By: Denis Andrew Gittins

This downturn in the oil industry is diversifying the way companies hire personnel to survive these hard times, but it may become permanent and be the way of the future. Companies no longer wish to commit themselves to hire personnel on a permanent basis, making themselves responsible for all benefits and maintaining them employed while they are not receiving revenues.

Times are tough. We’ve read the news, seen the statistics and know that this will last for five years and more, companies have to optimize and become more efficient in their operations. The Oil business is the only business that has a 10% chance of succeeding that is for every 10 wells they get one good well that pays for the other 9 dry holes. This is the reason they needed to make good money on their successful wells. Now the time of high risk and high rewards is over, now companies need to maximize their management and operational efficiency, use better technologies of extraction, but the professionals that know how to help them, are too expensive to have on a full time basis, unless they become shareholders of the companies. The solution are to hire highly qualified Consultants for specific jobs, or a specific time, pay them what they are worth for that period. The Consultants are experienced executives and professionals with 10-30 years’ experience that can evaluate and find the problems very fast, and apply a solution to solve the problem, and they can be contracted when required, or on a monthly basis 5 days a month, and the company has no obligations with them.

The key advice hiring managers everywhere are giving industry workers and job seekers is to be flexible and willing to work as a Consultant on a part time basis, or not at all.
Budget cuts are inevitable due to the downturn the industry is facing, and unfortunately or fortunately this will create a lot of Consultants, that instead of seeing this change as bad, it should be seen really as a push to look and create your own job security, how? by working with several clients throughout the month. Five days with one and three with another and so on will make twenty days a month. Some clients come and go others become more efficient and increase your consulting days. This is also good for companies, as besides using them a few days a month, they benefit from what these Consultants learn with other companies. Companies should also be flexible in listening to these Consultants, as they will give their advice to management as equals, not as employees, without fear of upsetting the manager, they are not “yes” people. Consultants are better respected by managers because they are treated as highly qualified equals. Managers do not have to be the ones with the most experience in a company, they should be the ones that learn to listen and coordinate and use the expertise available to them.

“There has been roughly a 45 percent decrease in jobs for the service industry for both onshore and offshore. While there is still a 3:5 ratio of qualified candidates for every professional engineering position that exists for operators, what was a 2:17 ratio of candidates for actual open jobs at this time last year, is now 6:7,” Melillo in Rigzone says. This should not be seen as something bad for the industry or the profesionals, on the contrary, it should be seen as a wind change, and a change of sails to take advantage of the new winds, and it should be seen for Oil workers a change in how they organize their life.

Companies will experience better bottom lines in many ways over and above efficiency. Professionals will stay longer at the workplace and will come out with more and better ideas for exploration, production, application of technologies than in the golf course being attended by sales personnel. Sales personnel will have to change and sell their services on a different way, not at the golf courses and service company functions. There will be savings and efficiency all around. Professionals will train themselves or stay behind, they will not wait for company paid professional courses, they are all on internet, and if and when they are sent to courses, they will appreciate the courses more and really learn more, and not use them for building personal and professional relationships. If an employee really feels that it needs a course, he will be compelled to convince his manager that it will help him make more money for the company in a short time, and will appreciate when he is approved his course, and on his way back he will make the course pay for itself, will not take this benefit for granted.

The same as in offshore jobs, where projects have been postponed and jobs have been cut by 50% so that companies could hire them back as consultants. Here is where management and professionals have to be open minded, positive and flexible and accept the jobs as consultants, but not to stop there, register into other Consulting companies to offer their services either as advisors online or personally. One of the specialized companies is the online GTS Offshore Consultants Group, working out of the GTS Investment and Marketing Portal out of Panama. Is time that senior managers and professionals adjust the sails for the new wind, diversify their jobs, lower their personal expenses and debts that may include moving to another country where the cost of living is more manageable and from where they can work online or flying anywhere while building their retirement nest, and building their consulting client base from the next better 30 years of their life.