Canadian oil and gas workers most confident about career prospects

78 per cent have heard from recruiter in last six months: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 01/19/2012

Canadian-based energy professionals are the most confident in the world about their career prospects this year, with 54 per cent anticipating it would be easy to find a new position in their field in 2012, according to a global survey by Rigzone, an online resource for oil and gas information, data and talent recruitment.

This results was just slightly ahead of peers in Australia (by four-tenths of a per cent), as well as from the United States (49 per cent), South America (46 per cent), the Middle East (45 per cent) and Europe (42 per cent), found the survey of more than 27,800 energy professionals (with 1,123 in Canada).

There was also a substantial increase in recruitment activity in Canada during the latter half of 2011, with 78 per cent of respondents reporting at least one contact from a recruiter in the last six months of the past year. Talent scouting is particularly strong for petroleum and design and construction engineers — only eight per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, did not receive even one recruiter inquiry in the last six months.

As a result, 42 per cent of respondents noted an increase in their peers changing employers in the past six months, found Rigzone. However, 32 per cent said their employer had offered positive incentives to stay put in the past six months. When offered, the most frequent inducements were: salary increases, more interesting or challenging assignments and higher or guaranteed retention bonuses.

"Alberta has the lowest unemployment rate in the country and you cannot overlook energy's role in that result," said John Benson, managing director of energy at Dice Holdings. "This year is starting with an aggressive recruiting market. Energy companies need to be proactive in both keeping the talent they have and attracting new professionals into the industry."

Incentives offered by employers to deter employees from leaving:

Increased salary

62 per cent

More interesting or challenging assignments

28 per cent

Higher or guaranteed retention bonus

23 per cent

Opportunity to work in a new location

18 per cent

Promotion or new title

17 per cent

Flexible work hours

16 per cent

Reimbursable education or training programs

13 per cent

Participation in employee stock options, restricted stock, etc.

13 per cent

High-level recognition

10 per cent

Increased staff to help reduce workload

8 per cent

Many oil and gas professionals are open to exploring their career options, found the survey. Canadian-based professionals were split nearly evenly when asked if anything could stop them from moving on in 2012 — 46 per cent said yes and 47 per cent said no, with seven per cent undecided. The most popular incentive would be an increase in salary, followed by an opportunity to work overseas.

Incentives that would persuade employees to stay:

Increased salary

37 per cent

Opportunity to work overseas

16 per cent

More interesting or challenging assignments

15 per cent

Promotion or new title

8 per cent

Higher or guaranteed retention bonus

5 per cent

Reimbursable education or training programs

3 per cent

High-level recognition

3 per cent

Flexible work hours

3 per cent

Increased staff to help reduce workload

2 per cent

Participation in employee stock options, restricted stock, etc.

2 per cent

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