It’s not easy to recruit for oil sands production

It’s not easy to recruit for oil sands production

One of the fastest growing oil and gas markets in the world is our own friendly northern neighbor: Canada.

The province of Alberta is the focal point of this country’s dominance in energy production. According to, Alberta ranks third, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, in terms of proven global crude oil reserves, and accounts for an overwhelming majority (about 98 percent) of Canada’s oil reserves.  In 2011, Alberta’s total proven oil reserves were 170.2 billion barrels, or about 11 percent of total global oil reserves (1,523 billion barrels). The rapid expansion of oil sands production has made oil critical to not just this province, but to the Canadian economy as a whole. As we know, with increased production comes a need for increased resources and manpower. It is estimated that production is connected to 75,000 jobs nationwide, and this number is expected to increase over the next 25 years. (RigZone)

The task of recruiting individuals to fill these jobs is becoming an issue. While salaries are good, it is difficult to draw people to work in extreme environments such as those experienced in rural Alberta. This is a growing concern across the board with Canadian oil & gas and government authorities.

According to Cheryl Knight, executive director and CEO of the Petroleum HR Council, “At a granular level, we’re seeing high demand for, and reduced supply of, skilled workers in specific occupations, many of which are unique to the oil and gas industry. And employee turnover is the wild card that could have recruiters working to fill hundreds of additional job openings over the next four years.”

One of the major steps being made for now and the upcoming years will be to recruit workers outside of Canada, especially now that changes are coming into place with the Canadian government’s immigration system. The hopes for these changes are that they will expedite the immigration process for non-citizen workers through a more responsive, efficient course, which will in turn create a positive impact on the country’s economic needs.  Out of the top ten recommended US cities for recruiting these workers, nine of them are located in the states of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. The top five cities on the list are in Texas: Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, Longview-Marshall and Odessa. (RigZone) With highly populated areas come more resources and more workers. Recent collaboration between Canadian and US state departments are creating programs to further facilitate these processes, and the opportunities for employment in the oil and gas industry will only continue to broaden, as well as opportunities for recruiters to fill those jobs.

Monika Banic
Recruitment Consultant
The Global Edge Consultants

The Global Edge Consultants is a full service firm specializing in the recruitment of technical and project personnel for industries such as Government, Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Chemical, Engineering, Power, Nuclear and Manufacturing. Check out our careers page!

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