examinations are valid. Specialisation allows professionals to have more of a focus and hone their expertise over time. Petroleum engineers, for example, are divided into several different types, including exploitation engineers and drilling engineers. Becoming an expert means you will build more depth of understanding and even position yourself as a thought leader.



Success in any industry is largely dependent on the pool of information or ideas you have learnt from other people in the past. That’s why networking is incredibly important for career growth. It’s vital to build a professional network of trusted and valuable individuals, including colleagues and influential people in the industry. One of the best ways to grow your network is by attending conferences and events, and joining professional trade organisations where you will gain access to an exhaustive network of contacts. Alternatively, you could develop your energy network online, which can be a much more efficient way of building your reputation. For example, LinkedIn has become the ideal platform for building professional networks. It enables continuous growth and the opportunity to join groups. Beyond LinkedIn, however, there are plenty of ways to expand your network. Consider creating a personal website that showcases your achievements and provide details about how people in the energy sector can connect with you. Networking provides an avenue for new opportunities, meeting high-profile professionals from the same career path can serve and support your career growth. Always tap into your network at each stage of your career journey.


Set achievable goals

One of the key elements of career management is planning and goal setting. To make real progress in the energy sector, professionals should set relevant goals that are meaningful and achievable. When you’re busy at work and focused on the details, it can be easy to lose track of your wider objectives and career ambitions. There are hundreds of challenging positions in the oil, gas and energy sector, so make sure your goals are clear, detailed and measurable. For example, if you want to switch from a drilling engineer to an energy driller, you could set milestones along the way that address the key skills you’ve gained that help toward your goal. When professionals have goals, it’s much easier to stay motivated and reach the next level.


Petroplan can help grow your career in the energy sector

The energy sector remains an important and relevant industry in the 21st century and is an excellent career choice for the right kind of professional. At Petroplan, we’ve had years of success recruiting and consulting into the energy and oil and gas sectors for both permanent and contract hire roles. We’ve invested heavily in the renewable sector, recruiting professionals into a wide range of roles. We’re also specialists in the commercial and technology sectors. As a talent and workforce solutions agency, we provide high-quality recruitment consultancy and we take a personalised approach. Our consultants are always up-to-date on the latest trends in the market. Take a further look at our client services here or contact us to find out more about the energy sector and how we can help you develop your career.


How to improve your network in the energy business

09 Apr 2021

The energy sector is a massive industry with a wide variety of professionals in different roles – which means there are always opportunities to meet people and build your network. In the energy sector, strong and positive relationships are vital. The value of improving your network is in building relationships and creating a community of people in the same industry. It’s all too easy to take a passive approach and expect our network to develop on its own, but professionals with strong networks make the effort to connect and reach out to new people. There’s a range of ways to build new relationships and create a quality network. The below tips will help you make the most of your network in the energy sector. 


Connect on LinkedIn

Over the years, LinkedIn has become one of the best tools for networking. In building your network, you want your LinkedIn profile to be diverse and focused, with connections to people in the energy sector or to people who have expertise. If you’re just starting on LinkedIn or haven’t been concentrating on it, send connection requests to people with a personalised message to introduce yourself and add context. When it comes to networking, you should also try to engage and reconnect with old contacts, rather than relying on strangers. These contacts can be an excellent way to re-establish a relationship and support each other’s careers.


One of the best ways to make your LinkedIn profile stand out is by asking for a recommendation from people you have worked with, as well as engaging with other people’s posts. It’s not enough to simply add people to your network. Interacting with your connections and engaging regularly by sharing valuable content will help you build stronger relationships with the energy professionals in your network. Linked Jetpack has outlined a few different examples of recommendations in a blog post, which shows the value of having other people vouch for your skills and success. Recommendations show that you’re a trusted and well-respected professional, and they’re a great way of maintaining relationships.


Attend industry events

Industry events and conferences provide an excellent opportunity to expand your network. At these events, you’ll have the chance to meet like-minded people and engage with industry leaders. In the energy sector, there’s a wide range of industry events that professionals can attend. For example, the Society of Petroleum Engineers is the largest member organisation for oil and gas professionals worldwide, and they advertise several different events and training courses, bringing professionals together from all around the world. Furthermore, one of the most well-known oil and gas events is the Offshore Technology Conference, which is sponsored by 13 different associations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Attending events, whether in person or virtually, can connect you with key influencers. Also, you can always reach out to people in your network and ask if there are any relevant events or groups to attend. That way, you’ll be able to learn about new groups regularly.


Start a networking group

Alternatively, another way to expand your network is by starting a group of your own and inviting people who might be interested in joining. The key benefit of starting your group is that you’re immediately being positioned as a leader and a specialist in your industry. Networking is all about collaborating and sharing knowledge to help others, and it’s always an opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills. However, it’s important to know that the best networking groups have specific aims. For example, starting a group for young professionals in the energy sector increases the chances of your networking group having a more meaningful impact because it will have a specific focus. Therefore, your networking group must have a clear objective and be grown carefully over time.


Consistent communication

Within your network, you need to communicate with people consistently to maintain and strengthen relationships. It’s critical that you follow up after initial conversations at networking events through email or LinkedIn, once you’ve taken a business card. Continuing the conversation after a business event is something people often overlook, but it’s key to developing a long-lasting relationship. When following up through email, you need to make sure you mention something memorable from the event or the previous conversation. Discuss each other’s career goals and ask about any relevant projects your new connection may be working on. The key to successful networking is maintaining a valuable, ongoing dialogue that’s mutually beneficial.


Are you actively improving your network?

Building your network is essential for the growth of your career. At Petroplan, we have an excellent team of consultants who understand the importance of consistently building your professional network. As a specialist talent and workforce solutions business, we’ve established strong relationships with both clients and candidates. If you’re interested in finding out more about networking in the energy sector, contact Roxy Hohls and Lizzie Verbeek or get in touch with our wider team today.


The benefits of LNG for the global environment

The benefits of LNG for the global environment

18 Mar 2021

The liquid natural gas (LNG) industry has always been a volatile market, even as it continues to grow and offer businesses more opportunities to save energy. LNG remains one of the world’s fastest-growing fuel resource, as demand has increased following the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to LNG, natural gas is much more readily available, as it’s transported around the globe in huge tankers, making it a convenient option for businesses and gas producers.

With temperatures rising around the globe, there’s no doubt that energy businesses need to focus their efforts on natural gases to lower the environmental impact. Compared to fossil fuels, LNG has a much brighter future. If managed successfully, the implementation of LNG can improve environmental performance. Let’s take a look at the ways LNG is positive for the global environment and why energy businesses should make natural gas a top priority. 


LNG reduces greenhouse gas emissions

LNG is used across many business sectors within the industrial sector, including commercial, marine and road transport – and it’s a clean-burning, low carbon fuel that’s much more efficient and easier to transport. LNG has proven to be better than any other fossil fuel for the environment, as it generates 30% less carbon dioxide than fuel oil and 45% less than coal. The combustion of natural gas evaporates much more quickly in the air, compared to traditional heavy fuel oils, leaving no particles or residue. 

This also means there’s far less spreading of oils after LNG spills because it dissipates quickly into the atmosphere. While LNG still does have an environmental footprint, it contributes to far fewer carbon emissions. Data from the Energy Information Administration shows that since 2006, increased use of natural gas has driven carbon dioxide savings. There’s no doubt LNG has played a great role in reducing CO2 emissions globally, and as a cleaner fuel, it’s expected to eventually replace traditional fuels for power generation.


Consistency and reliable supply

Since LNG is a natural gas that has been cooled down to liquid form, it’s much more reliable and can be transported in large quantities. As well as saving on carbon emissions, LNG has a higher energy density, which means more energy can be stored and transported for the same amount of volume. The LNG market has fluctuated over the years, but LNG producers have been able to keep up with the demand. However, production companies need to shift how they conduct business if they truly want to capture the true potential of LNG, as well as to help the save environment. This could include optimising the supply chain, using more energy-efficient equipment, and constantly be on the look-out for energy-saving options. 


Cleaner atmosphere and more efficient

LNG contributes to cleaner air in several ways. For example, natural gas burns extremely efficiently, producing mainly heat and water vapour, and it’s much more cost-effective. According to research, natural gas releases 56% fewer greenhouse gases than coal for the same amount of electricity. However, natural gas has often raised concerns because it is made up of mostly methane, which is nearly just as potent as greenhouse gases – and methane emissions are the second largest cause of global warming. Fortunately, we’re in an age where gas transition and distribution companies have the opportunity to utilise technology to help improve productivity and lower the carbon economy. There are a range of new technologies, like microscopic nanotubes that can reduce carbon emissions. In this digital era, LNG producers have plenty of opportunities to apply data and analytic techniques to optimise operations, reducing costs and energy as a result. Above all, LNG has a range of benefits for the environment and according to research, natural gas is one of the main reasons carbon dioxide emissions are at their lowest in almost 25 years.


Are you looking for new roles in the energy sector?

At Petroplan, we have deep knowledge and expertise of the oil, gas and energy industry, with more than 40 years’ experience working with clients and candidates. We’re a specialist, talent and workforce solutions business that seeks out the best permanent and contract opportunities, both locally and globally. Over the years, we’ve established long-lasting relationships with clients and candidates, helping businesses find the best talent. We offer career advice and insights, and we’re dedicated to helping you grow your career. Contact us today to start the conversation or view our oil and gas jobs.


What are the advantages of working with a specialist talent & workforce solutions agency?

08 Mar 2021

If someone was looking for top legal advice, specifically property, they’d seek an expert who is well-versed in property law rather than a general practice solicitor. An expert who has specialised in one field will have a far greater understanding of the subject and can offer unrivalled advice. Similarly, a consultative recruitment and workforce solutions business that has specialised in a distinct area will be deeply-rooted in their field and have the industry-specific knowledge that general recruitment agencies don’t. Concentrating their attention on a niche group of candidates allows specialist consultants to adopt a highly personalised approach, which remains a top priority in the changing recruitment landscape. Read on for a deeper dive into the main advantages of working with a specialist agency.


Unrivalled industry expertise

Specialist consultants speak the language of the industry and understand on a much deeper level the different types of roles on the market and often more importantly, how to get individuals mobilised and on to a project quickly. Because a specialist talent and workforce solutions agency covers an entire industry – including the most niche areas – and provides expert consultancy advice, dedicated teams are designed to focus on distinct disciplines and services. For example, within Petroplan we have dedicated teams for both technical areas – Engineering, Geoscience, Subsea and Marine, Drilling, and Completions, HSE and Quality, Downstream & LNG (to name a few) and Commercial areas - Technology, Supply Chain, Finance, HR, Procurement as well as all other energy-related areas. We also have client-dedicated operational teams focused purely on the logistical aspects of contractor management, payroll and mobility. Our consultants keep their ear to the ground for news and developments in their niche fields and use their specialist insight to source high-quality candidates. Additionally, our specialised consultants are familiar with how the digital transformation is requiring a new approach to recruitment and will work alongside companies to create future-proof talent solutions that are specific to their industry.


Extensive candidate pools offer greater diversity

A specialist talent and workforce solutions business has a carefully curated candidate pool. Simply put, we have access to the top talent on the market – both passive and active. With an extensive candidate network comes the luxury of having access to a more diverse group of people, which is something every company can stand to benefit from. Take the oil and gas industry, which is making slow progress towards having a gender diverse workforce. Should companies in this industry partner with a specialist agency, they could benefit from the diversity of thought and experience and increased profitability while creating a fair and equal workplace that would help to attract more diverse candidates.


A reduced time to hire

A KPMG report revealed that 73% of CEOs say the new world of remote working has expanded their candidate pool and though, in theory, this is good news for hiring teams, having more people to screen and interview can drive up the time to hire. Using sophisticated automation software, we can relinquish control of the more manual tasks - such as screening and producing shortlists faster; we can also arrange interviews, carry out psychometric testing – and generally create a more streamlined, tailored process for each client, whilst also managing the candidate’s expectations. In-house hiring teams might not have access to the newest software that has all the latest bells and whistles, but specialist consultants do. Reducing the time to hire in this way will ensure that candidates remain engaged at every stage and will limit the risk of them dropping out of the process.


Protecting the employer brand

Though technology can help companies avoid bottlenecks from interview to hire, a specialist, consultative agency is all about the people. Consultants are in the business of developing meaningful connections with candidates and are adept at establishing these relationships whilst protecting a company’s employer brand. Employer brand has earnt a place in the top five objectives on many boards because companies recognise that their reputation could be the difference between a candidate accepting an offer and going to the competition. By working with a specialist talent and workforce agency, leaders can be confident that they have the best people on the job who are skilled at engaging with prospects and being a guardian of the company’s brand.


Connecting the best talent with world-leading energy companies

What makes Petroplan unique is that our company was founded by industry engineers who spotted a growing need for talent in the oil, gas and energy industry. Since 1976, the team has grown into an international energy workforce solutions business and now operates in over six continents. We are also independent and privately owned, which clients often favour due to the flexibility that this provides. Our specialised sectors cover exclusively Oil& Gas (E&P, Mid-, Downstream and LNG), Technology, Renewable Energy, Commercial and Executive/C-Suite roles.

Our scale means we’re able to continue providing a personalised service for our clients by tailoring it to each region’s specific requirement. With a wide range of expertise, spanning upstream, midstream and downstream, greenfield and brownfield, early oil production, full-field development and expansion projects, our consultants can support your unique resource needs. Don’t forget to get in touch to hear how we can help you navigate the new world of talent acquisition.

How can you attract - and retain - the market's best talent?

How can you attract - and retain - the market's best talent?

20 Feb 2021

As remote work and virtual recruiting have become the new normal, businesses in all industries are facing tough competition to secure the market’s top talent. 70% of the global workforce is made up of passive talent, not to mention the increased focus on stability and security that professionals have in the Covid-19 era. Therefore, it remains difficult for organisations to identify, attract and retain the best candidates. Retrenchments have led to more talent on the market, so now is the time to consider whether they can add value to your organisation. With so many candidates in the market right now, it isn’t always easy to find what you’re looking for. So, here’s how you attract and hold onto the best people in oil, gas and energy.

Know your company’s mission 

Business leaders and hiring managers have long reported challenges attracting the market’s most qualified candidates. This is particularly pronounced in the SME market, with 64.2% of small businesses reporting they struggle to attract qualified talent. According to research by One Rec, 81.5% of recruitment professionals said that a lack of relevant candidates was impacting their recruitment efforts. While business priorities may have changed for many due to Covid-19, businesses with industry-leading professionals will be best placed to meet these challenges moving forward. 

Many organisations have had to flex, reduce or restructure as a result of the pandemic and the corresponding economic downturn. Your resourcing requirements no doubt look very different from how they did before the outbreak. Contractor mobilisation and the supply chain have both been impacted, creating more challenges for businesses. Now is the time to understand your company’s mission and values, and identify roles you need to move your organisation forward. Whether that’s looking for tech talent to bridge the digital skills gap or introducing a new HSE position to remain compliant with Covid-19 policies, take the opportunity to rethink what roles make up your business. 

It’s essential you foster a mission-driven company, as it can improve employee engagement – and regardless of the skills you identify, make sure that diversity and inclusion plays a part in any future talent attraction strategy. Gender diversity in particular is a chief concern for the oil, gas and energy, so ask your recruitment partner how they can help you with diverse searches. 

Develop your employer brand 

Your employer brand plays a significant role in how appealing you are to top candidates. It serves as the identity of your company and the internet and social networking sites have made it easier than ever for professionals to find information about what it’s like to work for an organisation. It’s been found that nine out of ten candidates are more likely to apply for a job with an employer whose brand has been actively maintained. This means that it’s all the more important to define the message of your company and nurture your culture. That way, you’ll be able to give candidates a stronger perception of your brand. Whether that’s by overhauling your social media pages, asking employees for honest feedback, or developing your website to feature more company benefits, you need to add depth and show that your company is an excellent place to work. 

Build a great candidate and employee experience 

Speaking of culture and benefits, you need to think about what would make industry-leading talent consider changing jobs. While salary will always be a key factor, the current climate means organisations may no longer have the budget to compete on salary. If this is the case, focus on other top factors for professionals, such as company culture, benefits and flexibility. In today’s competitive market, it’s all the more important that you anticipate candidate and employee needs. For example, start developing meaningful relationships during the recruitment process by delivering clear communication about onboarding timelines, and the requirements of the role. Providing a positive candidate experience is crucial to attracting the best talent and making successful placements. It’s been found that people who are pleased with their candidate experiences are 38 per cent more likely to accept a job offer.  

Stability will also be increasingly important in the coming months and years as the market continues to respond to Covid-19. Longer contracts, help with mobilisation, permanent positions and employer support will all be more appealing to candidates, as will company culture. Glassdoor reports that 93% of employees mention company culture in their reviews, suggesting this is a critically important factor in both attracting new people and retaining current employees. It’s all the more important then, that you focus on maintaining a positive workplace culture where employees understand how they can add value and be successful. The key to retainment is building healthy relationships with your employees from day one. 

Work with the right partners 

Identifying, attracting and securing the market’s best talent takes time, effort and resources. A specialist recruitment partner is best placed to support you through this, particularly as the market continues to ebb and flow with the pandemic. An outsourced partner will work as an extension of your business, taking the time to build long-term relationships with you and truly understand not only what you need from your people, but also what makes you unique as an employer. This allows consultants to position your business in the best possible way to the best possible candidates. 

Whether you’re looking for drilling and well engineers or executive-level leaders, Petroplan can help. We’ll work with you to tap into new talent pools, identify the best solutions for your business and ensure you’re attracting the best candidates in the industry. Find out more about our client services here or contact us to start a conversation. We look forward to hearing from you soon. 


How digital technology is transforming the energy sector

19 Jan 2021

The oil, gas and energy sector has faced numerous challenges over the years. With the economy experiencing highs and lows, many businesses have been forced to adapt to the changes to remain competitive in a challenging market. COVID-19 has only made things more difficult for the sector, but today, technology is helping revive energy companies in the face of so much uncertainty. The sector has been showing signs of a digital transformation, with many oil, gas and energy leaders appointing Chief Digital officers to help with the adoption process. From big data to artificial intelligence, digital technology is emerging as a major driver in the industry – and now is the time for companies to refine their budgets and implement digitisation to pave the way for a more sustainable future. 



Digitisation has the potential to address a wide range of issues in the energy sector, and improve efficiency. Automation technology has been playing a key role in the industry, and it has the potential to create a wealth of opportunities, such as reducing costs and improving safety. With automation, oil companies can monitor pipeline networks remotely and detect any problems much more efficiently.  

There’s a range of automation systems already being used today, including RealSens, a product range used in drones and robots. Drones have become the most economical method for inspecting network pipelines, and many energy providers are using the technology in their operations. Major oil company BP was one of the first adopters of drones, and the organisation now deploys unmanned aerial vehicles and other technologies, which are used to undertake dangerous tasks in operational areas. ConocoPhillips is also using drones and according to NS Energy business, the company have reduced their task completion time by 75%.  

Drones are also already being used to mitigate oil spill incidents, which have a huge impact on pollution. Having drones available can reduce the impact and provide accurate GPS locations of the spills. There’s no doubt that drone and automation technology have huge benefits for the industry. When implemented correctly, automation can drive productivity and reduce the risk for companies. 


Cloud computing 

According to PWC’s strategy report, cloud computing is one of the major areas of digital technology that has the most potential to transform the sector, because it combines analysis and data. Cloud-based computing allows companies to store their data, which then can be used to make better decisions and identify problems. This data can be used to analyse processes, planning and production methods – and it can reduce costs as companies won’t have to invest in huge systems for their IT teams. One of the major benefits of using cloud computing is that it can reduce the environmental impact. Cloud-based services often use less energy, which is positive for the environment. Researchers have predicted that cloud computing will become even more energy-efficient in the future, but yet one of the biggest areas of improvement revolves around the efficiency of data transport.   


The Internet of Things 

The Internet of Things has enormous potential to redefine the energy sector. Firstly, IoT devices are hugely beneficial for drilling management and health and safety. With the use of smart devices, energy companies can send alerts well in advance for emergencies. By using IoT devices, companies can protect their workers and create a safer environment. The conditions of oil rig sites are normally hazardous, so IoT devices can provide a detailed analysis of the situation and help workers navigate these sites safely. Furthermore, with the IoT, companies can track the location of supplies, as well as shipments, and remotely address any problems, thereby drastically improving the nature of asset tracking.  

Many energy companies are also focusing their efforts on monitoring performance and operations using IoT sensors. These sensors provide real-time notifications in a digital dashboard to alert teams of any issues and to help with decision-making. IoT has increasingly paved the way for digital twins, which are virtual models of physical assets – and they benefit companies by providing 3D reports that predict maintenance issues. This means companies can resolve problems more quickly and manage processes more effectively. Ultimately, IoT allows energy companies to optimise processes and production, and improve the life spans of different equipment.  



Finally, cybersecurity has been another cornerstone of digital transformation in recent years. It’s also a top priority for professionals in the energy sector. With the rise of remote work and the use of mobile devices, there has been an increasing number of cyber-attacks and threats on many businesses, including those in the energy sector. When it comes to digital initiatives at oil, gas and energy companies, cybersecurity must be considered throughout the entire organisation. Energy companies have a unique value to the economy, which makes them all the more vulnerable to attacks. At Petroplan, we’ve developed a strong database of cyber professionals in the ICS, IT/OT area and we are therefore well-positioned to help our clients find this talent. 

Digital technology can help companies in the energy sector remain agile and competitive, and even boost revenue streams due to increased efficiency. With many new technologies in use, the energy sector is certainly changing and becoming more data-driven than ever before. 


How can Petroplan help you? 

We have more than 40 years’ experience in recruiting the best professionals into the energy sector. We understand the challenges and struggles that many businesses face. That’s why we only source the best candidates for roles and we always remain up to date with the latest changes in the industry. With the oil, gas and energy market currently experiencing a turbulent time, there are always opportunities for skilled professionals to make a real impact. Our team of consultants are well-positioned to provide industry expertise and insights. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, please contact us to start a conversation. 

Preparing for a virtual interview

Preparing for a virtual interview

09 Jan 2021

With the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing measures, it’s not a surprise that businesses all around the world have turned to remote hiring.

We’ve all had to embrace new ways of working, which includes a reliance on online interviews. In 2020, the Garter HR survey showed that 86% of employers are using online interviews to recruit candidates, but we suspect that figure is even higher now.

Despite COVID-19 impacting almost every sector, there are still many opportunities for professionals in the Energy sector. But at the same time, there are more people on the market due to retrenchment – many of them of a high calibre – and you need to aim to stand out even more than before. 

With the job market changing significantly as a result of the pandemic, and more businesses finding new ways to hire, it’s not just the hiring interface that has changed. Online tests, for example, have become more common.

The interview process has become lengthier too, with many candidates having to go through multiple rounds of interviews, meeting more potential colleagues one to one online.

So how do you succeed at the online hiring process? Here are a few key tips to give you a head start.

Test your technology ahead of time

When it comes to online interviews, you need to make sure there are no problems with your technology. This means checking your internet connection, audio and camera quality well ahead of time.

If you want to feel extra prepared, why not do a trial run with a friend or family member to help you test the quality of your internet connection? That way, you’ll be able to practise some interview questions while at the same time, check to see if there are any problems with the sound or camera frame.

Once you feel confident about your technology, you’ll naturally feel more at ease when interviewing. It’s important the interviewer sees you as organised and efficient, so doing checks beforehand should be a priority.

Find a quiet space and think about your backdrop!

It’s important to conduct your online interview in a quiet space that’s well lit. Loud noises in the background or distractions from other people will affect your ability to concentrate, and almost certainly give off the wrong impression.

Likewise, the background is important and whilst it shows your sincerity to have a “real” backdrop, do think about what might be in the camera shot!

Scott Forsyth, Management Systems Lead, recently placed with one of Petroplan’s clients, emphasised the importance of finding a quiet space. He was successful in his online interviews and had this to say:

“It’s important that you remove your phone from the room, don’t answer the door during the interview and remove any children or pets. Windows should be closed too.”

In any interview situation, you must be fully present and show that you’re interested. If there are frequent interruptions or poor lighting, you’ll be giving off the signal that you’re not prepared.

Everyone recognises it can be difficult for professionals working from home who have to care for a family. If this is your situation, speak to the interviewer ahead of time to let them know there could be some disturbances – and how you will deal with the disturbances if needs be! This will show you’re an organised and conscientious professional.

Research the company

It’s essential that you treat an online interview as seriously as you would in-person, which means doing your thorough research.

If you want to impress the interviewer, find out as much about the company and those interviewing you as possible. It’s always obvious to any employer when a candidate hasn’t prepared.

 “One advantage of a virtual interview is you can have bullet points available, so you’re more comfortable” mentioned Scott.

There’s always a lots of information on a company’s website and social media channels. You can even search for any press releases or blog posts.

When you’re knowledgeable about the company, you’ll be in a much better position, as you can speak about the research you have found and what appeals to you.

Stay engaged throughout the call

In an online interview, you’re going to need to convey engagement as much as possible. Compared to an in-person interview, there are less visual cues, so it can be harder to show interest.

That’s why you need to make a conscious effort to ask lots of questions and engage the interviewer in a conversation about something non-work related to build rapport.

Scott Forsyth stressed the importance of staying engaged during a virtual interview.

“There are not the same body language cues, so you need to be more aware of what’s going on.”

It’s clear the best interviews feel natural and more like a meeting, rather than an assessment.

Be prepared with some interesting questions and try to avoid asking anything you could easily find out yourself. Remember, you’ll be competing against many other candidates, so make sure you are prepared to engage in a meaningful conversation with the interviewer(s).

Master the final round

It’s more than likely the process will include multiple rounds of interviews. As this progresses it's likely the nature of the interviews will shift from technical capabilities and experience, to softer skills and cultural fit.

In the final stages, do all you can to focus on building rapport with your interviewers, whilst staying focused on concisely answering all that is asked of you.

By this point, the company is already seriously considering you for the role, so take the opportunity to show that you’re a team player, you’re supportive and can fit seamlessly into a new team.

The best way to do this is to ask thoughtful questions about the team (and any other key stakeholders you’ll be working with) while emphasising your achievements, and how you build relationships with new people.

Much like in-person interviews, building a relationship in an online interview is crucial. Scott points out that “There’s not much difference between the two, but it’s all about building rapport.”

Be sure to find out what’s important to them all the way through so that you can mould your answers accordingly. In addition, be prepared to build your case for future success at the company.

Entrepreneur Jason Shen said in a TED conference that, “If you’re a candidate, don’t wait for an employer to ask. Seek out ways to showcase your unique skills and abilities.”

It’s important that you think of new ways to stand out in that final round and show why you’re the right person for the role. Setting up a mock video interview can help you feel even more prepared and you’ll be able to take note of how you sound too.

And remember, always strike a balance between humility and confidence to build trust with the interviewer.

Let Petroplan help you build your career

There’s no doubt that online interviews can be a challenging experience. It can be harder to make a long-lasting impression, but securing your next role doesn’t have to be daunting.

At Petroplan, we are here to provide expertise and support and, of course, find the right next step for you.

Our network is constantly growing, we care about you as an individual, and we provide the best opportunities in the market. If you want help landing your next role, do contact us for more information or view our latest oil and gas jobs.


How to structure your CV to get noticed within oil, gas and energy

29 Sep 2020

As the global oil, gas and energy industry continues to rebound and stabilise, and borders begin to open up again, we’re seeing more jobs coming on to the market.

And while the industry may be more project and commercially driven than in the past, there remain plenty of lucrative opportunities for skilled energy professionals in all sectors, with businesses still open to upskilling their expertise.

As Deloitte notes, industry challenges in the form of political turbulence, weakening economic growth and trade tensions are continuing to upset the market. Businesses will be paying close attention to these disruptive forces and ensuring they are equipped with the right level of talent to navigate these trying times. This may mean restructuring and change, which in turn opens the door to opportunity.

So how can energy professionals make themselves heard in this noisy marketplace? And what can they do to secure the best role possible, whether it be a technical engineering role within a specific Energy sector or a corporate role?

Here’s how to structure your CV to get noticed.

1. Lead with your technical skills, achievements and experience

Qualifications, hands-on experience and certifications are all still highly desired within the Energy industry. Use a technical CV format to highlight these, placing your key skills at the very top of the document.

These might include offshore substation experience, field operations experience, project management certifications, recognised engineering qualifications, wind turbine or solar experience, language skills and safety training, but will vary according to your expertise.

Recruiters search for keywords that match the industry, so this is a great opportunity to showcase your work experience and ongoing training and development.

Meanwhile, for roles in the IT, digital and corporate areas of the energy industry, it’s key to highlight major achievements – ideally with supportive data that demonstrates their impact. And also the digital and technology skills that employers are increasingly looking for.

Professionals should highlight this information in an executive summary before detailing job history.

It sounds obvious, but if you’re applying for a specific role, make sure your skills meet the specific requirements mentioned in the job ad. Then, mention these in your CV and describe how they meet the needs of the role, whether that’s by describing your success in a similar position, referencing your qualification or demonstrating your understanding of how a key piece of technology works.

Finally, include the names of projects you’ve worked on where possible. Employers will want to see the types of environments and machinery you’re used to working with (for example, an old rig versus a new rig) and this can help them to determine your level of experience.

2. Highlight your willingness to travel if required

While mobilisation has been impacted by Covid-19, employers are still looking for candidates who are willing to travel – and can mobilise quickly.

As the supply chain rebuilds and more projects open back up, we can expect to see more contractors and employees resuming travel arrangements.  Energy industry jobs can be located in some of the world’s most remote regions, so candidates must be willing to travel for the right opportunity, and ideally have prior experience doing so.

Dont forget to specify on your CV if you have location-specific qualifications, have the advantage of being a dual passport holder, or have visas or other documentation.

3. Demonstrate your expertise

Be sure to really focus on your specific industry vertical within your CV; whether it’s subsea and marine, subsurface, drilling and well engineering, HSEQ, project management or construction.

While the Energy industry has roles for almost every type of candidate, there are always key areas of technical expertise in demand. The Energy industry attracts highly skilled, highly technical professionals, whether they are engineers or corporate professionals choosing to work in that industry.

Either way employers want to see candidates who have both experience in, and commitment to,  their specialisms.

Meanwhile, corporate professionals should highlight their knowledge of industry-standard systems and trends, whether that’s the latest data security standards for IT and cybersecurity professionals or the most effective lead management software in sales.

Be sure to mention specific programmes and software you are familiar with, as consultants will look for these when searching for new talent.

Make sure you use your personal summary or introduction section to outline your key experience and what you want to do next. And ensure that this information aligns with the job you're applying for and the value you can add to a business.

Many roles require extensive training and qualifications, so candidates who can showcase dedication to their niche may seem like a better investment to businesses.

4. Showcase your technology know-how

Recent reports suggest remote work in the oil and gas industry isn’t as much of a challenge as previously thought.

With major companies moving much of their drilling activity into environments that support remote working, there’s now talk that more work could move from the field to remote operations centres  or even the home in the long-term.

While the industry hasn’t always been quick to adopt and adapt to new technology, there is no shying away from the role automation and robotics will play in the future. And although this may make some jobs obsolete, it will also certainly open up others for those professionals who are prepared to learn new skills and embrace technology.

If this is you, highlight your technology skills in your CV and demonstrate your ability to work successfully in different environments.

5. Soft skills are increasingly important

As hiring activity resumes, we’re seeing employers place more focus on leadership skills, personality and cultural fit than ever before.

Technical skills are still highly important, but employers are increasingly placing emphasis on professionals who are also aligned with their organisational goals and culture.

If you’re a brilliant communicator, skilled at leading teams, excellent at influencing senior stakeholders or work well in a cross-functional environment, demonstrate these on your CV so recruiters can readily understand all your qualities.

In addition, we’re seeing foreign languages become increasingly valuable to clients, so list any language skills you have.

Finally, consider what skills from previous non-energy roles may be transferrable to the current climate. For example, military experience has a very high standard amongst many employers – particularly in the USA – and showcases a variety of soft skills that are in high demand.

Find your role in the energy industry with Petroplan

Founded in 1976, Petroplan is an award-winning, global specialist in talent solutions for the Energy industry. We seek out the best contract and permanent opportunities around the world and put a strong emphasis on candidate care, which includes offering expert advice on CV presentation, length and structure.

Our deep industry knowledge and long-lasting relationships with clients and candidates within the market mean we’re best placed to help you take your next career step.

View our latest oil and gas jobs or contact us to get started.

A day in the life of a Senior Consultant

A day in the life of a Senior Consultant

11 Aug 2020

Any recruitment professional will tell you that no two days are quite the same, and this is particularly true for those working within the energy industry, which has experienced high levels of turbulence in recent times. This ever-changing landscape and broad scope of the consultant role are just some of the reasons why people love working in recruitment – but as Roxy Hohls tells us, there are plenty of highlights to keep consultants motivated within recruitment.

Roxy is a Senior Consultant at Petroplan. She joined the business in September 2019 after moving from a smaller recruitment firm, and she hasn’t looked back. She spoke to us about what life is like as a Senior Consultant at Petroplan.

What led you into recruitment and what made you join Petroplan?

“I started as an Office Assistant nearly ten years ago, before gaining my CIPD qualification and moving into the world of HR. Working as an HR Manager at a publishing house, I was put in charge of recruitment and that’s where I totally fell in love with the work. After realising that my favourite part of the HR job could be my full-time role, I decided to get into recruitment full-time, working as a consultant in a specialist energy search firm. Three years later I was approached by Petroplan’s Regional Director Jon France, and curiosity got the better of me! After hours of conversation, I accepted the job.”

What do you like about working at Petroplan?

“While I never thought I’d work for such a large organisation, the scale of Petroplan was actually one of the most appealing things about it. There are so many existing relationships with big clients and there are always active roles, something which is not always the case in smaller firms. The work is interesting and varied and I have access to more clients and contacts, with clients using us for multiple roles and functions. I love being busy and having work on, and Petroplan really ticks those boxes.”

What is your favourite thing about working in this industry and as a Senior Consultant?

“First and foremost, the energy industry is extremely friendly, from intern level to CEOs. There’s a lot of integrity and respect in this line of work. I feel like I am more of a ‘Career Consultant’ than a Recruitment Consultant, which is something I love. Clients no longer want to just see a CV – they want to know about the whole person, and I really value getting to bring candidates to life. Technical ability is important, but I’m increasingly matching people to positions according to their personality attributes and desires. There’s a lot of psychology in this type of work and I love finding candidates who are the perfect fit for a company, both in terms of their skill set and their cultural fit.”

What are the challenges and opportunities facing the industry?

“The market is at an interesting stage right now. We’re seeing a lot of exceptional candidates who maybe haven’t been actively seeing new positions in the past few years, which is giving us a really strong talent pool to take to clients. Clients are now starting to hire again after a few months of watching the market, so it’s great to see some green shoots.”

Describe a typical day as a Senior Consultant

“It starts with coffee! I split my day into three parts and adjust according to what’s urgent and important:

Admin: Tidying up CVs, sending shortlists out, responding to emails, updating notes on the system and one of my favourites: interview prep! When we have come this far in the process, I like my candidates to be as prepped as possible so we ace the interview! Candidates: Headhunting for the various roles I have on my desk. Petroplan has hundreds of clients so it’s not unusual for me to have multiple live roles to work on – it’s a matter of prioritising and juggling many balls at once gracefully! Clients: Keeping in touch and keeping them up to date on the hiring trends and job market. I also reach out to new contacts and find out where the jobs are – this market may seem small, but every day I am talking to new clients.” Why should candidates and clients work with Petroplan?

“We care! You are not a number with us – we put the work in and spend time matching candidates to clients based on technical ability and personality fit. We’re a well-known, well-respected agency in the market and we know our industry inside out. Personally, I’ve been in the energy industry through downturns, so I’ve seen the trends and know what to expect. I’ll pay close attention to movements within the industry, looking at companies that receive funding and assets and getting to the bottom of what’s happening and why. It’s such a fascinating industry and I love learning more about it.”

Any top tips for people considering a career in energy recruitment at Petroplan?

“Go for it! Working at a company like Petroplan gives you so many opportunities. As Petroplan is so established, with more than 40 years’ experience, every call you make will be, on some level, ‘warm’. The industry knows us and even if someone hasn’t worked directly with us, the chances are that they’ll know someone who has. We’re highly trusted and generate great results, which makes it such an appealing company to join. And although we’re big, we’ve got a positive culture with many opportunities to progress. You aren’t a small fish in a big pond – we’re all swimming together! For example, I know exactly what I need to do to get a promotion and I feel supported to achieve this. Whether that’s in account management, team management or another move within Petroplan, I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next”.

Interested in working at Petroplan? Find out more about us here or discover more about working at Petroplan.