Opinion: Oil and gas firms urged not to forget the benefits of external recruiters

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Opinion by Andrew Duncan

Uncertainty around the price of oil continues and once again the oil and gas industry must evolve.

As companies adapt to the consequences of fluctuating oil prices, they also search for methods to streamline and economise processes.

At a time when recruitment levels will be inconsistent, growth headcount may be reduced and potential redundancies discussed.

But it is important to remember the beneficial role that recruitment companies can play.

As many businesses now focus solely on centralising divisions, the simplicity and effectiveness of the external recruitment service has been lost.

Now is the time for firms to get back to basics and learn how to best use the resources external recruiters can offer.

The use of specialist consultants on an ad-hoc basis is by far the most cost-effective way of managing your recruitment process.

Instead of dedicating in-house staff and a significant portion of your budget to recruitment, consultancies can manage the process as and when required – preventing unnecessary expenditure.

A firm can instantly reduce its budget by using a recruiter’s resources.

While platforms such as LinkedIn Recruiter can be costly for internal recruitment departments, external consultants subscribe to and manage this process using specialist network and market knowledge to achieve the most valuable results.

Solely using a recruitment consultancy’s job boards is cost-effective and will prevent additional time wasted on duplication of adverts and applications.

Specialist knowledge is particularly beneficial when benchmarking industry averages for salaries and day rates.

External recruitment companies have access to this information on a daily basis and so having a consultant on board instantly offers a more thorough insight into rates across the industry as a whole.

Having access to the benchmarks allows you to monitor and compare your own rates to ensure they are competitive for attracting the best candidates.

Despite the clear benefits of outsourcing, many companies still avoid external recruiters due to the “hard sell” approach that consultants often use.

Competition can be fierce and most recruiters claim to offer similar services, so what should you be looking for?

Recruitment consultants who take the time to understand your company and build solid relationships with you, your team and their candidates will be the most beneficial long term.

At Frontier, we consider the potential challenges of the next 12 months and decide how we can best support our clients.

Ask your recruitment provider to what extent are they looking ahead, especially in such testing times.

Establish if your recruitment provider offers additional services such as contractor management – local compliance, insurance, logistics, payroll, pensions, travel, day rate benchmarking, general contractor welfare and so on – which can also be hugely beneficial.

In this industry, contractors account for a substantial proportion of the workforce and the recent drop in oil prices has resulted in rate cuts and job losses.

By entrusting this element of recruitment to an external company with contractor management capabilities, you’re allowing someone else to take on the time-consuming role of managing all payroll, administration and insurance issues as well as taking control of potential redundancies.

Being part of an industry that is constantly changing means we all have to adapt with it.

As with all aspects of the industry, choose a recruitment company that’s an expert in this field, ensuring they understand what you require to move through difficult stages.

By outsourcing your recruitment to an external consultancy, you will have instant access to the advice, support and specialist knowledge that is vital for staying one step ahead.

Andrew Duncan is a senior recruitment consultant for Aberdeen-based Frontier International, which specialises in international oil and gas resourcing and recruitment. 

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