Most companies in this sector went through restructures or mass redundancies late last year. We have now however seen signs of a recovery for blue collar trades and labour, with more contract recruitment taking place in this area. Most of the companies have reduced workforces by over 50 per cent and they do not have resources to deal with new contracts. We are now seeing an increase in contractor usage in the market.
South Australia is still flooded with good candidates, many of whom are willing to travel to bigger states, or even the UK and Middle East, in order to secure suitable opportunities.
Hiring intentions still remain stagnant as cost cutting initiatives take place. Only business critical roles are being recruited. Until we see a substantial increase in the oil price this is expected to continue.
Contractors are preferred over permanent hires and employers want candidates with a breadth of technical and commercial skills.
In Victoria there has been a sporadic flow of permanent and temporary roles with a particular focus on permanent in the downstream sector. This will change however when we see an increase in project flow towards the end of 2016. At this time, contractors will once again be the focus for project completion.
Skills in demand
Cost Engineers remain in demand thanks to the importance of cost. We have also seen a relative rise in demand for Maintenance Specialists, notably in the areas of planning and asset integrity due to the nature of project lifecycles here in Australia. Essentially upstream recruitment remains very quiet but there have been pockets of activity in downstream operations.
Excellent technical business development candidates remain in demand. Given the current nature of the oil and gas sector, companies are diversifying and seek strong candidates who can generate new revenue at a fast rate.
Process Engineers are sought to increase the efficiency of the existing operation.
Due to budget constraints in the sector Project Managers with a proven record delivering under budget and in many cases ahead of schedule are in demand.
We are also seeing a need for niche Technicians within the oil and gas equipment sector. There has been some movement and restructuring, and candidates with valve experience are in particular demand.
Candidates know they need a competitive edge if they are to secure a role. They are also selling themselves more at interview and are being more aggressive in sending their resumes out. Some are even turning up at company offices and asking to speak with HR directly to see if there are any opportunities within the business.