Now Hiring: workers are focused on how they’re treated by the company — management that cares, attention to scheduling, holidays with their families

The oil and gas industry is hiring. Last summer, Goldman Sachs predicted that 100,000 jobs would come back to the oil and gas sector. A quick scan of the career websites seems to confirm they may be right. There are more oil and gas related positions on the boards than at this time a year ago.

Oil price and capital availability drive oilfield development, hiring

Availability of capital for oilfield development and E&P management teams’ willingness to turn the key to incur debt or sell equity to pay for increases in development activity seem to track fairly closely with $50 oil.

In the past year WTI has struggled to climb out of the $40s and stay in the low $50s. Today near term contracts for WTI are trading at about $49 per barrel. But a lot of the U.S. shale players are okay with that range.

Oil & Gas is Hiring: Will Energy Companies Be Able to Retain New Hires?

Drilling rig in the Niobrara – Oil & Gas 360

Whiting Petroleum (ticker: WLL), which plans to invest $1.1 billion in CapEx in 2017, said it’s fine with oil in the $40s. CEO James Volker made it clear on his company’s Q1 conference call: “I would say the kind and quality of wells that we’re completing make good sense even in the mid-$40s.”

Whiting said its focus is to clear out its DUCs—in 2017 it plans to complete 233 wells which it had already drilled—with less cash going to drilling new wells. To that point, Whiting said it has mobilized a second frac crew in the Niobrara.

As the Q1 earnings rush gets underway, many E&P companies are reporting higher production and some have returned to the black, reporting profitable operations—ExxonMobil (ticker: XOM) and Cabot Oil & Gas (ticker: COG) both reported Q1 profits. To accommodate E&Ps ramping activity, Oilfield service giants Halliburton (ticker: HAL) and Schlumberger (ticker: SLB) have both increased headcount over the past few months by the thousands.

The open positions appear to be geographically diverse. The activity upswing in oil and gas is rolling—and Texas’s red hot Permian basin is having an effect. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said this week that Texas added 14,800 jobs in March 2017. The Texas Fed forecasts 287,500 total jobs will be added in Texas in 2017, with employment in December 2017 coming in at 12.4 million.

Oil and gas jobs on the recruiting sites currently has a list of 300 “oil and gas production” jobs under that search term. A random check of page 2 of the results details the following positions:

Lease Operator/ Pumper (Midland/Odessa,TX) , 3S SERVICES, LLC –  8 reviews – Midland, TX 79706

Must have a general knowledge of safe oil and gas production operations. The Lease Operator is responsible for monitoring and reporting on production and other…

SCADA Control Room Operator , Antero Resources Corporation – Bridgeport, WV 26330

Oil and Gas:. 1+ years of Oil and Gas experience. Production department, IT, etc.). Act as the point of contact for the Water Field Operators, Completions and…

Superior Pipeline – Plant Operator , Unit Corporation –  9 reviews – Canadian, TX

Generate daily production reports including liquid production, downtime and gas volumes. Working knowledge of the oil and gas industry….

Production Operators – new, Oceaneering –  243 reviews – Panama City, FL

Support production manufacturing by operating machinery to build umbilicals for the oil and gas industry

Production Planner – new , Winchester Electronics –  17 reviews – Broadview, IL 60155

Create and maintain Production Orders in support of the Production Schedule that accurately allocates the required materials….

Upstream Analyst , GlobalData Energy – New York, NY

Field analysis includes researching for relevant data, forecasting oil and gas production, developing project cost estimates, understanding development…

Operations Engineer – new , Hilcorp Energy Company –  7 reviews – Houston, TX 77002 (Downtown area)

Zero (0) to Three (3) oil and gas production field operations experience required, 10 years’ experience preferred….

Production Analyst , New Tech Global –  11 reviews – Midland, TX

Oil & gas production:. 3+ years of experience in oil and gas production operations. Experience

Production Planner/Route Engineer , AMETEK, Inc. –  18 reviews – Collegeville, PA

Production Planner / Routing Engineer. Manages communication of delivery performance goals and results to production supervisors;…

Lease Operator (Three Rivers) – new , Wood Group –  112 reviews – Three Rivers, TX  +6 locations

The successful candidate will be responsible for maintain onshore oil and gas properties. Ability to repair equipment as needed.Operate properties to ensure all…

Production Foreman , SM Energy –  18 reviews – Catarina, TX 78836

Broad understanding of oil and gas operations. Minimum 8 years of oil and gas experience. Gas Lift and Gas Assist Plunger Lift Systems….

IRC27050 – LDAR Lease Operator – new , Newfield Exploration –  28 reviews – Foster, OK 73434

Job Requirements · Working knowledge of natural gas engines, pumping units, and production equipment· Previous oil field experience a plus · Proven record of…

Production Tech , Addison Group –  84 reviews – Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Must have oil and gas production experience. Our client, an growing oil and gas company is seeking a Production Tech….

Electro-Mechanical Maintenance Technician ,  Global Water Resources, Inc – Maricopa, AZ

Oil & gas industry; Has worked in dynamic fields involving high speed production, large-scale processing facilities, or predominant use of advanced technology…

Quality Control Technician – Genoa, NE , Preferred Sands –  8 reviews – Genoa, NE

Preferred Sands, headquartered in Radnor, PA, is one of North America’s largest manufacturers and providers of frac sand for oil and natural gas companies in…

What are the jobs, and where are they?

The 15 jobs shown in the Indeed sample search require technical skills. Most require industry experience and knowledge—including production technicians, machinery operators, along with analysts and engineers, a control room operator and a foreman. The functions that these companies need people to do include hydrocarbon production, water processing, managing sand operations, pipeline operations, engineering, materials scheduling and operations analysis.

Geographically, the 15 opportunities are spread out among 15 different companies in nine states, with Texas-based opportunities representing 40% of the openings.

  • 6 in Texas
  • 2 in Oklahoma
  • 1 in Florida
  • 1 in Nebraska
  • 1 in Pennsylvania
  • 1 in West Virginia
  • 1 in New York
  • 1 in Arizona
  • 1 in Illinois

Are the skilled individuals still available?

After a prolonged industry downturn that resulted in an estimated 350,000 layoffs—decimating the human side of the industry—some employers have had trouble filling their newly posted positions.

“The biggest problem right now is that the industry has lost talent,” said Mirdad, M&A portfolio manager at the world’s largest oilfield services company Schlumberger (ticker: SLB). Media stories during the downturn reported workers leaving the industry after being burned by prior downturns. It’s a cycle of hire when oil prices are recovering, and layoff when they crash. Some workers give up and have taken their skills to another less volatile industry.

What can managers do to attract, and retain workers?

The website published an interesting article about retaining workers. The article—entitled “Ways to Make a Happier Blue-Collar Workforce”—recommends several low cost or no cost solutions to reduce turnover within your company.

“Not enough is said about blue collar workers in the media today. While those in more prestigious industries are often written about, blue collar workers are the backbone of society and deserve more attention. If you oversee a staff of blue collar workers, here are some tips on how you can keep them happy, satisfied, and productive in their work,” the author says. recommends the following:

  1. Create a Managerial Staff That Cares

One of the biggest complaints amongst blue collar workers is that managers and superiors see them as nothing more than cogs in the machine. The simplest way to make your workers happier is by showing you care, and treating them like equals and individuals. Create a space where workers feel listened to and will be able to connect with management more personally. Make sure your different levels of employees interact often. When your employees feel appreciated, they’re more incentivized to work hard and will make the extra effort in.

  1. Put Thought into Scheduling

Another common complaint of those in the blue collar workforce is that no thought is put into scheduling. Those who want to accumulate lots of hours and rack up overtime don’t get the time they want, and those who need a lighter schedule are often scheduled too much. If you put thought, time, and consideration into scheduling, your employees will be much happier. Be sure there is an open discourse about work hours and everyone knows what is expected.

  1. Participatory Approach

Include workers in the decision-making process. Giving the workers some say in decisions has proven to increase worker productivity and motivation. Managers should seek feedback and suggestions for how to improve processes, ask employees for measurable objectives and just ways to improve the work environment. But the key is not just asking, but actually implementing employee suggestions. Often the people with the best ideas are those that have to work with the problem every day. Have an Open-Door Policy… One of the main reasons why employees end up striking or walking out is because they don’t feel like their voices are being heard. Strive to have an open-door policy in the workplace, where employees can easily access managers to air grievances or concerns. You might also install a way to anonymously listen to written complaints.

  1. Provide Amenities

No, you don’t have to turn your company into Google and put a pool table in the work room. However, little luxuries can do wonders for company morale. For example, EpicVue recommends installing Satellite TV in semi-trucks to make your drivers’ treks a whole lot more pleasant. For stationary blue collar workers, you could provide lunch, have company picnics, or even just provide free coffee and donuts in the break room.

  1. Close for Holidays Whenever Possible

Being required to work on major holidays is a major reason why many blue-collar employees resent their job and their employer. Sometimes closing on a holiday isn’t possible. However, when it is, it’s imperative you do so. These days off are incredibly meaningful to your staff and their families.

  1. Promote Internally

Employees who do a stellar job want to feel like their efforts were worthwhile. This is why it’s essential that companies strive to promote from within. When employees know they have the opportunity to move up, they’re all the more likely to do a great job.

BDC’s recommendations for retaining employees that cost virtually nothing

The Business Development Bank of Canada released its own recommendations for affordable ways to help retain employees.

“There is unfortunately a fairly widespread belief in business that employees are paid for their work, and that’s enough,” says Diane Bazire, a BDC Business Consultant specializing in human resources.

Bazire encourages entrepreneurs to set up a structured program of non-monetary rewards. According to Bazire, employees are happier, more engaged and more productive; absenteeism goes down; the work atmosphere is more positive—and all without having to spend a fortune.

  1. Recognize and Appreciate Effort

Recognizing the contribution and efforts of employees—especially publicly—is one of the main motivational tools you can use, and it doesn’t cost a dime.

“A thank you is worth its weight in gold,” Bazire says. “Recognition can take the form of an award such as Employee of the Month or Employee of the Year, a thank you card, or simply being congratulated in front of colleagues.

  1. Listen to your Employees’s Ideas

Employees become more engaged when they feel they work on a team where their voices are heard. Strengthen your employees’ sense of belonging by communicating with them on a regular basis. Listen to their opinions; they have great ideas.

The employee with the best idea gets a day off.

  1. Target Continuing Education

Regardless of what sector your company is in, providing employees with the opportunity for development through continuing education is highly motivating. Courses, seminars and coaching are essential for the development of your employees.

TIP: Invest in technology courses so your employees remain current in the field.

  1. Offer Flexible Schedules

Telecommuting, personal days and reduced work weeks allow your employees to balance work and personal obligations.

  1. Implement Job Rotation

Think about giving employees the chance to temporarily hold related positions in the company. This method eliminates monotony and strengthens respect for the work of others.

  1. Small Gestures Go a Long Way

Gift certificates, gas cards and gifts to highlight service anniversaries or special successes are effective ways of recognizing an employee’s contribution. Another idea is to offer an employee the president’s parking space for a period of time.

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