Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
09 Apr 2010

Global recruitment opportunities for HR in energy & IT sectors

09 Apr 2010 • by Changeboard Team

The current state of play

The rise in GDP at the end of the last quarter in 2009 officially ended an 18 month downturn in Britain - the countrys worst recession since World War ll. However, Britain was not the only region to suffer from a turbulent economy. The effects of the downturn were felt across the globe and restricted recruitment in many countries.

According to the International Labour Office (ILO), the unemployment rate in developed economies and the European Union is projected to increase from 8.4% to 8.9% in 2010 while, in all other regions, the rate is forecast to remain relatively stable or show a small decrease.

During the recession, the worse hit countries included the United States where temporary employment declined by 76,000 jobs in January 2009 and in Canada where employment fell by 129,000, driving the unemployment rate up to 7.2%. Canada is still feeling the effects of the global downturn with the oil & gas sector in particular remaining challenging. Dubai is also reeling from a poor performing infrastructure sector and the UK market is still very quiet in many sectors.

Countries to watch

With any financial downturn, when other countries economies are struggling, its typical to see new trends emerge from lesser-known players within the global economy. This is true for non-western countries, which have seen an increased focus on their labour market.  Countries including Nigeria, Angola, China and Qatar all remained strong throughout the turbulent times and continue to provide profitable opportunities for recruitment.

As a result of increased spending worldwide, growth areas have included oil & gas, power and infrastructure, which have seen a demand for recruitment services.

Relocation v sourcing talent locally

Currently, the market trend is for HR professionals to place an equal emphasis on global relocation as well as sourcing candidates locally. 

Sourcing local candidates for roles will always be the first choice for any company when setting up offices overseas. A company will often commit to placing a certain number of locally sourced candidates. Local labour will always be the first choice where it is available as it will help the local economy and it is logistically easier.

In countries such as China, Nigeria and Angola for example, the focus has shifted primarily to sourcing labour locally as a direct result of legislation implemented by the local government. 

However, local labour doesnt always satisfy project demands as there might not be the appropriate skills available among the workforce. Its at this point companies will start to source candidates from elsewhere.

In the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, the trend is for companies to build up a database of candidates who can either work within their own country or relocate, depending on the demands for projects worldwide.

Technology in recruitment

Technological advancements and the globalisation of the marketplace have enabled the recruitment industry to access the best candidates worldwide. The trend has been for presence on job websites which are more niche and sector specific as opposed to those with a larger CV database. Niche websites will attract skilled professionals from all over the world, enabling recruiters to drill down to a pool of top quality candidates.  

Social media networks have also affected the recruitment process. Professional networking sites such as LinkedIn are increasing in popularity as a recruitment tool. The website now spans more than 200 counties and boasts more than 60 million registered users, allowing access to the most suitable candidates for the job.

The futures bright for HR in oil & gas industries

In the past six months, more oil & gas projects have been sanctioned resulting in increased movement of labour. However, this sector will always be well equipped to deal with a challenging economic environment. Other sectors such as renewable energy due to technological developments and reduced costs are set to continue to emerge as front-runners.  Increased opportunities for HR professionals in this type of sector will mean the industry is better placed for recovery in the upcoming months.