CATEGORIZED | 2007, September/October

Unlike weather, we can do more than talk about finding new people

Posted on 28 October 2009

Mike Killalea, Editor & Publisher

In Houston at press time, we watch with wary eye as the first hurricane (Dean) and tropical storm (Erin) enliven the Gulf of Mexico. Both were forecast to swing wide of oil developments. Given cyclonic unpredictability, though, on alert we remain. (See p 68 for a case study in hurricane preparedness.)

Which suggests the old adage – everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. For ages, the same has rung true about replenishing the industry’s thinning ranks. But that’s finally front and center on the radar screen.

Herein, I celebrate one particular effort – IADC Career Connection. Born of the vision of IADC chairman Bob Long of Transocean to expand our pool of rig workers beyond traditional sources, IADC Career Connection has already reached out far and wide to unplowed fields of potential employees.

It’s no news flash that the offshore fleet will swell by more than 120 new rigs over the next couple of years, and multiples of that many onshore. Operating the existing 600 offshore units alone busys 65,000 workers, including 15,000 supervisors, according to data compiled by Transocean.

Do the math for just the offshore newbuilds, and we’re looking at more than 10,000 rig jobs. Among supervisors alone, newbuild programs will create 4,000 openings, according to Towers Perrin. And that excludes the “Big Crew Change,” for the crossover of roughly 1,500 greybeards into the realm of full-time golf, fishing and hunting is imminent. The inevitable advancement of younger people will open yet more junior opportunities.

Poaching from one another is a zero sum game, mere musical chairs in the grand scheme. It’s no long-term solution.

Hence, IADC Career Connection. The program is designed to assist the contract-drilling industry develop non-traditional sources of recruiting in Europe and North America to help find the future workforce needed to man the world’s drilling rigs. Linda Silinsky-Kephart is managing the program, and will provide a briefing at the IADC Annual Meeting (1-2 Nov, Moody Gardens, Galveston. See p 168.)

Any drilling contractor can register for IADC Career Connection at careers.iadc
.org. At this time, only drilling contractors can participate.

Thanks to Ms Silinsky-Kephart’s energetic research, we have found several opportunities not only to recruit but also to communicate a positive message about our industry. (This is more than slightly problematic in many societies. When Bruce Willis becomes our greatest ambassador for his appearance in the movie “Armageddon,” you know we have a problem. Don’t even mention J R Ewing.)

We hooked up with Ford Motor Company, whose Cleveland, Ohio, plant is soon to close, leaving 1,500 workers unemployed. On 8 June, Career Connection brought 4 of the industry’s largest drilling contractors to the plant. IADC and its members were the only organizations invited to talk to Ford’s people. Around 400 Ford soon-to-be former employees showed up.

Ford was so impressed with the opportunities the drilling contractors offered that IADC was enthusiastically invited to travel on 16 July to Ford’s Sterling Heights, Mich., axle facility, which also faces closure. There, our members visited with about 100 people.

IADC Career Connection is even now laying plans to tap returning military personnel (in the US), as well as convene job fairs in the US and Europe.

If your company is a drilling contractor, take advantage of this opportunity. Musical chairs is for kids. Let’s play for keeps.

Have a comment? You can reach Mike Killalea at mike.killalea@iadc.org.

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