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Posted by James Hawley, Executive Vice President, Veredus | Hay on Thursday, Jul 30, 2015
Over the past decade, buoyed by high oil prices exploration and production companies have expanded operations into ever more remote and harsh locations, with limited infrastructure and a shortage of local skilled workers. This creates demand for foreign oil and gas workers, with incentives such as the ‘hazardous danger pay’ attracting employees from across the globe.
91% of oil and gas workers would consider an international move – more than any other industry. But are candidates fully prepared for the difficulties and challenges they’re likely to encounter?
HR can only do so much
Human Resources plays an important role in employee safety. Risk management policies and behavioral safety coaching are essential and help prepare workers. However, HR can’t guarantee safety and workers can react differently on-site – it takes the right match of attitude and temperament to be successful.
The right fit
What qualities does a worker need to be successful in a hazardous environment?
• Good diplomacy
Understanding and adjusting to cultural differences is difficult. Fluency in the local language is not always realistic, so being an effective and patient communicator will help you break the language barrier.
Employers tell us the ideal candidate is someone who understands the importance of staying calm and who can resolve problems efficiently under intense pressure.
It is always a challenge to work on projects in unfamiliar locations and with people from a range of backgrounds. Extreme weather and long hours add additional pressure, so the ability to integrate into a team quickly and build good team relations is valuable to an employer.
A final thought
Not everyone is suited to these environments, but there are lots of benefits to working abroad so carefully weigh the pros and cons, and take your own strengths and weaknesses into account when considering your options for travel and career progression.
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