If your company's looking to bring a new petroleum engineer on board, know that there's competition all around you. While labor-insights firm Burning Glass tallied a modest 1,272 job listings for the role during the last 12 months, those vacancies were filled in just 35 days on average — a strong signal of today's tight labor market.
It's no wonder these pros are sourced and hired quickly. Someone's gotta get the oil out of the ground and refine it into gasoline, and petroleum engineers are involved in every aspect of it — from choosing the extraction method to designing drilling equipment. And with global demand for petroleum on the rise, companies need petroleum engineers fast.
How can you make sure your company is in a position to land the best candidate out there? These tips can get you on your way to making your next great petroleum engineer hire:1. make sure your hiring process is modern and efficient 2. determine a competitive salary for a petroleum engineer 3. research the skills required for the role 4. write an attention-grabbing job description 5. learn the hiring trends impacting the oil and gas industry 6. choose the best channels for sourcing top talent
Sound like a plan? Hang with us and we'll walk you through the process in more detail below.
1. speed up your hiring process
Outdated processes can make hiring harder and slower than it has to be. And when it comes to petroleum engineers, hiring delays impact drilling at new and existing sites, which could be a drag on production — and your bottom line. To see whether your hiring process is holding you back, review this diagram to see where you might be able to tweak it for efficiency gains.
2. develop a competitive compensation package
Hiring great petroleum engineers doesn't come cheap. They have laser-specific skills that span every aspect of oil and gas extraction, so they're in high demand among oil and gas companies nationwide. To attract the best candidates, you'll need to offer a compensation package that meets — or beats — the competition.
To get an idea of what we're talking about, head to Randstad's salary guide. To get a really accurate number, however, you'll have to think local, since pay varies by region (factoring in cost of living, demand in your area for specific skills — you know the deal). To access the most up-to-date data for your market, check out our salary calculator.
3. identify the top skills for petroleum engineers
Because petroleum engineers often have different areas of expertise depending on their experience and training, you'll need to be as specific as possible in your job posting to attract applicants who best align with your company's needs. To start, develop a clear picture of the perfect hire: Huddle with the hiring manager and other leaders across your engineering and field operations to define what the ideal applicant's background looks like. Ask questions like:
- What type of work history do we want to see?
- What certifications do they need?
- Will they need to work with one process area in particular, like well completion or reservoir extraction?
- Should they have experience with onsite monitoring, or just a history of innovation in the lab?
One strategy is to think about what you absolutely need in a hire — essential, "must-have" skills that you need without question, like project management and problem-solving skills — and "nice-to-have" skills that make candidates more attractive but may not be required, like expertise in hydraulics or equipment design.
To get started, here's a look at the skills most requested of petroleum engineers:
4. write an eye-catching job description
Successful job descriptions hook readers and keep them engaged. Here are three key ways to make sure your job description is vivid enough that candidates can envision what it's like to work at your company and encourages them to apply.
today's workforce wants meaning in their work, so speak to the role's value and larger purpose in your job description.
For more on how to produce strong job postings, read our guide to writing highly effective job descriptions.
5. brush up on the latest industry trends
Before embarking on any hiring process, you'll want to do your due diligence and learn what's happening in the area you're hiring for. Not only will this help you make good decisions today, but you'll be better informed about what your hiring needs will be tomorrow as well.
Here are a few of the latest trends to note when sourcing petroleum engineers:
- Skilled petroleum engineers are in demand in locations across the country, as opposed to other engineering roles, which tend to cluster near tech and urban centers.
- Demand is highest in California, Texas and Colorado, but it's also on the rise in places like Louisiana and Oklahoma, making competition for top talent extremely hot in these markets.
6. choose your channels to find candidates
From job boards to network referrals, industry conferences and beyond, there are any number of ways to go about finding your company's newest superstars. But not every option compares in terms of the quality of candidates it'll yield — which is especially important to keep top of mind when hiring petroleum engineers, who work on high-value, highly complex projects that drive revenue.
To maximize your efforts and tap into hard-to-find passive candidates — those who are too busy at their current jobs to be parsing job boards every day — consider partnering with a professional staffing firm. Not only will you gain access to a prescreened, vetted pool of high-quality professionals (a great way to take the risk out of hiring), but having a staffing expert on your side as you navigate today's rapidly changing job market can only strengthen your entire recruitment arm over the long term.
Browse our nationwide network of petroleum engineer candidates by heading to our Find Employees portal, or if you'd like to start a conversation, get in touch with our hiring experts in the engineering space.