We are all aware that the global oil and gas industry is experiencing a tough time right now. Due to the reduced oil price and focus on the reduction of costs, a high number of highly qualified and competent people have lost or will lose their jobs and livelihoods. Tough times? Of course, it is but we have no other choice than to deal with it.
In difficult times like these, it is even more exciting and pleasing when one experiences a day filled with good news and positivity. Today has been one of these days and I thought it would be appropriate to share this with anyone needing a little ‘pick me up’.
The day today: An Oil and Gas Head-hunter`s joy
In all fairness, the day didn’t exactly get off to the best start. My flight from Oslo to Stavanger was leaving at 6 AM and when I was still sitting in front of the PC at 3 AM in search of a Senior Geophysicist, all I could do was to make two more litres of coffee and forget anything to do with a duvet, pillow, bed and closed eyes.
Thankfully, there was better to come. My flight was on time, the gate was close to security, I avoided the random check at security by letting someone go in front of me and I had a window seat on isle two. When we then landed 5 minutes prior to the official arrival-time an ever so pleasing email ticked into my inbox.
Happy news 1
A highly competent candidate I knew of who had been so unfortunate to lose his job before Christmas had emailed me to say he had secured a new job within the oil industry and was due to start Monday next week. Although this didn`t make me, or my company, OG-S, any money, it was still excellent news to receive on a Wednesday morning. It was however extra special due to how this candidate had behaved during his search for a new job. Not once had he lost his mojo and not once had he shown any signs of giving up. As a result, he is now back where he belongs: as an employee within the oil and gas industry.
Happy news 2:
I had been fortunate enough to receive an invitation to a meeting with a big international company in Stavanger City Centre who have recently opened up their first offices in Norway. This company was planning to hire a new Sales Manager and wanted to discuss this with OG-S. It was great to meet a company that was still hiring in this climate and who in contradiction to most others were somewhat optimistic in terms of what the short and long-term future may hold. Even better, the people I met were both welcoming and highly inspiring and to top it off they had prepared two big cans of coffee for the meeting. I managed 3 cups. Not bad hey?
Happy news 3:
Next on the agenda was a meeting with the local Stavanger newspaper, Aftenbladet and an ever so nice and, what can I say, cool journalist. Over a cup of coffee we managed to laugh and joke and talk about all sorts of things. BUT we also managed to talk about something that is incredibly important to me; Those of us who work with recruitment to the oil and gas industry, oil companies themselves and external recruitment companies, need to take some responsibility in relation to those thousands of professionals now having to look for new jobs. During good times, we highly depend on these people (the candidates) and it is only appropriate that we in tougher times are able to give something back.
So what can we do?
- All oil companies and recruitment companies have to ensure that anyone who applies for a position they have advertised receives detailed feedback on their application.
- All oil companies and recruitment companies have to become better at not advertising non-active positions. There should be zero tolerance on this.
There will be a news article about this in a few weeks` time and I really hope that we all take this to heart.
Due to the news article, the cool journalist and even more free coffee, there was no reason not to leave the newspapers offices with a big smile on my face.
Happy news 4:
As I switched my phone on after leaving the meeting with the journalist, another ever so positive email came in. This time it was from a girl in Oslo who had been looking for a HR position within the oil and gas industry for the last 5 months. She had asked me to keep my eyes and ears open in relation to any openings and the email read: “Erik, you can now close your eyes and ears. I have secured a new job starting 1st of March”. OK, it took her as long as 5 months to secure a new position, but not at any one time did she lose her courage or give up or her motivation. That is how you get a job in a tough market.
Happy news 5:
Popped in to say hello to a good customer of OG-S, a medium sized technology company with a Managing Director who is highly inspiring and someone I always try and learn something from (don`t tell him this – not good for his ego). It was another good meeting and even more good and free coffee. Best of all? The company was very happy with the services OG-S had provided in 2014 and they were looking forward to a prosperous relationship in 2015.
As I left, I spotted a poster on the wall with the company values printed in large letters. I spotted a value that I thought was rather unique and different to all those cheesy and ‘corporate’ values most companies, including my own, portray on our websites. It read:
“We learn from our mistakes”
Refreshing I thought to myself as I left another meeting with a big smile on my face and even more coffee in my belly.
Happy news 6:
New meeting with a small technology company. Guess what? No talk about cutting the number of staff. They were expanding and needed to recruit. Hip hip hurray for them and well done to me for being wise enough to know to pass on yet another coffee.
“Happy” news 7:
Considering I had not eaten since 9PM yesterday evening, (some people would argue that this wouldn’t do a big man like me any harm) I finally got 10 minutes to stop at a service station for a Cheesy Dog with bacon. But then it all went wrong; The cheese sauce decided to leave the hot dog and squirt all over my suit jacket. Damn, I had a client meeting in 15 minutes…
Happy news 8:
I decided to leave the suit jacket in the car and then on to a new client meeting. Believe it or not, they were planning to add to their management team and had decided to really make a move in these tough times. Can it get any better I thought as I left the meeting with another 2 cups of coffee in me. Well, the smile quickly disappeared as I returned to the car for a progress update from my suit jacket.
The day was finally over. I had received great news from two good candidates and in addition, I had the opportunity to meet with four companies, all of whom were looking to recruit and grow. Whether this was because all these companies were somewhat smaller technology companies I am not sure, but it certainly goes to show that there are plenty of opportunities out there.
I mentioned that my day was finally over. Well as it happens, it wasn’t. The proof of this is that I am still sat here at just before midnight writing this text and the fact that I haven’t been anywhere near my duvet, pillow or bed for best part of 40 hours. Then again, who needs sleep when you experience a day like this filled with positivity and good news and in addition one can get “drunk” on free coffee?
Happy news 9:
I don`t believe it! Just received a call from someone I recruited a few years back who had recently lost his job. He had some news for me. By tomorrow, he would receive an offer for a management position in Stavanger and he will be starting in 2 weeks. Fantastic – only a nice win on the national lottery can match the experiences I have had today.
FINALLY, the day is over and it is midnight. Tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities. Will it be as good as today? I doubt it. One has to be realistic in a market like this. Having said that, the 11th of February taught me a lot; even in tough times, there is always something to take inspiration from and days like today helps us to understand how good things really are. They say good things come to those who wait. I say, “Good things comes to those who never give up and who keep their spirit up.” That is something I will remember when I inevitably meet those more difficult days.