An efficiency evolution; the talent-matching platform
There can be no doubt that the upstream energy industry is going through a transformation. Any notion of there being a return to business, as usual, is fast vanishing.
Ever since October 1973 when OPEC proclaimed an oil embargo, the industry has learned to accept and cope with several fairly dramatic downturns, notably 1985, 1990, 2014, and of course the current pandemic-fuelled crisis.
The subsequent periods witnessed recoveries, each with different driving forces. It would be too simplistic to cite addressing the supply and demand equation as the recovery factor. With each recovery, there has been a renewed focus on managing costs. Companies, or indeed geographic regions able to implement change more quickly won over those that were unable or unwilling to do so.
The current pandemic has stunned the global economy, taken away the desire for travel, and tapped into a previously unimaginable shift from office working to home working. With many upstream energy projects temporarily suspended due to falling oil prices as a consequence of muted demand. Additionally, the practicalities of safely deploying rotational workforces are having a similar adverse effect.
An under-employed workforce has started to question just what the next recovery might resemble. There are already a few certainties;
- Taxes will rise to pay for the funding of the current pandemic. In many developed countries, there is a determination from government tax officials to remove the perceived advantages of working on a consultancy basis.
- Homeworking is here is to stay, at least for those job roles previously performed in crowded office locations.
- The energy transition will start to absorb a lot of future investment, and much of this will be at the expense of the hydrocarbon extraction & production industry.
- International Oil Companies (IOCs) are all rebranding themselves as Integrated Energy Companies (IECs).
- Jobs for life, previously commonplace in the large IOCs are a thing of the past.
- Future careers will increasingly span the traditional and transformational industry segments.
Depending on whether you have a glass half full or glass half empty outlook in life, the changes that will fuel a recovery out of the current crisis are likely to equally challenging and exciting.
The oil industry is well used to dealing with the Jurassic Period, as over half the world’s oil deposits are found in rocks from, or younger than this period. For many other industries, our obsession to continue walking with the dinosaurs must appear as highly amusing.
Mindsets are still too often oriented towards supporting work practices that drive inefficiency and increased cost in the supply chain. One such inefficiency is the long-established but increasingly old-school mechanism of identifying and securing talent.
In our modern day-to-day lives, we have witnessed the demise of the humble letter dropping into our letterbox, we like to take pride in our contribution towards the paper-free office, and we hardly ever shuffle paper-based quotations around. Increasing our world is online and globally connected, as this offers convenience and significantly contributes to efficiency in our personal and work lives.
Utilising the power of smart technological processing
At Natrespro, we often wonder why the CV or resume is still so attractive.
- When printed and distributed there are all manner of potential data privacy issues.
- Who owns your CV and who are you authorising to make changes to it once you have shared it with your chosen recruitment agent?
- Are recruitment agents, who often promote themselves on how many candidate connections they have, aware that it is against the law to carry your details from one company to the next?
- With the gradual advent of candidate ATS, how can accuracy be ensured when no two CV’s are formatted alike? How many jobs have you potentially missed out on because you hadn’t performed the appropriate keyword stuffing on your CV?
- Was a junior researcher given the task of tracking down and then sorting candidate CVs, and your experience was, as a result, wholly overlooked?
- Do busy talent acquisition managers, technical managers or recruiters consider that dealing with candidates via the traditional CV is the best use of their stretched resources?
- Have you ever been annoyed or frustrated when you were contacted for the perfect job, polished off and submitted your CV and then heard absolutely nothing afterwards?
Our answer to all of the above is to look elsewhere. Other industries have increasingly confined the CV to history, at the very least as a tool for sorting and shortlisting candidates.
Imagine for a moment that there could be an efficient way of reaching out to talent, and quickly matching their available skill sets with your requirements.
The late nineties saw the advent of the job boards, which were always going to be a transitional solution and one that’s now largely redundant. In reality, they are all colossal CV portals with little to no functionality to sort candidates. The evolution into the era of the social media platforms has put paid to any notion that job boards still provide an efficient talent-matching mechanism.
The social media behemoths have taken over, but in doing so, they have removed the personal relationship with candidates who are anonymised amongst millions of other individuals. Creating platforms that cater to every individual and organisation type has prevented the offering of bespoke or tailored solutions to specific segments.
Over the past few years, bespoke solutions have provided next-generation solutions with talent-matching platforms becoming established in many industry segments. Candidates can have a sense of belonging, knowing they grouped in similar peer groups. Hiring companies can use bespoke search tools to see the wood for the trees.
Creating such a platform to span traditional and renewable energy industries was never going to be easy, given the global nature of the workforce, adapted as it is, to remote working involving expatriate or rotational lifestyles.
At Natrespro we’ve had a 5-year journey consisting of mapping out what such a platform should look like, followed through with an extensive period of research to pre-populate as many drop-down menus as would be required. That has entailed listing out the vast majority of:
- Rigs, platforms and vessels including shipyard through to scrapyard histories
- Fields and basins all mapped and interlinked.
- Technical specialities logically ordered into appropriate categories.
- Job titles and nested close match associations
- Certificates and qualifications including validity and expiry notifications
Taking into account the above granularity, we have created well over 20,000 searchable data points and anticipate this tally to reach 50,000 within the next 12-months.
Our clients don’t have to build complex Boolean keyword searches to talent match. Still, they can instead count on our built-in precision searches, as our database organises candidate data in a consistently reliable manner. Furthermore, as our database is logically structured, end-user searches are instantons.
We always knew that we had to go way beyond making long lists with this data. We had to create links and associations so that candidates would not necessarily need to remember every finite detail of careers, many of which have spanned several decades. Our cutting-edge software is designed to fill as many gaps as possible in a candidate’s career history. As our candidate pool grows, so does our ability to become even smarter.
We didn’t want to stop short with a modern rendition of a jobs board:
- We don’t deal with CVs in our relationships with end-users.
- Our clients can sort candidates by a whole array of search criteria.
- Candidate shortlisting functionality.
- Our graphical profiles summarise core candidate data, elevating talent matching capability to an all-new level.
- We have embedded an on-platform messaging and interview scheduling service.
- Candidates have, to our knowledge, the highest degree of privacy and data control available compared to any other traditional or online system.
- We are developing a genuine alternative to the existing applicant tracking systems.
The Natrespro concept isn’t about acquiring an endless pool of candidates, in competition to some of the metrics used to support job boards. We work at the other end of the spectrum, where instead we aim to encourage candidates that are active and serious about securing their next job or project. When successful, candidates can hide their profile so that they are no longer actively appearing in candidate searches.
Our mission statement defines data security and candidate privacy as a core commitment. We are legally bound to follow the rules of GDPR, and we are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the United Kingdom.
These rules and requirements weren’t sufficient for us.
We have designed a platform that offers candidates complete control of not only their data but also of their identity. So long as candidates use or rich drop-down menus, (or suggest alternatives), they remain protected against viewing from either their current employer or to anyone else with who they do not wish to share their details.
Natrespro is not a recruitment company or a job board, and we don’t have the ambition to morph into either of these company types. We proudly offer a technical solution to the age-old problem of identifying and placing the best-fit candidates into vacant roles. We will where mutually beneficial, work alongside incumbent recruitment processes, supplementing overall efficiency.
Having courage in our convictions, we know that our product isn’t easily pigeonholed, and as such is beyond the reach of many rigidly structured companies where there is no appetite for change. We do, however, believe that in time more and more organisations will realise that our platform and other similarly built solutions can substantially reduce the internal effort required in the talent-matching process.
We haven’t overlooked the issue that many candidates might be wondering, especially given the absence of available jobs in the current climate. Presented with an opportunity to come on board, you may well be wondering why you should bother wasting time to build a profile when there are so few job opportunities out there. We hear you, and we get it;
- You are joining a forward-thinking elite group who understand the benefit of technology. After all, not everyone wants to stay anchored in the past.
- While we will not participate in spamming activities, we will endeavour to stay engaged.
- We are actively reaching out to the majority of potential employers, offering demos. Realistically the process of being a catalyst for change is not instantaneous.
- To compensate for the fact that the oil and gas industry is entering its closing chapter in many mature basins, we are already looking into other opportunities.
- Candidates can already see that we have the capacity for them to start showcasing relevant and transferrable skills suited to the geothermal, lithium extraction and renewable wind energy segments. We are aiming for active and equal engagement in as many promising energy transition segments as we can.
- Candidates can toggle their profiles on or off. Candidate feedback indicates that building a Natrespro profile is jogging memories which in-turn enriches profiles, or dare we say it, invites the opportunity to fine-tune CVs.
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