Q&A with Jack Rawcliffe, Managing Director of JDR Energy
The oil & gas industry has been a centre of conjecture in recent years. Pricing volatility teamed with political unrest have had a knock on effect on the production and exportation of oil, and the only stability has been the constant demand.
Things do however already seem to be looking up. Innovative methods of oil & gas extraction are well underway, for example, increasing engineering employment opportunities on an international scale. Oil prices seem to have recovered from a 12-year low of $30 a barrel in part, because of OPEC’s proposal to curb production.
Last month, Extraction Oil, the first producer to launch an IPO this year, saw their shares rise 19.7%, valuing the company at around $3.23billion as crude prices held $50 a barrel.
So how has the ever changing oil & gas landscape affected recruitment in the market over the past year and will the revival of the market as it stands impact the future of hiring?
How has the oil & gas recruitment market changed this year?
I think a lot of people have really felt the pinch this year more than last. With the project pipeline running dry, many people have found that their scope of work has finished and they are idle for the first time. That said, there have been green shoots in the market over the last quarter, with new investments and projects on the horizon. I am by no means suggesting that the market is in recovery, but there are some positive signs; Iran offers an exciting prospect for opportunity if the infrastructure and banking systems can be rectified.
The oil & gas market faces a huge problem to meet demand when the market does turn. The already well documented skills gap has now been magnified many times over due to the ever aging workforce. A skilled generation have found themselves out of work, retraining in other areas of the energy mix. The increased demand in conventional and renewable energy has seen many people retreat into those markets.
Has the market downsize been significant for JDR Energy?
JDR Energy have always worked across the full energy mix so we were able to focus our efforts in other areas of the market place. We have worked with our key clients to understand their changes in direction, support their new ventures into other areas of the market.
Naturally, we would benefit from $100+ barrels of oil. However, we have continued to niche down into the energy mix and found some really interesting areas where there is less competition and we can truly add value to our client base. We feel confident that when the oil & gas market does come back we will be well positioned to grow our business aggressively, using our platform with the large OEMs and EPCs we continue to work with in Power Generation and Renewables, to push back in oil & gas and supporting their projects globally.
What is the future for oil and gas recruitment?
Personally, I don’t think that we will see a return to the recruitment styles of old. I foresee a significant amount of process and recruitment justification being put in place to monitor the spending.
I feel that there is an opportunity to partner with organisations like never before, to understand their future plans and opportunities and act as a true Consultant, to manage their manpower in line with the project pipelines. Recruitment agencies can add unprecedented value, so I hope that they are embraced as a partner to help grow the industry in line with demand.