U.S. oil & gas employers doubly challenged by declining market and a rapidly retiring workforce

Hays Global Oil & Gas Salary Guide 2015

Houston, Texas - Workers in America’s oil and gas sector saw increased salaries and benefits in 2014, outpacing the global average.

Workers in America’s oil and gas sector saw increased salaries and benefits in 2014, outpacing the global average. However, according to the sixth annual Global Oil & Gas Salary Guide by Hays, economic instability has become the major concern among industry employers and professionals, with 20 percent of respondents rating this as their biggest issue. While confidence among U.S. employers was at record levels when the survey was conducted, the slide in oil prices will undoubtedly intensify the financial and personnel anxieties of oil and gas companies in the months ahead.

Completed this past November, the annual guide is based on the participation of 45,000 oil and gas professionals across 25 disciplines in 188 countries. Respondents in the U.S. reported that annual salaries were up slightly more than five percent in 2014, which outpaced the global average of just one percent. However, given the timing of the survey, the challenges the industry is facing due to the slide of oil prices is not fully reflected in the results. Almost half (45 percent) of American employees collected bonuses in 2014 and a similar number received health benefits. When asked if they would consider working abroad, 30 percent of U.S. respondents said they would prefer to remain on home turf.

While increased pay rates, bonuses and benefits are positive signs, the aging workforce and a softening market signals looming problems for employers. Poll data revealed that 30 percent of oil and gas employees were between the ages of 50 and 60 in 2014 and employers said they stand to lose talent as a result of retiring staff. As if talent loss wasn’t enough to cause employers anxiety, a large number said economic uncertainty ranked among their top fears for the coming months. All told, the Hays survey shows that oil and gas employers are facing a period of intense pressure.

“Our poll data illustrates the conflicting challenges faced by oil and gas employers,” said John Faraguna, Managing Director, Hays Oil & Gas. “Companies need to complete current projects while simultaneously reducing costs to reflect new economic realities. They also have to work hard to retain talent as part of their succession plans. Before talent walks out the door when workers retire, employers should allow enough time to adopt knowledge transfer efforts. Doing so will equip teams with the skill and background to complete current projects while protecting their organization from a talent shortage when the market recovers.”

Recruiting in a period of downsizing

Among the Hays survey data were insights on several factors active job seekers take into account when choosing the companies or positions that are right for them. Salary is very important among the majority (97 percent) of oil and gas professionals while ninety-three percent look at a company’s reputation. Accordingly, employers made jobs package improvements to include better compensation (97 percent), benefits (93 percent) and opportunities for progression (84 percent).

“The oil and gas industry is indeed entering a period of uncertainty but that doesn’t mean employees have lowered their workplace expectations,” added Faraguna. “We’ve examined these issues time and again and when markets take a downturn, these values grow in importance. This soft market is a temporary problem and smart employers are focused on their future needs when recruiting. The lessons learned now will pay dividends when things return to normal.”

2015 Oil & Gas Salary Guide Salary Guide key facts:
Disciplines covered                                                             25
Countries represented                                                        188
Respondents to the survey                                                 45,000
Respondents working with a global super major          2,500
Respondents who are employers in the industry          8,200
Average U.S. salary                                                              $119,200
Percent of U.S. employees working abroad                   10 (down from 22% in 2013)
Percent of U.S. permanent vs contract employees        75 vs 25   
Percentage of oil and gas employees were between  
the ages of 50 and 60 in 2014                                            30

About Hays
Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2014 the Group employed 8,237 staff operating from 237 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2014:

– the Group reported net fees of £724.9 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £140.3 million;
– the Group placed around 57,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 212,000 people into temporary assignments;
– 24% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 42% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 34% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
– the temporary placement business represented 59% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 41% of net fees;
– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.

Download a free copy of the guide at www.oilandgasjobsearch.com/salary or request your copy at http://www.hays.com/oil-and-gas/SalaryGuide/index.htm

For further information about the survey, please contact:
Sarah Pattillo
Media Profile
Direct: 416-342-1837