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Many applications for offshore jobsOil companies are fighting to get hold of the best engineers to fill their offshore positions. But for other professions, the battle for a job offshore is almost as hard.

When Wintershall signed an agreement with Statoil in 2012 and took over shares in some of Statoil`s producing fields, the company needed a number of employees. In a recruitment campaign where 78 jobs were advertised, they received over 6,000 applications.

- We were very satisfied with the number of applicants. We noticed that many of the positions that did not require engineering background had very many applicants, says HR Director Tone Samuelsen.
Most popular was the roust about offshore position, where two positions got a total of 1,200 applications.

New round
- Many people that are working in other industries wants to get a job offshore to participate in the oil adventure. In addition, there are many who work onshore that wants to try a job offshore. It is viewed as a useful experience to have some time offshore when working in this sector, says Samuelsen.

Now she is ready to receive new application stacks from those wanting an offshore job.

- We are about to start a new recruitment campaign, and we need people to fill 20-30 positions. There is no reason to believe that we will get less attractive applicants in this round, although it is not the same positions, she says.

47 percent bonus
- Is it high salaries and offshore subsidiary that is the reason why you get so many applicants?

- Many are interested to join because of the good environment and exciting task that are waiting. We also find that good and competent colleagues are an important factor. Salary and subsidiary are of course also important, but if you remove the subsidiary, the salary are not that much better offshore than onshore. The subsidiary is supposed to be a compensation for being away two weeks at a time, far away from friends and family, she says.

Employees that have collective agreements have a subsidiary that equals 47 percent of the basic salary.

While there were many applicants for jobs with collective agreements, there was tougher competition for the engineering candidates.

- Examples of positions that are difficult to fill today are senior geologists and senior engineers. There are not too many candidates, and all companies are fishing in the same pond, says Samuelsen in Wintershall.

Want shifts
The suppliers to the offshore sector is also experiencing excessive pressure. Compass Group and its sister company ESS is a major provider of catering services to platforms and rigs in the North Sea, and the company has no difficulty in obtaining labor for these tasks.

- There is a strong interest in working offshore, says Therese Log Bergjord, CEO of Compass Group.

- Here the most popular areas are management, cleaning and catering, she says.

- Many people appreciate to work shifts, which in this profession is two weeks on and for four weeks off. It becomes a lifestyle. But salary and subsidiary is also a contributory factor, she says.

Bergjord estimates that these professions earn 75 percent more offshore than they would onshore.

- We easily receive between 50 and 100 applications a week from people who want to work offshore. And it is attractive applicants from all age groups.

As a result it gets harder to get a job.

- When it comes to cooks and cleaners we will primarily have graduates who have a trade certificate, she says.

Luxury Problem
Adecco also says that there are many candidates to choose from when searching for employees offshore.

- We primarily deliver nurses and engineers offshore, says Anne-Stine Talseth, communications director of Adecco.

- And notice very many nurses who want to work offshore. For us, this becomes a luxury problem because we have to overlook many good candidates, says Talseth.

Source: Finansavisen (paperedition), August 21, 2013

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