Nothing wrong with dial phones and vinyl records – way back when. But, times change and people adapt to the new and better. So, why should oil and gas companies continue hiring (especially for big-ticket professionals) in the old-fashioned way?
Globally, more energy companies have changed their hiring practices. They are connecting with a more scientific, process-oriented method which delivers top-quality hires at 50 percent of typical headhunter charges. Largely, the hiring process has been streamlined by technology, primarily the Internet and smartphones, for 24/7 worldwide communication. Previously, recruiters relied on building relationships in close proximity to theoretically produced value but low-volume.
Using today’s technology to erase artificial geographic boundaries, recruiters can more effectively tap into relationships and create more efficiencies. In turn, the oil industry companies looking for the “best and brightest” are better served by seeing the “hit or miss” hiring factor lowered to virtually zero, even on high-volume projects. It’s accomplished by consistently utilizing the same proven template and process.
The new paradigm? This innovative process-oriented hiring approach entails four phases: staging, sourcing (3-tiered), screening and selection. Fortuitously for companies in this approach, size does not matter as it works equally well for any company from the supersized to the smallest. The staging phase mirrors the scientific method of conducting a background research-communicating with clients, researching their industry and key skill sets, and then establishing job criteria along with expectations for both hard-and-soft skills.
In the sourcing phase, the recruiter transitions from the initial legwork for the client company and begins connecting with the candidates, gaining referrals and becoming embedded in the candidate’s community to best represent the client company and the recruiter. In Tier 1, various outreach media are typically utilized, such as advertising and Internet job sites. In Tier 2, resume databases come heavily into play, yielding seemingly limitless names, which are broken down into high-low grades of a candidate’s potential. Tier 3 involves direct sourcing, which is appealing since the industry’s skill sets are increasingly highly specialized in value. The recruiter assembles competitor intelligence from “preferred companies” with comparable individuals or positions in the candidate pool. In turn, these individuals are contacted both about their own interest and to network with other professionals not actively in the job market.
Screening, a two-step process, begins with the recruiter presenting its candidate short list (typically three to five names) to the client company. Plugged-in are in-depth interviews and relationship-building sessions, negotiating with the candidate and the client company, and utilizing the “best practices” in the final narrowing of candidates for the company’s decision-making process.
Finally, selection works to ensure that financials, employee benefits and other considerations have been discussed with the candidate—then choosing one. By having scientifically built an exceptionally strong relationship with the most likely candidate(s), the recruiter has eliminated, for practical purposes, guesswork from the hiring process.
From the U.S. to Russia, from Africa to the Middle East, this scientific process has won over oil companies that never expected to handle hiring in a new way. This disciplined process, doing everything in batches instead of the “hunt and peck”method, repeatedly finds the right person for the right oil-industry job. Bonnie Browning is VP, client services, for Houston-based Q4B (www.q4b.com).
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