Jason Lavis

Marketing Director at Natural Resource Professionals ltd.
Last Updated: March 13, 2017
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Human Resources
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If you're a recruiter or HR person, will you be out of a job soon?

Not because of the crash...We’re in the age of ever advancing software capabilities. If you are involved in HR or recruiting, you'll be aware that there's deeper and wider software integration available than ever before.

Software solutions will allow you to post a job across hundreds of platforms, then receive applications and CVs seamlessly. The same software will have CV reading and keyword matching capabilities that are closing the gap between bots… and you!

If fact, unless you have a deep understanding of the industry that you are recruiting for… The bots may already do a better job than you…

Once AI takes off, the ‘human’ side of recruiting might be better done by software as well.

Candidates who feel let down by recruiters that do not treat them or their data properly will see the satisfying irony here… Thousands of recruiters out of work, and unable to get a job, sending their CV to bots, who simply don’t give a damn…

If you're a job candidate looking for your next assignment, is your life about to get better?

A smoother, more accurate and sophisticated process in applying for jobs will help some, and hurt others.

Once automation takes over, there will be winners, for example:

Those of you who have shining resumes and experience that might get overlooked by recruiters who spend a few seconds scanning each CV because they've little time.

Or those who have a very specific skill set, one which is not grasped fully by the typical recruiter, who was selling timeshare last year, and is likely to be selling used cars next year, (it’s a transient business).

There will be losers as well, for example:

Those who lie, exaggerate or bend the truth when completing their CVs, either through memory failure, or lack of integrity. (The percentage is higher than you would imagine).

Those who rely on networking to get jobs. If a recruiter, HR manager or Rig manager has a choice between their current position…

… Mountains of unsuitable CVs and a pocket book of people who are a known quantity.

OR

… A choice based on pure and accurate data, AI software that can literally pick the best person for each position.

What will the decision maker do? They are more likely to put forward the best, rather then taking the shortcut of hiring ‘good old Fred’ who they know won't completely let them down.

In the meantime…

What shall we do? We can’t all take an extended vacation at the beach, waiting for the bots to solve our problems, or ruin us…

We make the best choices, for the situation that we are in for the foreseeable future!

If you’re a HR manager or recruiter in the oil and gas industry:

This means that you have decisions to make. If you are reading this as a recruiter or HR manager, hopefully I've stimulated a bit of thought. You know that the current system has its limitations, and that by maximising your own efficiency and productivity, you can do the best that you can, with what you’ve got… Right?

I believe that the very best solution for those who are looking for personnel for a drilling team, is to look at a talent pool that is industry and sector specific.

If you wanted to find a great programmer, you're more likely to find them in a community of programmers than in a generic job board, or even hundreds of auto-posting boards. Does this make sense to you?

Until AI improves massively, which could take 5 years, or perhaps 15, how will you fill drilling job vacancies, why make life hard for yourself? Do you really want to be swimming in candidate soup, publishing your job to hundreds of general job boards? Attracting thousands of bad fit candidates?

If you're a job seeker and you want to find a drilling job, where do you look?

There are plenty of choices online, and due to the downturn there are plenty of opportunities to read and share stories about our job hunting (or candidate hunting) experiences.

One place to see conversations about this is on social media. There are places that aren’t really suitable, such as Instagram or Pinterest, but it's possible to find plenty of job adverts, on LinkedIn and Facebook. With millions, or more than a billion people logging on the these two platforms every day, there's plenty of opportunity to see job related conversations happening.

Is this a good place to look for a job, or for a candidate? The feedback that we see is that there's a lot of noise. Candidates are unsure of which job postings, recruiters and oil company accounts are ‘real’. After all, anyone can create a company account and post jobs in order to collect data, or worse...

When the reputation, and performance of many online recruiters leaving a lot to be desired...

How do you know which ones never had a job to promote?

Or...

Which ones were real, but couldn’t be bothered to even send you a quick courtesy reply?

The anecdotal reports are there for anyone to see, that the noise is high and the quality is low.

A big waste of valuable time for the employers who ask for an application form to be completed and get 4000 'interested, check my profile' type responses.

Heartache for the job seekers who send their details and/or fill in dozens or even hundred’s of applications without even a courtesy response.

Where else can you look for a good online job matchmaking service?

Many or most jobs boards are filled with out of date candidate details and there is no filtering and cleaning of the data. Who ends up doing this? The HR manager, rig manager or any DIY inclined person who thought that they could save some money and ended up wasting a lot of time instead.

Many traditional recruiters charge very high rates that are not congruent with lower oil and gas prices. The numbers don’t work in an environment of bankruptcy and ‘beggar thy neighbour’ market share strategies around the world.

General job sites, and sites that offer themselves to every type of staff that might even cycle past an oil company head office suffer from the same noise and quality problems.

Life is complicated enough, why waste time with noise, irrelevance and inaccuracy?

We don’t think you should. If you want to get a job done right, deal with the specialists. You want drillers, or a drilling job? deal with industry specific partners.

Whether you are on the HR/recruitment side, or the labour side of the equation. Support industry services by using them, and we can all make each others lives easier.

Recruitment Human Resources Artificial Intelligence Recruitment/HR Software
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The New Wave of Renewable Fuels

In 2021, the makeup of renewables has also changed drastically. Technologies such as solar and wind are no longer novel, as is the idea of blending vegetable oils into road fuels or switching to electric-based vehicles. Such ideas are now entrenched and are not considered enough to shift the world into a carbon neutral future. The new wave of renewables focus on converting by-products from other carbon-intensive industries into usable fuels. Research into such technologies has been pioneered in universities and start-ups over the past two decades, but the impetus of global climate goals is now seeing an incredible amount of money being poured into them as oil & gas giants seek to rebalance their portfolios away from pure hydrocarbons with a goal of balancing their total carbon emissions in aggregate to zero.

Traditionally, the European players have led this drive. Which is unsurprising, since the EU has been the most driven in this acceleration. But even the US giants are following suit. In the past year, Chevron has poured an incredible amount of cash and effort in pioneering renewables. Its motives might be less than altruistic, shareholders across America have been particularly vocal about driving this transformation but the net results will be positive for all.

Chevron’s recent efforts have focused on biomethane, through a partnership with global waste solutions company Brightmark. The joint venture Brightmark RNG Holdings operations focused on convert cow manure to renewable natural gas, which are then converted into fuel for long-haul trucks, the very kind that criss-cross the vast highways of the US delivering goods from coast to coast. Launched in October 2020, the joint venture was extended and expanded in August, now encompassing 38 biomethane plants in seven US states, with first production set to begin later in 2021. The targeting of livestock waste is particularly crucial: methane emissions from farms is the second-largest contributor to climate change emissions globally. The technology to capture methane from manure (as well as landfills and other waste sites) has existed for years, but has only recently been commercialised to convert methane emissions from decomposition to useful products.

This is an arena that another supermajor – BP – has also made a recent significant investment in. BP signed a 15-year agreement with CleanBay Renewables to purchase the latter’s renewable natural gas (RNG) to be mixed and sold into select US state markets. Beginning with California, which has one of the strictest fuel standards in the US and provides incentives under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard to reduce carbon intensity – CleanBay’s RNG is derived not from cows, but from poultry. Chicken manure, feathers and bedding are all converted into RNG using anaerobic digesters, providing a carbon intensity that is said to be 95% less than the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of pure fossil fuels and non-conversion of poultry waste matter. BP also has an agreement with Gevo Inc in Iowa to purchase RNG produced from cow manure, also for sale in California.

But road fuels aren’t the only avenue for large-scale embracing of renewables. It could take to the air, literally. After all, the global commercial airline fleet currently stands at over 25,000 aircraft and is expected to grow to over 35,000 by 2030. All those planes will burn a lot of fuel. With the airline industry embracing the idea of AAF (or Alternative Aviation Fuels), developments into renewable jet fuels have been striking, from traditional bio-sources such as palm or soybean oil to advanced organic matter conversion from agricultural waste and manure. Chevron, again, has signed a landmark deal to advance the commercialisation. Together with Delta Airlines and Google, Chevron will be producing a batch of sustainable aviation fuel at its El Segundo refinery in California. Delta will then use the fuel, with Google providing a cloud-based framework to analyse the data. That data will then allow for a transparent analysis into carbon emissions from the use of sustainable aviation fuel, as benchmark for others to follow. The analysis should be able to confirm whether or not the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s estimates that renewable jet fuel can reduce lifecycle carbon intensity by up to 80%. And to strengthen the measure, Delta has pledged to replace 10% of its jet fuel with sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.

In a parallel, but no less pioneering lane, France’s TotalEnergies has announced that it is developing a 100% renewable fuel for use in motorsports, using bioethanol sourced from residues produced by the French wine industry (among others) at its Feyzin refinery in Lyon. This, it believes, will reduce the racing sports’ carbon emissions by an immediate 65%. The fuel, named Excellium Racing 100, is set to debut at the next season of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans 2022 race.

But Chevron isn’t done yet. It is also falling back on the long-standing use of vegetable oils blended into US transport fuels by signing a wide-ranging agreement with commodity giant Bunge. Called a ‘farmer-to-fuelling station’ solution, Bunge’s soybean processing facilities in Louisiana and Illinois will be the source of meal and oil that will be converted by Chevron into diesel and jet fuel. With an investment of US$600 million, Chevron will assist Bunge in doubling the combined capacity of both plants by 2024, in line with anticipated increases in the US biofuels blending mandates.

Even ExxonMobil, one of the most reticent of the supermajors to embrace renewables wholesale, is getting in on the action. Its Imperial Oil subsidiary in Canada has announced plans to commercialise renewable diesel at a new facility near Edmonton using plant-based feedstock and hydrogen. The venture does only target the Canadian market – where political will to drive renewable adoption is far higher than in the US – but similar moves have already been adopted by other refiners for the US market, including major investments by Phillips 66 and Valero.

Ultimately, these recent moves are driven out of necessity. This is the way the industry is moving and anyone stubborn enough to ignore it will be left behind. Combined with other major investments driven by European supermajors over the past five years, this wider and wider adoption of renewable can only be better for the planet and, eventually, individual bottom lines. The renewables ball is rolling fast and is only gaining momentum.

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Market Outlook:

  • Crude price trading range: Brent – US$71-73/b, WTI – US$68-70/b
  • Global crude benchmarks have stayed steady, even as OPEC+ sticks to its plans to ease supply quotas against the uncertainty of rising Covid-19 cases worldwide
  • However, the success of vaccination drives has kindled hope that the effect of lockdowns – if any – will be mild, with pockets of demand resurgence in Europe; in China, where there has been a zero-tolerance drive to stamp out Covid outbreaks, fuel consumption is strengthening again, possibly tightening fuel balances in Q4
  • Meanwhile, much of the US Gulf of Mexico crude production remains hampered by the effects of Hurricane Ida, providing a counter-balance on the supply side

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