Posted from Oil Pro, Written by David Styles:


I recently advertised for a position I had available for a Drilling Engineer in Australia and I had in excess of 400 applications within the first week. This is an incredible level of response when 2 or 3 years ago I would have been lucky to get a dozen responses.

The reason for this is simple, we have moved from a ‘Candidate Led’ job market to a ‘Vacancy Led’ job market.

In a ‘candidate led’ market the supply of good candidates does not meet the demand for them and we see job seekers very much in control of negotiations. They may have multiple offers of employment, can command higher remuneration and can dictate (to a degree) the remit of their role.

As a result of the low oil price (among a number of other things, perhaps) and associated redundancies we now find ourselves in a ‘vacancy led’ market where there are more people looking for work in the Australian oil and gas sector than there are vacancies available. And employers hold the power in negotiations, often offering lower salaries and demanding more from potential job seekers by way of the requirements of their role.

This is the third time I have seen this swing in my 14 years of recruitment, and I am certain that the model will shift back to a more candidate led model as the oil price recovers.

My advice to hiring companies in the current market conditions is simple:

1) Do not offer dramatically lower salaries just because you can, people will be more likely to leave when the job market shifts.

2) Do not keep people waiting for responses for longer than you need to after interviews, there is no reason for the process to take longer than it did before.

3) Make sure you give feedback to candidates who are unsuccessful, they took time to apply for a role, it is the least you can do.

My advice to job seekers is simple too;

1) Do not send your CV to a vacancy unless you are well suited to it, it will do you more harm than good and you may be discounted when a suitable role becomes available.

2) Register with a good recruitment consultant, someone who you believe to be credible. They may know about roles which are not advertised as hiring companies may not have the time to process 400 + responses.

3) Brush up on your interview skills. It is a competitive job market at present and you need to make the best impression you can when you get invited to interview. Business dress is required!

I wish employers and job seekers all the best in the current market and if anyone would like to discuss my comments please feel free to make contact.